As impeachment for Christmas heats up in Washington, GOP senators are sending a not so subtle messages to House Democrats about what Pandora’s present they are about to unwrap. Early Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham sent official requests to the State Department for documents pertaining to Burisma and its board member Hunter Biden. Later, Sen. Ted Cruz sent out a release promising things are going to go a lot farther than documents.
“I think any proceeding in the Senate should be fair, should be open, and should respect due process. What does that mean? That means allowing both sides to present their case and if the White House chooses to call as a witness Hunter Biden, if the White House chooses to call as a witness the whistleblower, I think they should be allowed to call them. I think – both of those witnesses in particular may well be integral to the White House’s defense,” Cruz said.
This is rather significant. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi always feared, Democrats are about to hand over the keys to the impeachment car to Sen. Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans, people like Cruz. They are giving the GOP control of the process without having significantly moved public opinion. The upshot is that McConnell now has an all you can eat buffet of subpoena and inquiry power. He can also tie six presidential candidates, two frontrunners, to the Senate up to and even past the Iowa Caucus as they would have to attend the trial.
For weeks the Democrats have been decrying the White House’s use of executive privilege to challenge subpoenas. So what exactly are they going to do when the Senate subpoenas for Hunter Biden, the Whistleblower, maybe even Adam Schiff, maybe even Joe Biden? Will there suddenly be very good reasons why these people shouldn’t testify?
Cruz is making something very clear to the Democrats: if they impeach the president they are entering a world of pain. They are entering a process that a Senate Majority Leader who makes Emperor Palpatine look like Gomer Pyle, will wring every drop of political advantage out of. This is not a show that the Democrats want produced.
On Friday reports began to surface that White House officials are dubious that the vote on impeachment will really happen. Opinion columns in both the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune suggested maybe a censure vote could be a good compromise. Meanwhile, President Trump seems to be looking forward to a trial, or at least he says so.
What’s clear is that a senate trial creates explosive landmines for Democrats who would suddenly be playing defense. Is it a coincidence that Michael Bloomberg and Duval Patrick, both in Biden’s moderate lane, popped up out of nowhere after the Burisma, Hunter Biden narrative didn’t go away? Is there blood in the water? If so, Ted Cruz has made one thing clear, he is more than happy to draw some more blood.