Since the gavel went down in the Senate Tuesday afternoon the Hill has been abuzz with activity, plots, and counterplots. Here are the latest developments:
- The Biden campaign is hopping mad with House managers and the Democrat Senate for possibly setting up a scenario where Joe Biden or his son Hunter would have to testify at the impeachment trial of President Trump.
They know what it would do to their poll numbers and they have seen that Hunter is notoriously bad under pressure. His recent personal issues also do not play well with women. The Biden effort is putting tremendous pressure on Democrats not to permit witnesses at all, arguing that the numbers are just not there to remove Trump, why drag down Biden in a losing cause?
- Word out of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office is that they may try a poison pill defense on witnesses. Oh sure, we’ll have witnesses, they say.
And every one will be one the Democrats don’t want on the stand. Not only the Bidens, but Ciaramella, Comey, Brennan, Holder, Schiff, Nadler, and maybe even Hillary or Obama. With that prospect, they think the Democrats will think twice about witnesses.
- Also, if witnesses are to be called, plots the McConnell office, they will be called at the same ratio they were called in the House. So, the GOP would have four witnesses to every one Democrat witness. Another poison pill gambit.
- The White House may try to block any Bolton testimony by exerting executive privilege and then watch it play out in the courts. Bolton could testify anyway, but he may not want to go though the legal headaches of doing it.
- Internal GOP polling numbers say this process is helping them with swing voters, as the swings cannot believe the Democrats are blindly defending the Bidens when the evidence of corruption on Burisma and other issues is so overwhelming.
- Rumor is that Senators Warren and Sanders have grown happy with the trial and the effect it is having on the Biden campaign. They want the trial to end, but not too quickly.
Correction: In a recent piece we stated “54 Republicans” are in favor of witnesses being called. There are only 53 Republicans in the Senate. It should have read “54 senators”. Mea culpa- DK