Under enormous pressure from competing interests, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finds himself between the proverbial rock and the hard place. Caught between a president who demands total exoneration and a growing call from both senators and their constituents for witnesses and documents, McConnell must select from his range of options the one likely to cause the least political damage.

According to the Washington Post, senators are uneasy at the prospect of Trump’s thuggish acolytes from the House, like Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Ratcliffe of Texas and Doug Collins of Georgia, making a ‘clown car’ spectacle in their supposedly more courtly Senate.

McConnell reportedly told the White House that their histrionics might offend the moderates on both sides of the aisle.McConnell must certainly recognize that any testimony of witnesses or the release of subpoenaed documents could be extremely damaging to the president even if they ultimately acquitted him. On the other hand, he must recognize that a show trial farce will not exonerate Trump, might well infuriate the American public, and could cost him his Senate majority.

So what is McConnell’s least objectionable option? Declare the House investigation an invalid ‘witch hunt’ and call for a ‘motion to dismiss’ a trial in the Senate, believing he can twist enough arms to pass it, and take his chances with any potential political fallout.

And if the stakes weren’t already high enough, Trump’s impulsive Mar-a-Lago dinner table orders to assassinate Soleimani and the simultaneously attempted assassination of Quds Force leader Shahlai in Yemen have blown up the “imminent threat” rationale and heightened Republican desires to make this whole thing just go away.

Could a ‘motion to dismiss’ actually pass? Yes, it could.

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dinnySteppenwolfRay CunneffTOCBAdLib Recent comment authors
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I agree. Though some are saying that the alt-right may just blow up the “old” Republican Party; I don’t think that they will, or can.
I do think that Trump & Co. have already done everything necessary to unseat “What’s His Name:” Drump is doing everything that he can to tamper with the jury in his own trial. And John Roberts may have a surprise or two he’s waiting to spring on us. That’s not going to be appreciated. Nobody, Republican or Democrat, likes being lied to: you can’t trust a man who lies for no reason. Nobody, sure as hell, wants to take the rap for a treasonous psychopath when all is said and done.

Finally, this may be the issue that breaks Thrump’s throne: his dishonorable conduct during his impeachment. We’re better than that.


Politicians often bank on citizens not knowing what the laws actually say. However, some of us lay people actually study the law to understand it. We are all obligated to obey the laws, so it is incumbent on us to at least have a cursory understanding of laws, and if we can read and comprehend, we can glean more details about laws.

The Constitution does not provide for the Senate to dismiss an impeachment. It requires the Senate to “try all impeachments”. So there MUST be a trial. Now the question becomes, what is a trial, and how does the chief justice “preside” over an impeachment trial.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.


Article 3 of the Constitution does not set out the role of the chief justice in an impeachment trial, but Article 2 says the chief justice shall preside over the trial. So, what is the role of a judge when he/she presides over a trial?

The judge presides over the trial from a desk, called a bench, on an elevated platform. The judge has five basic tasks. The first is simply to preside over the proceedings and see that order is maintained. The second is to determine whether any of the evidence that the parties want to use is illegal or improper. Third, before the jury begins its deliberations about the facts in the case, the judge gives the jury instructions about the law that applies to the case and the standards it must use in deciding the case. Fourth, in bench trials, the judge must also determine the facts and decide the case. The fifth is to sentence convicted criminal defendants.


Does “preside” simply mean to maintain order, or does it include determining whether evidence is illegal and improper, as well as instructing the jury (the Senate) about the law that applies to the case?

If Chief Justice Roberts role includes determining whether evidence is illegal or improper, he can decide if testimony from Joe and Hunter Biden is improper. Article 2 requires senators to take an oath of affirmation to do impartial justice, so will Chief Justice Roberts instruct ALL senators to remember their oath in deliberations?

In an impeachment trial, not only is the president on trial, but both chambers of Congress are on trial related to their loyalty to the Constitution.


I think you’re right, that McConnell’s favored path would be a quick dismissal of impeachment but the brand new revelations from Lev Parnas makes it much harder for such a cover-up to get support from enough Repubs and even to refuse evidence and witnesses.

The delay Pelosi took in delivering the Articles of Impeachment really paid off. Had this started weeks ago, it might have been easier for the trial to have been already dismissed or completed. So Nancy gets a big salute for that.

And if more damning info comes out via Parnas? Maybe removal will still be a tough hill to climb but a majority vote against Trump is not unimagineable.