Pelosi's sitting on the articles of impeachment is merely a stunt
The trial will begin, according to McConnell, with House Democrats arguing their case, followed by a rebuttal from White House lawyers. At that point -- not before -- senators will decide whether to call witnesses or proceed to a verdict. It's the same plan unanimously adopted by the Senate for the trial of President Bill Clinton.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is demanding an upfront guarantee of White House witnesses, knowing he won't get it. It's a public relations stunt to smear Trump's expected acquittal as "unfair," damaging him for his re-election bid.
Some Republicans would like to call the Bidens. Reuters reports that, according to a former member of the Ukrainian parliament, Hunter Biden was hired as a director of Burisma Holdings to protect the company from investigation, when Vice President Joe Biden was the U.S. point person on Ukraine.
Democrats applauded Monday when former national security adviser John Bolton announced he would testify if called. Predictably, Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, still smarting from Trump's bypassing him for secretary of state, immediately said he'd like to hear from Bolton. But centrists Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark., are sticking with McConnell's plan, which postpones the witnesses question until after opening arguments.
That's wise because the key issue facing senators is whether the charges against Trump are impeachable offenses. For the first time in history, the House impeached a president without accusing him of breaking any law. Democrats insist they can nail Trump for "exercising power with a corrupt purpose, even if his action would otherwise be permissible" -- putting political advantage above the national interest.
By that definition, every politician is guilty. Expect a majority of senators, including some Democrats, to see the danger of such flimflam charges.
By the end of January, the Senate will have voted to acquit Trump. Pelosi and her party will be the big losers. They impeached a president for partisan gain, and then tried to delay the trial in a desperate search for evidence to make the charges stick. Voters will judge them harshly in November.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York state and author of "Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution." Contact her at email@example.com. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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