How Sh*t-Scared Are Senate Republicans Right Now? This Sh*t-Scared.
The Senate's impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is set to begin tomorrow afternoon, and oh boy, are Republicans losing their shit.
How scared are they? Well, they are gallivanting around right now making the case that the Senate rules on impeachment should include an emergency shutdown mechanism, a "kill switch," a fire alarm Trump's lawyers can pull if things are going really really really poorly for Donald Trump. (What could possibly go wrong? Surely nothing with the dream team of lawyers Trump has assembled!)
Baby-faced idiot Senator Josh Hawley (R-Gilead) made the claim to Axios:
"I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago," Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri, told me in a phone interview on Saturday. "My understanding is that the resolution will give the president's team the option to either move to judgment or to move to dismiss at a meaningful time..."
Oh, so Republicans don't have the votes just to dismiss the case pre-emptively, and they may not have the votes at this point to prevent witnesses from testifying, which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he's going to force. But they will obviously have the votes to just close down the trial if something really bad happens, which we don't think is possible, since Trump is being impeached over a perfect phone call, which is obviously what the trial will show, READ TEHT RJA;KDJSKFAJKSDJFADFPDFITUJOIJTOIAJCIJREDSFJLKOLPENISCRIPT!
And Hawley says if the rules don't have this "kill switch "provision," he might not even vote for them! HARRRRUMPH BIG MAN!
Why is this necessary? 'Splain us, Josh Hawley, and do it in a way that sounds normal to people outside the Fox News incest bubble:
.@realDonaldTrump deserves the right during Senate trial to ask for a verdict or move to dismiss - otherwise trial… https://t.co/Lm9qO98zVg— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1579443276.0
You fail, Josh Hawley. Normal people who watched the House impeachment hearings know exactly who turned it into a "circus," and it was not Adam Schiff. (It was Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes, the guy who appears to be a co-conspirator in the high crimes and misdemeanors for which Donald Trump is being impeached. Also all the other Republicans.)
Of course, Josh Hawley was the dead-end senator who proposed the now-failed resolution to dismiss the articles of impeachment before the Senate even received them, which would have required 67 votes to pass. So it's not like he's setting a high bar for himself here.
As we mentioned, the right-wing media is blowing ropes over this. Over at Breitbart, they very subtly make the case for why the rules must must must include this provision, to let Trump's windsock lawyers pull the fire alarm in case of emergency:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is as of now including in the U.S. Senate impeachment trial rules a "kill switch" that effectively allows for the president's legal team to seek an immediate verdict or dismissal of the case should Democrats engage in any shenanigans like they did in the House process. [...]
"It's incumbent upon the Senate to preserve the right of the President's legal team to ask for a verdict or move to dismiss this sham impeachment anytime they see fit during the Senate trial," a source close to House GOP leadership told Breitbart News. "Otherwise, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans risk allowing Adam Schiff and his conspiracy caucus to hijack and take control of the trial."
Stop the shenanigans! Stop Adam Schiff and his "conspiracy caucus" from doing a "hijacking"! As Steve at the No More Mister Nice Blog points out, the entire Breitbart piece reads like that, to the point that it is "messaging overkill." It sounds like Senate Republicans have decided they want to come back with a verdict of "ADAM SCHIFF IS A TREASON PARAPHRASER!" as soon as shit starts to go wrong for Trump, and they are out there working the refs in Outer Wingnuttia to get those talking points out there ahead of time. Because how can you possibly allow an impeachment trial to continue under such circumstances, if there is a literal unhinged TREASON PARAPHRASER! doing HIJACKINGS! to the hallowed Senate?
Y'all, they sound like they are pissing their pants scared. Can't imagine what might come out at this Senate trial that might be so damaging to the president's case, besides, you know, metric shitloads of smoking gun evidence. Perhaps that's also why Mitch McConnell is so concerned with hiding TV coverage of some parts of the trial and restricting press access.
But it also does sound like they want to turn this into every bit of the circus the Republicans created in the House, and their dutiful morons at Breitbart, on Fox News, and tweeting from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be there to amplify the message. How else could they possibly forestall having to vote to hear from actual witnesses like John Bolton who can deliver the actual play-by-play of the crimes Donald Trump committed?
The next several weeks are going to be an absolute garbage shitshow -- starting tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1 p.m Eastern. (You will join us for all the liveblogs.) Strap in!
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