With less than 24 hours to go before the first open testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on possible impeachment of Pres. Donald J. Trump I will take some time to point out what is obvious to any with eyes to see. Unfortunately in this new Partisan age I fear there are few eyes willing to see. Anyone who has even the most cursory acquaintance with how Donald Trump has dealt with being on the loosing end of a legal battle recognizes the current tactics he and his are employing.
When it becomes obvious to him that he will loose his case, Donald Trump attempts to do one of two things. If he can, he settles out of court, failing that he goes to cut a deal. Just like he did with the his Trump Foundation fraud case. It is a given that with impeachment there is no settling out of court as this is not a civil case. Therefore he is now maneuvering his assets to enable him to cut a deal with the American electorate.
First and foremost he is trying to “run the clock out” by putting everything off as long as possible. This is why, more than anything, he has ‘ordered’ everyone involved to not testify and to fight all subpoenas in court. Ideally he want’s the House to go to the DOJ, as has been the way for almost 100 years, to get it’s subpoenas enforced. With the current AG this is a total non-starter and could waste years if work correctly. Unfortunately the House leadership was on to this tactic and has chosen to just add the refusal to honor the subpoenas as just one more count to the “Obstruction of Congress/Justice” charge in impeachment. A small thing granted, but not insignificant.
The next tactic is to obfuscate the issues. So far, it is change use of change the subject and admit the act but deny the criminality. And finally we are now seeing the use of ‘Not me, they did it.’ All of these are being mixed together into a Goulash of epic proportions. We have yet to see just what effect this will have. This Goulash has two goals. The first is to give the Republicans in the House talking points that have some semblance of respectability. This they dearly need at this time. How do we know this, simply because they keep changing their objections to what the House Committee is doing. Until last week it was all about transparency and procedures. Now that both the depositions are being made public and the public hearing scheduled they are complaining about the rules of the hearing trusting that the average voter will neither know of care that the Committee is using the rules crafted under Republican leadership. (Personally I thank it is crass of the Democrats to use the rules that the Republicans crafted. Don’t they know it is just not done? The principle is I get to use ‘These rule and you get to use those rules’. Really now, how low can you go?)
The goal here is two fold. First is to take so long in actually passing the Impeachment in the House that the Senate Trial will not start until spring of 2020 or later. Then Trump and the Senate can say “Let the people decide.” Failing that, and so far it is looking like it is failing, have enough fog and smoke that the Republican Senators who are up for re-election in 2020 have some effective cover when they vote for acquittal. So far this looks to be on track. After all the last thing the Republicans need is a ‘smoking gun’ like what took out Pres. Nixon.
On this last point I have little hope for anything happening like what took out Nixon. This is not the 1970’s and the Republican Party of 2020 is not the Republican Party of 1970’s. I see no Howard “Henry” Baker, nor Barry Goldwater in this Senate. At this time we need people, in all parties, who can stand above Partisanship and put the Country and Constitution first. But maybe they are there in the Senate they will stand up and be counted. I hope and pray it is so.