A few days ago the prediction was that if House Democrats were stupid enough to pass articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell would do everything possible to make it as painful an experience as possible. The President will finally get to call/compel witnesses, introduce evidence and cross-examine the so-called whistleblower, Joe and Hunter Biden and the entire parade of people Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler brought up to make their case.
To quote RedState boss, streiff;
The Democrats should tread warily here. Mitch McConnell is not going to take the easy way out and simply call a vote to dismiss the charges … though he could. He’s said he will go through with a trial. And McConnell will set the rules (the Chief Justice presides but the rules are made by the majority). The odds of him refusing to let the President call witnesses to demonstrate that his request of Ukraine President Zelensky was valid approach zero. The odds of Adam Schiff not being called if the President’s defense team wants it also approaches zero.
The general consensus among the Conservative rank and file is exactly that – the Senate needs to hold a proper trial, even if only to highlight the travesty against due process that was the Adam Schiff led “impeachment inquiry.” Just as important is to provide the President the opportunity to present a proper defense and justification for his focus on Burisma and what appears to be a facially obvious case of corruption involving the former Vice President, his son and a corrupt foreign oligarch. Another reason is political; as UpLateAgain noted, the Senate GOP simply dismissing the charges is the best possible outcome for the Democrats – they would be able to claim Trump was impeached, and the Republicans refused to act on it though there was tons of evidence that he should be removed.
So given that a proper trial is clearly the most intelligent approach to take, not to mention the approach favored by the Republican base, Senate Republican Leaders (according to CNN) are naturally leaning toward dismissing the charges as soon as the articles of impeachment make it to the Senate, without allowing Trump any avenue to present a defense.
As can be expected, the reason being given is a concern for avoiding a “spectacle” in the Senate – something only Beltway Bubble enclosed lip furlers would think actually matters to anyone but media catchfarts like themselves.
The Chief NeverTrumper at HotAir can barely contain his wishful glee/relief in a disingenuous concern trolling post arguing that a Senate trial in which Trump would have the full complement of rights guaranteed to the accused would be damaging … to Republicans, because any vote to haul in Joe and Hunter Biden to the stand would supposedly enrage Democrats in states with vulnerable Republican incumbents e.g. CO and ME.
The reality is that a Republican facing a purple electorate which he and his colleagues have given reason to believe protected a criminal President is in far more jeopardy than if he had voted to allow a fair and impartial trial, no matter how long it drags out or how much the “spectacle” of Donald Trump’s attorneys tearing down Adam Schiff’s and Jerrold Nadler’s “experts” and “witnesses” distresses delicate NeverTrump stomachs.
Unfortunately, if CNN is right (and there is a chance they are), McConnell and his lieutenants have once again, as is typical of Republicans, are choosing the Stupid™, not to mention, loser’s path.