The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Impeachment Trial - Day 5

Rich Galen

Monday January 27, 2020

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  • If I were betting man - which I am not because I always choose badly - I would be the in the camp that says the Impeachment Trial against Donald J. Trump is not going the way the Democrats hoped that it would.

  • After watching a million hours of the House Democratic Managers lay out their case (which I thought they did very well), and 27 seconds of the President's defenders lay out their case, I am satisfied that my original judgement is still correct:
    Trump did it, but it is not enough to throw him out of office.

  • It is not unheard of that a team can look like there are completely out of a game but come back to win.

  • Just a couple of weeks ago the Kansas City Chiefs were trailing the Houston Texans 24-zip in the first quarter. The Chiefs roared back to win the game 51-31.

  • Is it possible that Senate Democrats can outscore the Republicans 51-7? I don't think so.

  • But

  • Now come the leaks from an unpublished book by former White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton. According to the New York Times (as well as just about every other news outlet):
    "Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president's private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement."

  • I don't know whether this will change any minds among Senate Republicans as to how they will vote on guilt or innocence at the end of Donald J. Trump's impeachment trial, but it certainly raises the temperature on the issue of whether or not Bolton should be called as a witness to testify.

  • Bolton was one of the many people and documents that House Democrats subpoenaed back in the olden days of 2019 during the hearings into Trump's holding up military assistance to Ukraine until the new Ukrainian President agreed to announce he would investigate Joe and Hunter Biden's activities in the energy sector of that country.

  • Much of the testimony during the House's hearings were from people who were pretty sure that the aid to, was tied to the investigation by, the Ukrainians, but Bolton was widely assumed to be one of the few people who could say, "Yep. That was the caper."

  • But, because of the claim of "blanket immunity" claimed by the White House over everything and everyone, Bolton said he wouldn't obey the subpoena unless and until a federal court ruled he had to.

  • House Ds decided that waiting until that question made its way to the Supreme Court would stop the process for months, and so they moved ahead without Bolton.

  • During the several weeks between the House impeachment of Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially delivering the documents to the Senate, Bolton made it known that if he were subpoenaed by the Senate, he would comply.

  • But, the Senate is controlled by the Republicans (53-47) and the big guessing game here in Our Nation's Capital has been "Will four Republicans vote with the 47 Democrats to demand witnesses be called and interviewed?"

  • As the sun rises over the Potomac this morning, the betting line has shifted from "Not a prayer" to "I'm not so sure."

  • That's how you begin the comeback to go from trailing 24-0 to winning 51-31.

  • As sportswriter Hugh E. Keough is credited with having written well over a hundred years ago, "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet."

  • After the few hours the Trump team used on Saturday, it appeared to me that this game is over.

  • Now, I wouldn't bet on it.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the "Race to the Swift" line, to John Bolton's bio, and to the NY Times coverage of Bolton's book.

    The Mullfoto is a wine label that I don't think is helpful in marketing the wine.

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