Friday is the day. The day Senate Republicans close out the impeachment cover-up, that is. After the “opening” arguments from both sides and two days of question-and-answer in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, senators will debate whether to have witnesses and new evidence—something the vast majority of Republicans have already said they’re not interested in, in some cases because they admit that Donald Trump did try to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 elections and they just don’t care.
The trial once again begins at 1 PM ET, and will start with four hours of debate—two hours for each side—over witnesses and evidence. Presuming that fails—as it is overwhelmingly likely to do, because, again, Republicans do not care how corrupt Trump is and want to set him free to continue trying to rig the elections—then here’s what Politico Playbook reports will happen: “There will be a bit of discussion, then a vote on whether to proceed to the final vote. That motion is amendable, so Democrats might want to try to force some tough votes.” That’s the motion to go to the final vote. After that comes the final vote. Here’s the fun part: “SENATORS we spoke to Thursday predicted this could go as late as 3 or 4 a.m. Saturday morning.” Because Republicans really, really want to wrap this up.
All this is how it’s supposed to go. In theory there’s a chance that some Republican or other could have a sudden attack of caring about something other than Republican power and vote for a fair trial, but … in theory there’s also a chance that pigs could someday fly. As of this writing, Sen. Lisa Murkowski hasn’t announced her decision on the vote on whether to consider witnesses, and if she votes yes, that will produce a tie that lands in Chief Justice John Roberts’ lap. But that’s to say that the likeliest path to witnesses now requires both Murkowski and Roberts, i.e., two partisan Republicans, one of whom last night joined a question arguing that even if Trump did everything alleged (which he did), it still wouldn’t be impeachable. The less likely path involves some Republican who has heretofore not indicated that they might vote for witnesses suddenly coming forward, which, ha ha ha ha ha, yeah, right.
In short, buckle up for a long, long day of Republicans telling us it doesn’t matter that Donald Trump tried to use the power of the presidency for his own personal benefit, to the detriment of American democracy, and then obstructed any effort at congressional oversight.