UPDATE: Here we go...
Today is the day. The ball gets rolling on this Trump impeachment sham that has engulfed the nation for the better part of this year. The Democrats have been planning this since day one of the Trump presidency. Yet, in 2018, the Democrats retook the House and this whole circus began to come together. Democrats couldn’t use Russian collusion as their main salvo because ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report torpedoed it. The hearings further damaged the collusion narrative which was a media-manufactured myth that was peddled for more than two years. Democrats clung to this conspiracy theory like grim death despite numerous bombshells being gutted due to lack of evidence. To this day, there is zero evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. They’re now using this July phone call Trump has with the Ukrainians where he supposedly threatened to withhold military aid unless an investigation into Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma, an energy company, was launched. Biden’s job there is suspect and the presidential campaign of his father, Joe Biden, has so far been unable to get this story out of the news cycle.
Alas, the House voted to impeach, the articles have finally been transmitted after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on them for a few weeks (wasn’t this an urgent matter?), and their impeachment managers have been selected. It was a cause for celebration on the Left. At noon, the managers will read aloud the articles in the Senate. At 2 pm, Chief Justice John Roberts will walk over to swear-in all the members of the Senate. The trial begins on Tuesday, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram. Senate Republicans have declared they can proceed in this trial without witnesses, a Democratic demand, and have the votes to shoot them down. Democrats want only four, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton. If that’s the case, then Democrats have to accept any GOP witnesses, which should include Hunter and Joe Biden, the latter of which said he would not testify even if compelled by a subpoena. Isn’t that obstruction of Congress? One of the two charges against Trump that is not only utterly laughable but reeks of partisanship. It’s why this impeachment push is not popular with those who aren’t Democrats.
Fox News' Chad Pergram tweeted out the docket for today:
McConnell: The House’s hour is over. The Senate’s time is at hand. It is time for this proud body to honor our founding purpose.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 16, 2020
McConnell: Only the Senate, with “confidence enough in its own situation,” can “preserve, unawed and uninfluenced, the necessary impartiality between an individual accused, and the representatives of the people, his accusers.”— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 16, 2020
McConnell on impeachment: This body, this chamber, exists precisely so that we can look past daily dramas and understand how our actions will reverberate for generations. ‘So that we can put aside animal reflexes and animosities, and coolly consider how to best serve our country— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 16, 2020
Bizarre juxtaposition again on Capitol Hill. Senate will ok the USMCA just minutes before the Hse managers formally present the impeachment articles to the Senate, initiating the 1st steps in the trial. Approving the USMCA gives Trump the biggest bipartisan win of his presidency— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 16, 2020
Senate will formally notify Trump of trial. Trial to start in earnest on Tuesday— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 16, 2020
Expect Chief Justice John Roberts to come to the Capitol at 2 pm et to be sworn-in to preside over Senate trial. He then swears-in all senators— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 16, 2020
Impeachment managers formally come back over to the Senate at noon today. Are recognized by the Senate. Articles of impeachment are formally read aloud to the Senate— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 16, 2020
C) Per the agreement locked in by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tonight on the floor, the Senate will formally receive the managers and the articles at noon et tomorrow.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 15, 2020
Trump’s legal team is reportedly aiming to block witnesses through invoking good ole’ executive privilege as well. They noted that a former top-level White House official detailing a conversation with the president about national security or foreign policy matter would be “extraordinary,” according to The Washington Post. As with anything, keep your eye out on this. It could change knowing the press corps inability to cover this White House accurately. The publication noted that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, and deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin will be key players in the president's defense (via WaPo) [emphasis mine]:
White House lawyers are trying to engineer the fastest impeachment trial in American history, aiming to have President Trump acquitted by the Senate without witnesses and after just a few days of proceedings, according to senior administration officials.
“I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that we’d be going beyond two weeks,” said a senior administration official, who briefed reporters Wednesday on the condition of anonymity. “We think that this case is overwhelming for the president, and the Senate’s not going to be having any need to be taking that amount of time on this.”
President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial in 1868 lasted 11 weeks. President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999 lasted more than a month.
The trial, which begins Thursday in the Senate, will be the Trump legal team’s first official attempt to substantively defend the president against charges that he abused his power by politicizing the U.S. relationship with Ukraine and obstructed Congress by blocking lawmakers’ attempt to investigate him.
White House aides are also gaming out how to manage Trump during the trial, which they expect him to watch and possibly tweet about while it is underway, as he did during the House impeachment hearings, according to the officials. Trump allies plan to have several surrogates on television defending the president during the trial. Republican House members, many of whom jockeyed for official roles on the defense team for the Senate trial, will instead fan out across television networks to ensure that the president’s message gets out and that Trump feels he is receiving a robust defense, the officials said.
A senior administration official briefing reporters said that House Democrats’ case lacked evidence of wrongdoing by Trump, but the official refused to address new documentary evidence that Democrats say further implicates the president.
The official indicated that Trump is likely block efforts by Democrats to further build their case through new witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton. Allowing testimony from a former presidential aide about his discussions with Trump on foreign policy would be “extraordinary,” said the official, who added that he did not think the Senate should hear from any witnesses. Another official said the White House was prepared to exert executive privilege if the Senate subpoenas Bolton, who has said he is willing to testify under subpoena about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
Yeah, there’s a reason why no one who is serious should take this so-called new evidence seriously.
An undated note from a guy indicted on multiple federal charges of fraud and conspiracy who's already fabricated evidence in a desperate attempt to get an immunity deal from Schiff and Pelosi so he can avoid prison? That's the new smoking gun? LOL. https://t.co/xnnEsZUqo1— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 14, 2020
Lev Parnas' attorney tried and failed to get an immunity-for-testimony deal from the House during its laughable impeachment "investigation," so he's trying the same stunt with the Senate now that its trial is set to begin. https://t.co/X7Ia3nJcw1— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 15, 2020
This show is about to get rolling. Democrats have reduced the benchmark to impeach because they’re entitled children who think they’re entitled to win every election. In the meantime, no one cares about this impeachment push, its support numbers are now underwater nationally, Trump’s approval ratings have increased, and swing-state voters are decidedly sour on this whole kangaroo court move by Democrats. Trump is more popular than Democrats think and with a booming economy at his back with no signs of slowing up, that doesn’t bode well for their weak 2020 field either.
(H/T Ed Morrissey/Hot Air)