OK, it’s not Kabuki as much as it is Shadow Puppetry.
What makes anyone think Trump won’t run to court to get an injunction against Bolton, claiming executive privilege and national security, if Bolton receives a subpoena? Any competent court would rule against Trump, but Trump would appeal. That litigation could last until Fall.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 6, 2020
Can Bolton give cover to vulnerable GOP senators and ensure his status within the GOP in the post-Trump era.
Because they can be in favor of witness(es), but gosh, it’s going to take so long and not appear to be complicit in a cover-up or some kind of procedural maneuver to dismiss the trial charges. The latter could still occur since Moscow Mitch seems to have enough influence to jam up all kinds of things like that pile of House-approved bills.
Every GOP Senator doesn’t want to be seen as fostering an unfair trial while supporting an impeached POTUS* who might cut off support of their reelection campaign. OTOH, a retiring senator like Lamar Alexander might want to do the right thing, unlike Jeff Flake in the Kavanaugh nomination.
To Senate Republicans,
Make no mistake: There will be votes on whether to subpoena the documents we’ve identified and to call the four witnesses we’ve proposed: Mulvaney, Bolton, Duffey, and Blair.
Will you support a fair trial, or a Senate-sponsored cover-up? pic.twitter.com/uO2ZC6Ha42
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 7, 2020
Then again there could be another House impeachment effort to pursue more articles of impeachment since there are bribery/extortion charges still possible even after the November election.
Bolton can not be trusted. He probably thinks it will never happen. The House should subpoena him asap, @RepAdamSchiff. If and when the articles go to the Senate, Bolton can testify there too. Not an either/or proposition. https://t.co/Vi5lUEszbG
— Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) January 6, 2020
Here's what key Republican senators told our team this evening about a Senate impeachment trial and potential testimony from John Bolton.
TILLIS: "What I don't want to do is all of a sudden open it up to where we effectively have the impeachment inquiry on the Senate side."
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 7, 2020
- MURKOWSKI when asked if she agrees with McConnell’s preferred trial structure: “Yep. I think it’s how we get started with this.”
- MURKOWSKI on Bolton testimony: “I don’t think there’s any decision on Bolton because we don’t have articles.”
- GARDNER asked about potential Bolton testimony: “I know you guys want to have a trial by Twitter, but is Nancy Pelosi going to follow the Constitution? I know you guys want to have a trial by Twitter, but until she has the articles sent over, there is no trial.”
- RUBIO on potential Bolton testimony: ” I think our inquiries should be based on the testimony and evidence they [House Democrats] used to reach those articles now. … We’re under no obligation to extend beyond the record that they created.”
- GRAHAM when asked if Bolton should testify: “No. I’m ready to go. If they want to call Bolton, they should have called Bolton in the House.”
- KENNEDY: “I don’t know Mr. Bolton. What I know of him, I respect. He seems awfully anxious to testify. But I don’t think his interest — whatever the basis of it is — and testifying is nowhere near as relevant as whether he will be allowed to testify under executive privilege.”
- ROMNEY on Bolton: “Sure, I’d love to hear what he has to say. He has firsthand information and assuming that articles of impeachment do reach the Senate, why I’d, I’d like to hear what he knows.” Romney chose not comment about a subpoena process to compel Bolton’s testimony.
- COLLINS: “I have suggested that we follow the precedent that was established with Pres. Clinton’s trial.” On Bolton: “It’s very difficult to decide that until we go through the first few stages and look at all of the witnesses that each side would like to have if we get to it.”
Considering the above ambivalence, it may be the case that contrary to some sources stating that Bolton’s testimony could swing Trump’s trial, that in terms of his book contract, he could be exculpatory and hence stay afloat in GOP political circles. His usefulness to a fair trial only comes in terms of multiple witnesses with more germane testimony and documents that to now have been blocked by the WH.
The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses. They must allow key witnesses to testify, and produce the documents Trump has blocked, so Americans can see the facts for themselves.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 6, 2020