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Impeachment Trial - Day 1

Rich Galen

Wednesday January 22, 2020

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  • It is just shy of 9:15 PM in the East and the Senate is back from a dinner break from the Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump.

  • There is a reason the program Law & Order ( I'll wait until the "chunk-chunk sound clears your head) ran for so long.

  • The original version had half the show focusing on the cops catching the criminal(s); and, half the show with the prosecutors punching the criminal(s) out in court.

  • What I'm saying is: The trial only lasted a half hour. Week in and Week out.

  • I watched just about all of the proceedings starting at about One this afternoon. I slept through some of it, but I sleep through large segments of "Avengers" movies so watching Lead House Manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca) and Jay Sekulow, Donald J. Trump's attorney, trading legal barbs with one another weighed heavily on my eyelids.

  • As a veteran watcher of municipal court was a young reporter in Marietta, Ohio 45750, I would feel comfortable holding up a card that read 9.0 for the Democratic lawyers, and 7.5 (being generous because it's only the first day) for Team Trump.

  • My strong sense was that Sekulow and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone were working from talking points prepared by White House staff. The Schiff and his team actually sat through all those weeks of interviews and depositions and, so, really know this stuff.

  • That's not a knock on the professional capabilities of the Republican team, just pointing out that the Dems have the advantage of first-hand knowledge.

  • The question arises as to why Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) kept announcing amendments to the main rules motion introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). The amendments called for the Senate to issue subpoenas for White House people and documents, State department people and documents, and to drag individuals like former National Security Advisor, John Bolton.

  • Among other things, Bolton sports a very bold mustache.

    SIDEBAR

    I put the three-day weekend to good use: Binge watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix. In one episode a character sees a photo of Sam Elliot.

    He says, "There are 10 men in the world who can pull off a mustache like that. He's nine of them."

    Bolton is the other.

    END SIDEBAR

  • Each of the amendments (through this writing) lost on a straight party-line vote: 53 Republicans, 47 Democrats.

  • Schumer knew he was going to lose those votes, but he got all 100 Senators on record voting against bringing in witnesses and documents time after time.

  • Republicans will be defending 23 U.S. Senate seats in November (Ds are defending only 12).

  • Schumer wants to make certain that Republicans in close races, in states that may be close between Trump and the Democratic nominee have these votes hanging around their necks like the chains on Marley's ghost.

  • Mitch McConnell who used to be known as "Moscow Mitch," but, having announced 12-hour days during this trial beginning at 1 PM, has now been awarded the nickname "Midnight Mitch."

  • Alliteration Mitch.

  • He looked around and saw a room full of 70-year-olds (including Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) 78 years old and Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma) 70 years. The other two U.S. Senators still standing are Amy Klobuchar (D=Mn) 59, and Michael Bennet (D-Co) 55.

  • McConnell (77 years old) realized holding 100 Senators (and their staffs) hostage until one or two in the morning was a non-starter and changed his mind to eight-hour sessions - at least for the beginning of the trial.

  • It might also have been that the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, who is Constitutionally required to oversee this process, reminded McConnell that he has a day job - being Chief Justice of the United States.

  • This trial will go on until the middle of next week, but if four Republican Senators join the Democrats (and, of course, no Democrats vote with the Rs) and vote to call witnesses this could go on for weeks.

  • Overall the Democratic House Managers mostly talked about what Donald Trump did that was impeachable; the President's men mostly talked about how the Democrats abused the process of impeachment but not much about what Trump did - or didn't do.

  • As in all things political just about everyone in the nation of voting age has already made up their minds, but the process will move forward and we'll see how it all comes out in the end.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Wikipedia entries for Law & Order and John Bolton.

    The Mullfoto is of a new sign that I noticed in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

-- END --

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