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The Republican majority in the Senate, having determined to acquit the president no matter the evidence of his wrongdoing, has just shut the door on any further witnesses. That would include former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who is precisely the person who could shed definitive light on what Trump actually intended to do in Ukraine. The leaked snippet from his forthcoming book says Trump explicitly told him to hold up aid for Ukraine until the government agreed to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden.

No Witnesses

Trump says he’s lying, but his story backs up the testimony of the witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry.

Besides, why would we believe Trump, whose current count of lies and misleading statements now stands in excess of 16,000?

The White House will try to keep Bolton under wraps, but they’re dealing with a long-standing master of strategic leaking. We may have confidence that Bolton will be heard before long—certainly before November.

Why, indeed, would more witnesses be useful? Well, because the White House blocked the testimony of each and every high-level aide who would be expected to know anything about the subjects being investigated by the House. Then the White House and Congressional Republicans turned around and charged that all the evidence the House could present amounted to hearsay. And no, you may not have access to the witnesses who were actually in the room with the President.

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It is perhaps an indicator of the thrall that Trump and his base have on Republican politicians that even though polls show over 60 percent of Americans think the Senate should have additional witnesses (including about half of Republicans), the pols are down the line with Trump. Most of them are even parroting the Trump line that he did nothing wrong (“the phone call was perfect!!”), even though the majority of the public thinks he committed improper or criminal acts.

It is true that there are some people who think Trump did wrong, but don’t think he should be removed from office. A minority of Congressional Republicans take this position, but most of them are in the “he did nothing wrong” camp.

This stance will prove awkward. A most basic principle of Washington politics is that anything important and embarrassing that you try to keep secret will come out. The White House will try to keep Bolton under wraps, but they’re dealing with a long-standing master of strategic leaking. We may have confidence that Bolton will be heard before long—certainly before November.

And when most people (including many Republicans) already think Trump did something wrong, all the efforts to muzzle Bolton will look like a coverup. It is a coverup.

impeachment unavoidable

John Peeler