Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks back to his office after speaking on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
As we continue apace with whatever you want to call the current spectacle in the House, it’s worth remembering (and perhaps some hysterical media members should be reminded) that this doesn’t end with Adam Schiff’s edicts. In the not-too-distant future, Mitch McConnell will have his cocaine-laced hands on the process.
The question is, what exactly will be his strategy? Perhaps we got a hint of that with this latest Richard Burr statement — or maybe we didn’t if other sources are to be believed? Here it is.
Impeachment scheduling alert: Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr says trial will last for "6 to 8 weeks." It will run for 6 days a week, from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., a big chunk of time for senators also running for president hoping to be in IA, NH or anywhere but DC in Dec/Jan/Feb.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) November 12, 2019
First, the last person I want anywhere near the planning and execution of this is Richard Burr. He’s proven to be almost completely useless as the Senate Intel Committee Chairman, overly concerned with collegial decorum while allowing Mark Warner to continually push him around. In fact, there’s a report out right now that the committee’s report on Trump-Russia is being held up by Warner’s objections.
BREAKING: Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is holding up release of findings of panel's investigation into allegations of Trump-Russia "collusion." Report, which had been due for release in Sept, is said to fully exonerate Trump,advisers pic.twitter.com/uBGwk5SaW9
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) November 7, 2019
The only way that happens is if Burr lets that happen. Despite the Mueller testimony occurring four months ago, Burr has yet to call him or anyone else related to testify. He hasn’t dug down on any of the peculiarities of the Trump-Russia investigation. He’s essentially ceded control of his committee to a hack Democrat who’s done nothing but operate in bad faith.
To reiterate, that is not the kind of person who needs to be making impeachment schedules, rules, or witness lists. There’s a place for “tradition” in Senate proceedings, but that’s no excuse for getting run over by partisans like Warner.
But perhaps Burr isn’t as in charge as he thinks he is?
Sources close to Senate Republican leadership say they don’t know what Richard Burr is talking about. Timetable hasn’t been set and McConnell has not been inclined towards a 6-8 week trial. https://t.co/J2GFl9Gijm
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) November 13, 2019
This is the better answer. Perhaps Burr got out over his skis? The idea that we’d drag out the proceedings for 6-8 weeks is ludicrous. There’s simply not enough here to even fill two weeks, much less eight.
Now, perhaps McConnell decides that he wants to drag it out to punish Senate Democrats running for Congress. In that scenario, they’d be forced to stick around Washington six days a week and not be able to campaign. But that’s a bad gamble in my opinion, as neither Warren nor Sanders is likely to win anyway and the rest are irrelevant. The more time you give to this, the more you lend it credibility and the longer you stretch out the bad headlines.
We don’t need 6-8 weeks of these same witnesses being trotted out. Even if you assume the Senate will subpoena the Bidens (highly unlikely) and the whistle-blower (more likely), that still doesn’t add up to over a month of testimonies. That’s mainly a product of the fact that there’s simply not much here to investigate. We have the call. We have the hearsay assumptions of some self-interested bureaucrats. There’s nothing else new being added to the mix. Perhaps Rudy Giuliani comes in and testifies? But if the White House objects, and they will, McConnell won’t fight it.
My main concern with all this is that the Senate will fold and attempt to have a bipartisan process. Sorry, but Democrats don’t get that courtesy after what Schiff has done. Not a single Democrat should be able to call a single witness in the upcoming Senate trial. They should have their questions limited and their time cut short. The media shouldn’t be given the gift of a two-month process either.
And certainly, Richard Burr should be sitting on the sidelines given his history of inaction.
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