Listen, it doesn’t take a genius to see how this impeachment trial is going to go. The Democrat House managers came in and made their case, that Trump did what most people will at least privately admit. Democrats and others who want Trump out of office praised their brilliance as if Clarence Darrow himself exuded eloquence and inescapable logic.
In contrast, Trump’s “dream team” of Pat Cipollone, Ken Starr, Jay Sekulow and Alan Dershowitz (among others) threw enough spaghetti at the wall to feed the entire senate. The argument seems to be that Trump did nothing wrong, but even if he did do what the Democrats said he did, it would not be wrong, because quid pro quo is how foreign policy is done. But even if it was quid pro quo and about the Bidens, the Bidens needed to be investigated.
And John Bolton? Well, what about him?
“Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense,” Dershowitz told the Senate in his first appearance at the trial.
The president’s Praetorians, who slathered themselves with mustache love just a few distant months ago, now say Bolton is simply hawking his book. But it’s blindingly obvious the leak came from the White House or the intelligence community, not Bolton.
Tucker Carlson even called Bolton “a snake.”
This is Kabuki theater at its most dramatic. It’s Oscar-level reality programming, but we know the outcome is still very much carved in stone. There’s no way Democrats can get two thirds of the Senate to vote to remove Trump. Everything else is a show.
So here’s what’s going to happen.
Republicans are going to sit down and offer the Democrats a deal: one of yours for one of ours. The Democrats want Bolton? Fine. Republicans will take Hunter Biden. But that’s not going to fly.
Democrats will ask for a whole slate of witnesses. They’ll shoot for the moon: Bolton, Mulvaney, and even maybe Giuliani. Republicans don’t have the votes to block all witnesses, but I believe they do have enough to stop unlimited witnesses to drag this thing out.
The Democrats don’t want it going on for months either because there’s a thing called primary season going on, and the more Bernie Sanders stays off the campaign trail, the more popular he appears to get. So Democrats will huff and puff…and give in.
We will end up with Hunter Biden trying to explain how he was qualified to sit on the board of Burisma, pulling down a cool half million. Democrats will say that’s not proof of corruption, it’s just how countries like Ukraine build influence. Republicans will say it’s Tammany Hall.
Then John Bolton will sit down and tell the Senate how President Trump did exactly what Democrats said he did, but Trump really believed the Bidens were involved in Ukraine’s corruption, because Ukraine is really, really corrupt. Bolton will say that any president would look into the Biden connection, and that though he and Trump didn’t always agree on policy, he can say with the utmost authority that there was nothing impeachable going on.
Then the Senate will vote to acquit Trump and it will all be over. Mostly over. CNN will melt down and call Bolton a snake, and all Trump’s supporters will get their mustache love mojo back. Then it will be over.
Trump’s “forever impeachment” will last maybe two weeks, three at the outside.
It doesn’t take a genius to see how this is going to work out. Of course, I may be dead wrong. But I’m way more sure of the outcome of this trial than, say, if the 49ers are going to beat the Chiefs. By the time the leftover nachos are reheated and the beer has gone stale, we will have moved on to the next political outrage.