Jan. 14. On questions of simple procedural fairness and common sense, the American people seem to be far wiser than Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In a new poll, 66% of the public said that former national security adviser John Bolton should testify in the Senate impeachment trial.

Bolton is known to have opposed President Trump’s machinations regarding Ukraine, and he is thought to have been in a position to deal with Trump directly on them. McConnell has refused to promise to hear any witnesses and even has suggested dismissing the impeachment without a trial at all. This approach would be a horrible abandonment of his constitutional duty. Worse, it makes no sense: How can a trial ascertain the truth without the testimony of the key, firsthand witnesses? The American people, or at least two-thirds of them, understand how outlandishly nonsensical this would be.

Fortunately, McConnell doesn’t appear to have the votes for a complete cover-up. Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt acknowledged Monday that the party leadership will not be able to fashion a Senate majority to dismiss the impeachment without a trial. Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, said Tuesday he specifically hopes to hear Bolton’s testimony during the trial. Others, such as Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, have hinted that they are likely (but not certain) to vote to hear witnesses such as Bolton.

The best approach for McConnell would be to play things straight….

[The rest of the column is at this link.]


Tags: , , , ,