FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2018, file photo, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
If Democrats thought they were going to bully their way into dominating the impeachment Senate process, they’ve apparently miscalculated. The anonymously sourced claims dealing with a passage in John Bolton’s coming book were supposed to give Schumer and company the leverage to enact their plan, and for a while, it seemed to be working. Mitt Romney and Susan Collins both signaled they would vote for witnesses.
But things have shifted this afternoon. Republican Sen. Cory Gardner announced that he’ll oppose efforts to call Bolton (see Chuck Schumer Just Lost a Key GOP Swing Vote On Witnesses). Worse for Schumer, some of his own members are now coming out in support of compromise plans that involve the testimony of Hunter Biden.
Here’s Sen. Joe Manchin on the matter this morning.
.@WillieGeist asks @Sen_JoeManchin if Hunter Biden is a 'relevant witness.' Sen. Manchin responds: "I think so; I really do." pic.twitter.com/ZESiUMWTWc
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 29, 2020
Schumer has sought to blow up any such deal, saying a witness swap is not on the table, but it’s painted him into a corner.
With every Republican, and now a Democrat as well, saying that Hunter Biden will be called if Bolton testifies, it means Democrats have to choose between not hearing Bolton testify or letting Republicans grill Hunter Biden. There’s no scenario where the latter goes well for them but if Bolton testifies, it’s going to happen.
In response, Adam Schiff and Company are wailing to every network camera they can find that Hunter Biden’s testimony is irrelevant. That’s nonsense. He’s at the very center of any question dealing with the legitimacy of Trump’s investigative requests. If the younger Biden testifies, it risks helping the President by showing there was clearly reasonable suspicion in his actions. Schiff wants no part of that and had hoped to avoid it.
Things are extremely fluid right now, but the Democrat strategy appears to be collapsing.