The President will probably be impeached by the House today. Only the 3rd time that’s happened in U.S. history. (None has ever been removed as the result of impeachment.)
And on the eve of his impeachment, the President issues not a Tweet (well, actually Tweets too), but also an uncharacteristically long in fact, multi-page letter—a litany of the wrongs done to him when he did nothing wrong—to the person doing those wrongs to him: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The letter itself, which you can see by clicking here, reads like an encapsulated version of pretty much any recent airing of Fox and Friends. (Except slightly more laudatory of Trump.) And we’re pretty sure now what the President’s going to rail about at all his rallies between now and the next election.
Short version: Democrats are being unfair to him because they’re just jealous he’s so damn good at doing his job. And BTW, they “found NOTHING!”
Trump both accuses Democrats of giving it to him worse than at the “Salem Witch Trials”, yet just a couple of paragraphs later, accuses those same Democrats of themselves being “possessed”.
We can’t say for sure of course, but we’re pretty sure all the same, if Trump was responding to a similar letter written by someone else in a similar situation, he’d be saying something in there about the author “screaming and crying”, perhaps even “like a dog”. Also, since we now see for sure just how much being impeached is going to drive the President crazy, he might under other circumstances, to someone else, suggest doing it just because it’ll “drive them crazy”.
So despite powerful Trump allies in the Senate (McConnell, Graham, Paul, et. al.) throwing key blocks, the President seems to be signaling the “trick play” he called on his impeachment of getting the American public to blame Democrats for not doing their job by not allowing them to do their job, thus distracting from his misdeeds, may not be unfolding exactly as planned.
Extending the football analogy just a little bit further: Trump’s also got his own Garo Yepremian in the form of his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who stepped into it even a little deeper this week. (Too obscure a reference? Click here to learn more about Super Bowl VII).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech on the Senate floor where he tried to run some nifty misdirection of his own: suggesting he would not support calling witnesses before the Senate whom the White House refused to allow to testify before the House. (That’s after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked for assurances McConnell would do that, at least for a few. Something the New York Post’s Editorial Board called a “Hail Mary“.) McConnell also whined that Schumer insulted him by not calling him directly. And as the Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim points out, McConnell goes even further in an appearance on Fox News, suggesting there probably won’t be much of a trial at all in the Senate if he has anything to do with it, just:
- Listen to Pelosi’s folks and the President’s lawyers.
- “A period of written questions”.
- “Vote and move on”.
Anything else he dismisses in advance as amounting to a “show trial”.
But wait a sec. Didn’t the President say he wants his “team” to testify before the Republican controlled Senate, because they’d get a fair shake there? Let’s get one other thing straight: when Trump says actually he wants Bolton, Mulvaney, Pompeo, et. al., to testify before the Senate he doesn’t. (Just like when he said he would “strongly consider” offering testimony to Pelosi.) It’s a total fake: allowing him to say he’s totally transparent and “perfect”, while everyone else covers for him.
And the best cover McConnell can provide is based on his knowledge that the President’s guys can only make things worse for the President.
This isn’t a murder trial, but if it was, it’d be like the defense lawyer saying he doesn’t want any of the accused killer’s cohorts testifying, because even though the accused insists he did “NOTHING!”; is in fact, “perfect”, there’s no chance any of his friends will be able to say anything to confirm that or in any way exonerate him.
McConnell is not supposed to be acting as Trump’s defense lawyer, of course, but he’s been very transparent about working in sync with the White House. He’s not even bothering to lie. He’s just arrogant enough to believe he doesn’t have to. In fact, McConnell, not Trump, may be the most arrogant person in Washington these days, and that’s saying a lot. (That all started with McConnell’s successful “trick play” to deny President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.)
So as long as McConnell and Republicans can simultaneously get away with complaining Democrats are premature and “sloppy” because they haven’t heard from many key players (never mind that’s because the White House blocked them from testifying), and then say they’re not going to let those same key players whom they complain haven’t been heard from be part of the Senate trial, they will.
Does all this last-minute dust being kicked up by the President and his D mean Trump’s losing? Trick plays take a long time to unfold. Trump’s a master of distraction and deception. No one is past the goal line yet. Or doing as bad or good as the opposition says. Everything anyone on either side is doing right now could backfire. And luck (if you believe in luck), lies with the President and McConnell, both of whom have had career-defining moments of extreme good luck. Or maybe it’s time for their luck to run out. (One final thing which we’d forgotten before we looked it up: despite what might still be considered the biggest flub in NFL history, Garo Yepremian’s team still won that Super Bowl.)
So we’re astounded by the number of people we’re hearing from on both sides who believe there will (or could) be a final outcome before the next general election. There won’t. That’ll be the whole ballgame.