The impeachment trial of President Trump is set for a third day of arguments this afternoon from the House managers prosecuting the case.
* The impeachment trial is a strange spectacle because there’s not really any doubt about the facts of the case — Trump tried to pressure the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation of a political rival for Trump’s own personal benefit, and threatened to withhold American aid if they wouldn’t play ball. Most Republicans have given up on disputing that he did it. Their new line is either that it’s no big deal or yeah, it was bad, but not impeachable. Democrats spent a fair amount of time yesterday debunking Trump’s fabrications on Joe Biden. Some Republicans now say that if witnesses testify, they’re eager to call Hunter Biden or Joe Biden as witnesses. If not an exoneration, they’ll at least have a circus.
* Tom Cotton, natch, was among those who hyped the idea of the Bidens testifying. In an interview with friendly reporter Frank Lockwood of the D-G, Cotton managed to weave in the paternity lawsuit against Hunter Biden in Arkansas as part of the grand conspiracy. Cotton and Lockwood have groused that the national media is not giving the baby-daddy dispute the attention it deserves.
* More commentary on the trial from outspoken Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen on his blog: His analysis of the battle over rules on the first day and Griffen’s take on the case made by Rep. Adam Schiff of California, one of the House managers prosecuting the trial. “McConnell’s procedural rules practically guarantee that Trump’s impeachment ‘trial’ will be a farce,” Griffen wrote:
Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, like Trump University, Trump’s business dealings, his now defunct charitable foundation, and everything else associated with Trump, is a sham. Republican Senators don’t intend to be impartial. They don’t want to see witnesses, observe demeanor, assess credibility during cross-examination, and determine whether witness testimony proves if Trump abused presidential power and obstructed Congress.
On the case presented by Schiff, Griffen writes, “Thanks to the opening statement Adam Schiff has led House Managers to present this week, Donald Trump is getting a long overdue lesson about respect for the rule of law and our three co-equal branches of government.”
* Trump continues to finger-stew, manically tweeting about how unfair it all is. He complained of having to “endure hour after hour” of the barbs of “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” and “Shifty Schiff” and so on. Despite all his rage, he is still just a batty toupee.
The House managers are expected to begin again at 1 p.m. Trump’s defense lawyers will start presenting their case tomorrow.