Earlier today, House Republicans tried to turn the impeachment process on its head by revealing a list of witnesses they’d like to call. The list was so cartoonishly absurd, all we could do was roll our eyes. It told us everything about the kinds of antics that Donald Trump’s House GOP allies are planning to rely on – and it promptly got shot down accordingly.
House Republicans almost comically announced that they want to call Hunter Biden as a witness. Yeah right. They also named Nellie Ohr and Alexandra Chalupa, two frequent targets of Trump’s lunatic phony conspiracy theories. Again, not happening. Then, just to show how idiotic and sophomoric the House GOP effort is, their list hilariously included “the whistleblower” and “the whistleblower’s sources.”
The thing is, House Republicans don’t get to make any decisions on witnesses. The House Democratic majority gets to make those decisions. Sure enough, it took House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff all of a few minutes to announce that none of these nonsense requests were going to be granted. Trump’s House GOP allies will whine about how unfair it is that they didn’t get their way, and no one will care.
Once Donald Trump’s impeachment reaches the Senate trial stage, Senate Republicans will theoretically be allowed to call any witnesses they like. But if they start trying to subpoena people like Hunter Biden and Nellie Ohr, it’ll blow back on them spectacularly, as the public will conclude that they’re trying to prop Trump up by any means – and the Republican Senators will start to lose their seats in the next election. In any case, the Senate trial is still a ways off. For now, all the House Republicans can do is whine.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report