The real reason the Democrats are now asking Donald Trump to testify at his impeachment trial

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The Democrats in charge of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial formally and publicly asked him today to show up and testify at his trial. They also stated that his failure to testify will be taken as a sign of his guilt. So what are they really trying to do here?

There are two scenarios for how this could play out. The first is that Trump, who at this point seems listless and broken, refuses to show up. Then the Democrats will get to argue to the American public that Trump must be guilty because he refused to even defend himself.

The second scenario is that Trump takes this as a challenge and indeed shows up to testify. In such case he’ll likely ramble incoherently, spew deranged conspiracy theories, and deeply incriminate himself in the process. For the Democrats, that would be the entire point.


Senate Republicans might conclude they have to convict him in order to distance themselves from the toxic bile that Trump just spewed in their chamber on live national television. And if the Republicans still fail to convict him after such testimony, the Democrats can use it against these Republicans when they’re up for reelection in 2022 and 2024. We don’t know if Trump will show up, but this is a winning strategy for Democrats either way.

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