Suddenly, Questioning of Bolton Looks Unlikely

Why yes, he is.Ryan Rahman/Pacific Press via ZUMA

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This is ridiculous. Yesterday the rumor mill said it was all but certain that the Senate would vote to call witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial. Today it’s now all but certain that they won’t. I know that internet time speeds everything up, but this is ridiculous. Nothing happened in the past 24 hours. But hey, Trump sets new precedents for bad behavior every day, so why not set another?

If the Senate chooses to not hear from witnesses, it will be the first time a presidential impeachment trial does not include witnesses. The previous impeachments both included new witnesses who did not testify as part of the House investigation.

There you have it. The Trump Republicans are going beyond even the Radical Republicans and the Gingrich Republicans in their partisan rancor. Why am I not surprised?

For the record, if Republicans stick together and prevent witnesses from testifying, I think it’s because they now realize it could cause real trouble. In the best case (for them), Bolton confirms that Trump tried to extort Ukraine for fake dirt on Joe Biden, but everyone already knows that. If it could be ignored for the past four months, it can be ignored for the next four days. But the worst case is that Bolton says something new that leads to questioning of other witnesses and eventually to something that even Republicans can’t ignore. Even the supposedly moderate Republicans are probably scared to death of that.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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