Because at this point, Individual-1 knows he has the impeachment acquittal votes, could Trump come before the Senate to make what would be a campaign speech. Trump doesn’t have to appear, but it seems more likely that with a GOP majority unwilling to have defections, Trump would try to spike the ball in must-see TV ratings heaven. OTOH the Democrats could have Barry Berke or Dan Goldman question him.
According to the Senate rules on impeachment, McConnell could let Trump — the prospective defendant — avoid appearing before the Senate. The Senate must inform the accused of the charges and offer them the opportunity to appear, but Rules VIII and X do not require that the person actually show up. There’s not even a requirement that the person have representatives, like lawyers on a defense team, who appear to contest the charges.
Avoiding public testimony could stop the president from making his situation worse by either lying or further incriminating himself — which his attorneys feared during the Mueller investigation.
Those same rules give the Senate — and thereby McConnell — the power to demand either or both of the Ukraine whistleblowers testify without the protection of anonymity. That would set up a conflict with federal whistleblower protection laws, which require that federal officials not unmask people who alert the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community to potential wrongdoing.
Depending on how McConnell chooses to act, he could create a situation that highlights the inherent conflicts of the constitutional system, by using rules created by the Senate to affect a trial of the president.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) November 22, 2019
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) November 22, 2019