This post is about the Senate’s majority leader. Mitch McConnell…..his actions during the impeachment trial of Trump leaves lots to desire…but that is for a future post (maybe)……
I have said on numerous occasions and posts that the GOP is excellent at politics….and for that I tip my hat….respect for their tactics…..and Mitch has shown just how masterful he can be as well…..
It’s not a sure thing, but the smart money says the Senate is poised to acquit President Trump of impeachment charges without calling witnesses. That became clear after GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, whose vote was said to be in question, announced that he did not want to hear new testimony. At CNN, Chris Cillizza points out this means the trial might be wrapped up before Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4, and he gives Mitch McConnell all the credit for orchestrating this political feat. This outcome “was unthinkable 10 days ago and is a testament to McConnell’s skills as a persuader and vote-counting virtuoso,” he writes. Cillizza recounts the strategy, beginning with McConnell’s “power play” move to go ahead with the trial with no guarantees on witnesses.
As the trial progressed, McConnell kept a low profile, but Cillizza likens him to a duck—placid on the surface but paddling furiously below water. He persuaded enough GOP senators, especially vulnerable ones, that allowing witnesses would prolong the trial and cause more them harm in the long run. And then there was the Alexander factor. The Tennessee senator is a longtime friend of McConnell’s. At Mediaite, John Ziegler thinks the whole will-he-or-won’t-he drama was a McConnell charade believed by gullible reporters. “It was always clear that McConnell was setting Alexander up for the role of the guy who, after careful and considerable contemplation, decided that it was somehow in the best interest of the country for Trump’s impeachment trial to be the first in history to not have witnesses.” But there was never any chance Alexander would vote otherwise, he adds. Read Ziegler’s full column here, and Cillizza’s full column here.
This whole Senatorial affair has been brilliantly played….my hat is off to Mitch.
But it is a cesspool of nonsense masquerading as a “fair trial”….that stated…..well done Mitch!
Then there is the Supreme Court thing in this trial…..
The Senate vote Friday against permitting more testimony or documents in the impeachment trial did more than put President Trump on the fast track to acquittal, Nancy Pelosi says; it forced John Roberts into a bad place. “It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” she tweeted on Saturday. The 51 votes against witnesses all came from Republicans, NBC reports, including Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. Had the Senate vote been 50-50, Roberts could have stepped in to break the tie. The chief justice ruled that out Friday, saying, “I think it would be inappropriate.”
Two other senators alluded to the awkwardness for Roberts. In announcing Friday that she was voting against witnesses, Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said she didn’t want to “drag the Supreme Court into the fray.” The day before, Democrat Elizabeth Warren asked about the effect of the trial on the judiciary, per the Hill, saying that many Americans lack faith in their government. “Does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?” she asked.
I have said many many times….”Dems have great ideas but suck at politics”….and this whole impeachment thing has proved my point.
One last note about Mitch….recently the Dems have started calling him “Moscow Mitch”….a title I thought was a bit childish….but now with more information it may well be a good call….
McConnell recently voted to drop sanctions against Russian aluminum company RusAl which is still owned by one of Vladimir Putin’s sanctioned oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska. His action directly benefits one of the GOP leader’s major donors, whose fortune comes from Russian oil.
The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by Sen. McConnell’s former Chief of Staff, received a total of $3,500,000 ($2,500,000 in 2016 and $1,000,000 in 2017) via Access Industries and a subsidiary. Len Blavatnik is a Russian oligarch with US and UK citizenship who owns Access Industries and donated to Sen. McConnell’s 2016 Senate campaign vehicles.
Blavatnik’s Access Industries made many of its billions from Putin’s decisions about its Russian oil partnership. He is also a long-term business partner of Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska at RuSal, in which he is a major investor, as well as Viktor Vekselberg, who is entangled with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen through his U.S. family office Columbus Nova.
It all comes down to where his loyalties lie…..money can be a powerful motivator…..and buys a lot of loyalty…..no matter the party.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”