Prosecutor: “That concludes our opening statement, your honor. Now we would like to introduce witnesses and documents that support our case.”
Judge: “That’s not how it works. In order to submit witnesses and documents you must first get the approval of fifty-one percent of the jury.”
Prosecutor: What?! How can I present a complete case without witnesses or documents? Who gets to make the rules?”
Judge: “The Foreman of the Jury. He gets to make the rules.”
Prosecutor: “But the Foreman has already admitted he coordinates with the Defendant on this case.”
Judge: “Sorry, that’s the way this thing is set up.”
Prosecutor: “Then why are you here?”
Judge: “I’m not really sure myself.”
Believe it or not, that is the way the Senate trial of President Trump’s impeachment is set up. The Foreman—e.g., Leader Mitch McConnell—has coordinated the defense with the White House and forecasted that the outcome will be acquittal. It is highly unlikely that two-thirds of the Jury—e.g. one hundred Senators—will vote to convict. The Defendant—e.g., Trump—will crow that he’s been exonerated. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see where this is going.
We are now in the Defendant stage of the opening remarks. The defense boils down to: He did nothing wrong; what he did you may not like, but it doesn’t fit the removal standard of high crimes; and, besides Obama did it too.
After this is over, they will get to vote on witnesses. Over the weekend excerpts from John Bolton’s book were disclosed. He states that the President told him that he was withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for dirt on the Bidens. Whether or not this will sway four or more Republican Senators to vote for witnesses, time will tell. Even if witnesses are allowed, I think this whole thing is rigged anyway.
Next week the election season begins in earnest with the Iowa Caucuses. If the trial drags on four Senators who are presidential candidates will be stuck in their chairs listening to the trial drone on. In the meantime, Trump’s re-election campaign is raising tons of money, and he continues to gin up his base. American’s eyes are glazed over. Key question: Will swing states that were red in 2016 turn blue in 2020? Like I said, time will tell.