Thanks to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s savvy political maneuvering, and an assist from Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Democrats now have some leverage when it comes to forcing Mitch McConnell to hold something closer to a fair Senate impeachment trial. The Bulwark, a conservative publication that routinely takes bold stands against Donald Trump, is arguing that the Democrats should use this leverage to push for Rudy Giuliani to testify during the trial.
This is a premise that’s at least worth considering. Rudy has become such an inept embarrassment, he spent a recent magazine interview drooling all over himself, walking into a wall, calling everyone profane names, and leaving without his phone, all without realizing his fly had been down the entire time. If Rudy were to testify during televised impeachment hearings, it would likely go very poorly for him and Donald Trump, and it could go a long way toward convincing the average American that they are indeed both guilty.
There’s also the reality that even if the Democrats succeed in using their leverage to push Mitch McConnell into subpoenaing witnesses like Don McGahn or John Bolton, there’s a good chance they still won’t show up, and will instead continue to hide behind their ongoing court battles. If the Democrats were to push McConnell into subpoenaing Rudy Giuliani, he probably would show up and testify, because he always (mistakenly) thinks he can use his mouth to turn a losing hand into a winning one.
Of course there’s also a strong argument against having Rudy Giuliani testify. Bolton was right when he referred to Rudy as a “hand grenade.” The Democrats are currently winning the impeachment saga, in terms of pro-impeachment poll numbers being high, and Trump’s 2020 poll numbers being as awful as ever. Do the Democrats want to take the risk of pulling the pin on the Rudy grenade and lobbing it onto a battlefield where they’re currently winning? Those kinds of unpredictable risks are usually best taken by those who are already losing, like Donald Trump. When you’re winning, like Pelosi is, it’s usually better to stick to low-risk, high-reward tactics. We’ll see.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report