It’s nearly midnight and the first day of Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial is still going on, with the procedural votes still playing out along party lines. While today has been a series of frustrating, farcical, and cringe-worthy moments, one thing is clear: none of it is going Donald Trump’s way.
Donald Trump spent months insisting on Twitter that if the House dared to impeach him, he’d make them pay for it during the Senate impeachment trial. He vowed that everyone from his victims Joe and Hunter Biden, to his impeachers Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff, would be forced to testify as witnesses during the trial. Trump believed, or wanted us to believe, that he could use his Senate trial to exact revenge on everyone who had ever dared to oppose him.
Trump has also spent the past few weeks demanding that the Republican Senate simply dismiss the charges against him, instead of even holding a trial. It’s not clear how Trump planned to have the charges dismissed without a trial and force his enemies to testify during the trial that he wasn’t going to have. But after today, it’s abundantly clear that none of what Trump demanded or promised is going to happen.
Will there be witnesses against Donald Trump, or will there be no witnesses at all? You’d have to ask the holdout Republican Senators who are waiting to see how the media narrative about the trial plays out over the next week, before deciding whether to force Mitch McConnell to call the likes of John Bolton. But there obviously won’t be any Senate impeachment trial subpoenas sent to Trump’s enemies. Nor will there be any magic dismissal of the charges. Trump isn’t getting any of what he wanted.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report