As that baseball legend, Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over”. The Ukraine saga is only in the 7th inning. The Senate Impeachment trial of Donald Trump may have ended, but there is more to come as leaks and House oversight hearings and the November presidential elections complete what the Senate failed to do in their half-baked, pseudo trial. It was the only trial in the history of impeachments to be conducted without witnesses and evidence. For that matter, it was the only trial of any kind I ever heard about that did not have witnesses and corroborating evidence. What’s next? There is still much to come.
– Expect between now and November voters will hear a constant drip of new information revealed by media and House hearings.
– Expect Donald Trump to crow to the high heavens he was not only acquitted, but he was also exonerated. That he was cleared of any wrongdoing will have little credibility since the Senate trial itself lost credibility when it denied witness testimony and evidence that had not been included in the House inquiry. Many GOP Senators post-trial have stated they believed the House managers had proved their point, that Donald Trump used his power to get political favors from a foreign government to help him in 2020, but they still voted to acquit him for a variety of rationales such as too close to an election, not a bad enough to justify removal from office, the process was flawed, unfair, too rushed. In reality, it has always been a foregone conclusion the Senate vote would be to acquit because twenty GOP Senators would have had to join all Democrats to reach the two-thirds threshold vote to remove him from office. Any defections from party discipline were expected to be too few. What was unexpected, but not surprising, was that all but two GOP Senators would vote to prevent anyone hearing the whole story from newly emerging witnesses and evidence. The GOP leadership pulled a fast one on the voters. 70% of voters wanted to hear witnesses and see documents that had come to light since the House impeachment vote.
– Expect John Bolton to finally get his opportunity to testify under oath. Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor, had finished a manuscript of his book that somehow was leaked to the media in the middle of the trial. He wrote that Trump told him he withheld bipartisan military aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian president announced in the media of the personal favor of investigations Trump had asked him to do as a condition of getting military aid Trump had frozen. Bolton, the darling of Senate anti-Russian hawks, would have been the most credible first hand, direct witness, of Donald Trump’s single-minded intent. It was not about Trump’s unexpressed concern about corruption in Ukraine; it was to get the favor of the investigations announced.
– Expect 2020 to be about rigged elections. Foreign actors, especially Russia, got the green light to use their psyche warfare to help Donald Trump win again. The GOP Senators were not disturbed enough by foreign interference in our elections to oust Trump from office.
– Expect an out of control president to act out of control. Sitting in the Oval Office is a President who believes he can do anything he wants, laws and norms be damned. There is no way to check him. He ducked the Mueller probe. He beat removal even though impeached. His Department of Justice still proclaims a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime. The Senate trial only added to his belief he can issue blanket orders to ignore Congressional subpoenas and would not be impeached for it. The courts are hopelessly too slow-moving to make much difference before November. The only recourse Americans have left to keep this president who would be King (dictator, strong man, autocrat) in check is for the GOP to lose the presidential election and control of the Senate in November. For more, visit www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com