This. So far as the Senate is concerned I don’t expect anything by way of serious inquiry into the charges. It will either be dismissed out of hand, or there will be a lineup of Trump loyalists answering softball questions.
“Sir, do you feel the outrageous persecution against our duly elected and devastatingly handsome president is merely an outrage, or does it rise to the level of treason against America, common decency, and Baby Jesus?”
Yesterday on Breitbart (yes, I’m a masochist), Louie Gohmert - the Stupidest Man in Congress™ - was whinnying about the Republicans not getting to call witnesses who could clear everything up. The Democrats would absolutely love to have your witness list on the stand - but it’ll never happen, all while the CEC complains without a hint of shame about the “unfair” process.
More than likely McConnell will allow for a trial with the Republican side choosing all the witnesses. I do think he could get pressure from Collins, Romney, Murkowski and a few others to allow for some semblance of a real trial with witnesses that Dems would want. But I agree there is no way we will see any of the main actors from the White House there. Because its obvious that they would either lie under oath or tell the truth- which would be incredibly damning.
One interesting thing I learned that in deciding about who to allow for witnesses, it would come to a straight vote with Dems having to flip Republican senators to allow for their witnesses- and Pence would not be the tie breaking vote but it would likely be John Roberts who would break a tie.
And finally, if the Dems did flip several GOP senators in terms of who to call for witnesses, and they demanded Giuliani or Executive Branch members come, I don’t think there is any way they can claim presidential privilege. They would come.
Man I wish that could be true but I think McConell will do his best not to allow any of those folks to testify. Way too dangerous when it gets to cross examination. And I think voting down conviction is baked in at this point.
It will be really interesting what Romney, Collins, Murkowski and maybe a few others do in the upcoming trial. The smart play is to make this short, have as few witnesses as possible and to vote quickly against conviction.
But Romney, Collins and Murkowski are politically and ethically inclined to make the trial real and “fair.” Will they use their muscle to help Dems bring in their witnesses- including Executive Branch witnesses? This is the million dollar question. My guess is that they may push for a few Dem witnesses (such as who we saw at the House impeachment hearings) but no executive branch witnesses.