The title says it all. The GOP is flat terrified that their fidelity to Donald Trump is going to run right up against his insistence on a big splashy extravaganza trial that he believes he needs in order to exonerate himself and “embarrass the Democrats.” This is the Donald Trump we need, the self-assured one, convinced of his own greatness, refusing to listen to the advice of far far far more savvy people who are looking 9-10 months down the road.
It is also just so damned Trumpian to believe that if he just gets to explain and control things he will win. Obviously, too, this is driven by Trump’s vein-popping need for revenge and his fantasies of punishing those who hurt him.
We have written about his inclinations about a trial before, we have not read that it is this serious, enough to cause a true divide (finally) among Republicans and Trump. Rawstory has the summary of great Politico report:
The president believes a splashy trial will vindicate him and embarrasses Democrats, according to six sources familiar with his thinking, and outside allies are urging him to push for testimony from Hunter Biden, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the anonymous whistleblower, reported Politico.
First of all, the Whistleblower is probably out of reach, and that ruling should be made by Chief Justice Roberts, because neither party will want to await a full court ruling, and I do not think that even a Senate vote can violate the Whistleblower statute. Moreover, Republican Senators don’t want him called in the first place. The whistleblower heard directly from people in the room, his entire story has been backed-up.
Second, I am actually wishing that Schiff had testified in the House and would love him to do so in the Senate. Schiff is ten times smarter than Trump’s TV lawyers – remember, Trump doesn’t have real lawyers – and Schiff didn’t do anything wrong. Moreover, since Trump doesn’t have real lawyers, they won’t be able to control Schiff’s answers, and he’ll get to sit there and go on and on about how this is all terrible, might slip in new stuff they don’t know, and continue to return to the facts in the matter.
Last, Hunter Biden? He might get beat up a bit, yet all he needs to say is “I didn’t break any law, and I would have talked to U.S. law enforcement. None of you investigated me before my father started running.” Those statements will take a ton of power out of any embarrassing stuff pulled out of him.
But mostly, it is the optics that are just devastating. Trump demands that all these tangential people, not a single one is relevant to what Trump actually did except the Whistleblower and even if he (it is a he) is dragged out there, everything in his report has been backed by live witnesses who testified.
Meanwhile, Trump has blocked everyone who was there. The subpoena going out to these witnesses would also quite possibly piss enough Republicans off (it only takes 3) to subpoena the White House employees, Mick Mulvaney, Bolton, etc. who will sit there and attempt to claim executive privilege. John Roberts will be there to rule and no matter how he rules, it makes Trump look bad. Even if Trump gets away with executive privilege, it truly looks terrible. Trump looks guilty and lashing out in a rage.
He already does.
Republicans know it.
“There’s a family feud under the water between what Trump and McConnell think is the best strategy,” said oil drilling CEO Dan Eberhart, a major GOP donor.
Nothing tests unquestioned “loyalty” like a family feud. No matter which faction wins, the Republicans who walk away will have every reason to be angry with Trump and feel freer to disagree with Trump publicly. He is putting them all in danger. Even if Republicans win the feud, they will walk away feeling liberated, “We are actually the end of the line now, he owes us.”
“For many Trump allies, the whistleblower is really priority one, two and three,” said 2016 campaign adviser Jason Miller.
ONLY because of Trump’s personal need to punish and inflict pain on people who hurt him. Because they can only lose if the Whistleblower is put on the stand, please trust me on that. The Whistleblower will look sympathetic to neutral eyes. His initial statement is completely backed-up by testimony given by Trump appointees. The Democrats can talk about the statutes that the Republicans are now busting through. The Republicans will lose all power in their “no due process” argument, which has been their only powerful argument. And in the end, the Whistleblower’s entire point will be confirmed.
Trump and his people will still demand they have the right to keep all witnesses from testifying. It looks truly awful.
Keep in mind, this is a trial. In trial, the public weighs the evidence. If Trump gets what he wants, he has no power to say he didn’t get due process, and it truly does come down to weighing the evidence and optics in the evidence not presented.
Republicans in the Senate know this, and that is why they are vehemently against this. They know this can and likely will backfire powerfully. They know it will put them in danger. Enough of them might be pissed off enough at Trump’s insistence upon putting them in danger, and impressed enough with the evidence, that 3-5 will vote to convict. If 3-5 vote to convict, Trump will not be removed, but a majority of the Senate will have voted to remove Trump, and that will be extremely powerful.
Trump’s need to punish others and inflict pain, his need to be all powerful and control the entire process, could easily be his undoing next November. Republican senators know this, and thus vastly prefer a quick clown show nothing burger where they can vote to acquit solely on the basis of “no due process” in the impeachment.
Give me the option? I vote for Trump winning this argument all day long, even if he gets all three of them to testify. Indeed, I dearly hope they are stupid enough to call Schiff.
I think Trump might well win the family feud. Remember, he has all the kompromat. McConnell is going to find out that way too many in his caucus truly are Trump sycophants and have come to believe what he believes. These are the Cindy Hyde-Smith’s of the party, and they are dumber than posts. They will pressure McConnell to do as Trump wants.
And good morning, Zoomers.
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