Members of the media seem to believe that President Trump and his allies do not want the Senate to hold an impeachment trial. No, no, they say, the White House wants to shoot down the entire idea of a trial. They want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to squash it before it takes place.
Not so, left-wing website Politico reports:
Top White House officials and Senate Republicans on Thursday agreed that a full trial should be conducted if the House impeaches President Donald Trump, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
Some Republicans have suggested that the Senate should immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment. After all, the Senate is majority Republican. Two attendees said that the White House disagrees with that strategy. Instead, Trump and his allies want to “hold a trial of some length.”
They want “some kind of factual affirmative defense on the merits,” one of those in attendance said.
In other words, Trump wants to make clear to the public that he is innocent. He doesn’t just want the Senate to prevent a trial altogether; he wants to use the opportunity to clear his name.
But that’s not all. Trump also has a second goal in mind:
President Trump wants to have a Senate impeachment trial, expects Joe and Hunter Biden and whistleblower would be among the witnesses
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 22, 2019
As Hogan Gidley, principal deputy press secretary for the White House, said on Fox Thursday:
“He wants to be able to bring up witnesses like Adam Schiff, like the whistleblower, like Hunter Biden, like Joe Biden.”
If a trial is held, the president will be able to actually defend himself, which he is not during the so-called “hearings” in the House of Representatives. Republicans have asked Democrats to agree to call in some witnesses, but the latter have rejected every single request. Once there is a full impeachment trial, however, it’ll be much easier for Trump and his Republican defenders to get those witnesses to actually testify.
This means that Republicans can, perhaps, finally ask Joe and Hunter Biden some serious questions about their involvement with Ukraine.
UPDATE: Trump told Fox News Friday morning: “I want a trial” if House Democrats vote to impeach.