Mitch McConnell is trying to bury the evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing in the dead of night. Like an accomplice to a murderer, he’s trying to dispose of the bloody corpse, the incriminating blood soaked clothing, and the murder weapon with Trump’s prints all over it, by stuffing everything into a rapidly dug shallow grave in the dark of night all the while saying, “What corpse?” “I didn’t see any corpse!” Mitch McConnell has earned his new trending-on-Twitter nickname, “Midnight Mitch”.
Mitch and the Republican Party are doing this to try to maintain that hermetically sealed world of misinformation where Trump did nothing wrong. That world is getting tested by the House Managers’ masterful overwhelming presentation of evidence in these first days of Trump’s impeachment trial. Mitch and the GOP may well win Trump’s acquittal but set themselves up to lose the Senate majority in November.
71% of Americans want top aides of Trump to testify (Washington Post/ ABC poll). That includes 48% of Republicans. 51% of Americans already say Trump should be impeached AND removed. Mitch and the GOP are afraid that that number could go higher if Americans understand how dangerous Trump is to our country. If we get to hear from additional witnesses especially John Bolton and get even more documents that expose Trump and others in his inner circle, the tide could shift towards Trump being removed from office either through impeachment or at the ballot box.
The Dems know that McConnell’s game plan is to kill off the impeachment trial as fast as possible. Midnight Mitch will try to end it all with the vote on whether to ask for more witnesses and documents. That fateful vote is coming next week, probably Wednesday. House Managers finish up their case on Friday and the president’s legal team starts Saturday and will continue their presentation into early next week.
The Dems know they may have only a few precious days to get out the truth to Americans and they are using every bit of time they have to argue the case for impeachment using everything they got: compelling oratory especially from Adam Schiff, and a granular expose of the evidence by Jason Crow, Hakeem Jefferies, Val Demings, Zoe Lofgren and others using power point slides, witness testimony from the House, and video clips of Trump, Mulvaney as well as legal scholars who testified that prove the underlying facts of this case are not in dispute and that this president abused his power and obstructed Congress. They even dug up old clips of Lindsay Graham and Alan Dershowitz stating unequivocally that you don’t need to allege a crime to have abuse of power.
The Dems Fight for Documents and Witnesses
The fight for evidence began on the first day of the trial. Chuck Schumer made 11 requests for documents and witnesses which were read into the record. Then the House managers had the opportunity to explain why they were so important. After that, counsel for Trump replied with their arguments. Followed by rebuttal by the Dems, which means the Dems had the opportunity to respond and point out errors, misinformation and falsehoods from Trump’s lawyers. Then there was a vote Senator by Senator registering his or her yea or nay. All of the requests made by the Dems were voted down on a straight party line vote. That meant new evidence would not be subpoenaed prior to the extensive arguments given by first the House managers and then the president’s legal team with three days given to each side.
House managers went first. They came fully prepared to put in their case for impeachment and removal on day one. They explained not only why they needed those documents from the OMB or DOD or why they wanted Mick Mulvaney to come to testify, but they artfully laid out the entire case against Trump. Then they laid it out over and over again in the next few days. They have succeeded in presenting an impeachment case so strong that anyone tuning in and catching even just a glimpse of the hearing can understand the overwhelming factual proof.
They used power point slides effectively showing a screen with email conversations they obtained from the White House so heavily redacted that no one could have figured out what had been said. They showed the very same emails obtained by FOIA request in unredacted form. It became clear the White House had been conducting a cover up because once you could read the unredacted email you could see that the information that had been hidden was evidence against the president. The House managers recounted the evidence from the House hearings and interspersed video clips. They presented power point slides and video of Trump being interviewed, claiming that Article II gives him the “power to do anything he wants” and Mick Mulvaney confessing that “yes, there was a quid pro quo and we do it all the time get over it.”
One of the most effective moments from the first day came from Jason Crow (D- CO), who has been a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan and knows what it is like to need military aid and support because you are on the front lines risking your life to protect the values our country stands for. Every minute of every day you do not have the military support and funding is a moment you are less equipped to protect yourself from the enemy trying to kill you. His words and the images he created were powerful. He told the story of our servicemen trying to stay safe for their families. I could not imagine any human being not being affected by what Jason Crow was saying.
Adam Schiff and the House managers tried to crack open the door to more evidence by enticing us and the moderate Senators saying, “Don’t you want to know more? Don’t you want to subpoena John Bolton? Don’t you want to read those unredacted emails? Wouldn’t you love to know what’s in that memo? You have the power to subpoena all of that, Senators.”
Will There Be An Impact?
Of course the Republicans in the Senate DON’T want to know any more! This is a damning case as it is. They are probably all sick to their stomachs having to listen to what this idiot president did that they already know he did. Trump in Davos made it worse by crowing that he has even more information that has not been turned over to the House! The Dems are talking to us, the American people, when they raise this issue. They are saying: You are not getting the full story here. Don’t let these Republicans turn this impeachment into a continuation of Trump’s cover up.
In making this strong factual case for impeachment, the Dems are talking to those 15% of Independents who might be open minded enough to listen to the facts and the evidence and conclude that Trump must leave office. And they are also hoping to find at least 4 Republicans, hopefully more, who will stand up to Mitch and Trump and vote to allow additional witnesses and documents when that vote comes up on Wednesday.
Will Mitch succeed in shutting down the trial abruptly with a party line vote? Will there be enough or any Republican Senators who remember their oaths of office and the oaths they took at the start of this trial to do impartial justice? Will there be Republican Senators who are worried about getting re-elected if they goosestep with this president and his complicit GOP-led Senate by not cracking open the door and learning more? Because based on what we know so far, Trump’s entire inner circle was “in the loop” to varying degrees – some warning him not to do this shake down but going along and others enabling Trump. There is a lot more we do not yet know- but we definitely see the tip of the iceberg and we know there IS an iceberg below!
So far the Republican Senators are not breaking with Mitch. They are terrified of Trump and cowed by his base, afraid of being primaried, so they are going along with Mitch’s game plan. But they are also consciously selling out our country because they aren’t dummies. They know what Trump did. They know these are impeachable offenses. They know Trump is a danger to our country.
What Happens Next If More Evidence Does Not Come Out in the Senate
McConnell might keep Trump’s exposure to a minimum for the impeachment trial, but this is not over. Not by a long shot. More evidence is going to come out. Lev Parnas WILL testify in the House. New evidence came out even as the House mangers were wrapping up their case – Trump at a dinner using mob boss talk in reference to Ambassador Yovanovich “Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out.” John Bolton is writing a tell all book that may well come out and splatter all over Trump’s re-election bid just before the election in November. There will be more House oversight hearings. Washington leaks like a sieve. FOIA requests granted by the courts are getting closer to exposing hidden truths that our government is trying to keep from us. The courts will be ruling on Trump’s tax returns that would expose his relationship with Putin and blow his secret alliance with him wide open. When this evidence does inevitably come out, these Senate Republicans are going to look really bad to a majority of Americans who care about getting the truth, don’t like being lied to, want to live in a democracy not a dictatorship, and want this president to be checked and balanced.
And Trump will do more bad impeachable stuff. That’s not a guess, that’s a guarantee.
Trump has no guardrails anymore- no Mattis, no McGahn, no Tillerson to protect us from Trump’s terrible judgment, stupidity and his driving obsession to do whatever is good for himself not our country. Therefore Trump will do more illegal, immoral and corrupt things because he never learns not to and he is driven by profound paranoia and deep obsessions. The only thing he has learned in his life is that he can do anything he wants to and no one will check and balance him.
Even now his defense team is planning to smear Joe Biden which is their way of using the impeachment to do what they failed to do in the pressure campaign with Ukraine. Trump is a man obsessed with attacking his rivals and here there is even more motivation to attack Biden. Trump’s ability to stay out of prison by staying in office as president where he is protected and is consolidating power may depend on getting Biden knocked out early as the Democratic nominee.
Adam Schiff’s Closing Arguments
On Thursday evening Adam Schiff presented one of the most effective closing arguments I have ever heard. He spoke from his heart about why Trump has to be removed from office. He spoke directly to the Senators who were raptly attentive because he was so inspirational. Here is some of what he said, but you need to see the whole speech if you missed it.
“You know he is guilty. You know you can’t count on him. The country knows it. He’s a danger to our country because he puts the interest of the country aside for his own interest. Here in this country truth matters. Here right matters. It’s what’s made us the greatest country in the world. If right doesn’t matter here we’re lost.”
On Friday night Schiff in another masterful closing talked about moral courage and how it is harder than courage on the battlefield. And he talked about how “we cannot escape history.” He asked the Senators to give America a fair trial.
These House managers are the future of our country. I am proud to be a Democrat.
This is the moment to call your Senators, write your Senators and show up at their offices. Write letters to your local paper editorial section that we demand a real trial and we want the truth. Especially if you live in a state trending blue and one of your Senators is Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Lamar Alexander (TN), Thom Tillis (NC), Jody Ernst(IA), Cory Gardner(CO), Mitt Romney (Utah), Perdue (GA), Loeffler (GA), Doug Jones (SC Democrat who is on the fence) you have the opportunity to shape history by demanding these people vote to bring in more evidence and witnesses. This is one of the few times in American history when your voice matters in a very big way.