Senate Republicans continued their opening statements in the Trump impeachment trial yesterday and their performance was predictable. Rather than attack the substance of what Trump is accused of doing, they instead attacked the process used by the House of Representatives, attacked Joe Biden and his son Hunter, attacked the Obama presidency, pretended that a president can only be impeached for committing a Federal crime, and gave a lengthy defense of Rudy Giuliani that culminated in the conclusion that Rudy isn’t important to the case anyway and should be ignored.
The takeaways? (1) Rudy Giuliani is central to Trump’s misdeeds and the Republicans don’t want the Democrats to shine a spotlight on him. (2) Trump was trying to extort Ukraine to attack Joe Biden and is now is using his defense team to attack Joe Biden–who he obviously sees as his most threatening Democratic rival. (3) Republicans are on the verge of acknowledging that Trump extorted Ukraine to cheat the 2020 election for his personal benefit and concluding, “So what?” (4) Republicans continue to publicly ignore the specter of Ambassador Bolton’s claim in his upcoming book that Trump did exactly what we all know he did.
Despite number (4), the Bolton revelations continued to top the news yesterday as pressure on Senate Republicans to allow Bolton to testify mounted. It was reported that Mitt Romney will vote for witnesses, and there may already be enough GOP support to reach the crucial threshold of 51 votes.
It was also reported yesterday that the Bolton book was jam packed with other damning revelations about the Trump presidency. According to reports, Bolton was concerned that Trump was doing personal favors for certain autocrats including Xi of China and Erdogan of Turkey, where Trump has major business interests. Bolton was so concerned that he brought the issue to Bill Barr, who was also concerned that Trump was having undue influence on investigations into those countries. Here’s the article from the New York Times that broke this potentially significant story:
As this blog noted yesterday, the full truth of this entire sordid Ukraine affair will eventually be exposed and it seems that a lot of other potentially damning and incriminating incidents will continue to seep out in a drip-drip-drip fashion, making any rush to finish the impeachment trial by Republican Senators look more and more like a cover-up.
As November approaches, the eventual Democratic nominee will be able to say clearly and confidently that Trump is a corrupt liar, that he abuses and soils his office, that he betrays the public trust, and that his every-day conduct is unbecoming the presidency. If the economy sags, which is quite possible in light of a global manufacturing slowdown, Trump will have very little to sell voters other than his cruelty, his anger, his hatred, and his isolationism.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”