Donald Trump doesn’t want any witnesses to testify at his Senate trial and is willing to use executive privilege to block them.
Trump told Laura Ingraham that the future of the presidency was at stake.
“Why not call Bolton? Why not allow him to testify? This thing is bogus. Why not allow Bolton to testify?” Fox News’ Laura Ingraham asked in a recent interview set to air 10 PM Friday.
No problem other than one thing,” Trump said. “You can’t be in the White House as president, future, I’m talking about future…any future presidents- and have a security advisor, anybody having to do with security, and legal and other things but especially…”
“Are you going to invoke executive privilege?” Ingraham said.
“Well I think you have to for the sake of the office,” the president responded.
Since almost all the witnesses Democrats want to call were part of Trump’s national security team at some point, Trump could end up citing executive privilege to keep them from testifying.
Meanwhile, there’s a small group of GOP senators who are apparently looking to submarine Trump’s efforts to prevent any witnesses at all.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Friday said that she is working with a group of Republican senators to allow for both President Trump‘s legal team and the House managers to be able to call witnesses during the impeachment trial.
Collins told the Bangor Daily News that she is working with a “fairly small” group of senators to ensure that an initial resolution on the trial rules allows for witnesses.
“I am hopeful that we can reach an agreement on how to proceed with the trial that will allow the opportunity for both the House and the president’s counsel if they choose to do so,” she said.
Trump’s initial instincts to not allow any witnesses to testify were incorrect. The only harm that can come to the president politically as a result of this fiasco is if he’s seen trying to undermine the process. Witnesses would be fully in keeping with trial protocol and at least Trump could claim afterwards he was exonerated fully according to the law.
In that sense, the Trump team could turn the tables on the president’s accusers and use the witnesses to their own advantage, exposing the stupidity of the prosecution on national television. In an election year.
Democrats want a show trial so why not give them one? Show the American people what a put-up job they’re running with the entire impeachment process. It’s been painfully obvious to less partisan observers that the Democrats have fallen far short of proving that Trump deserves to be removed from office.The entire emotion-driven prosecution needs to be exposed for the blatant, cynical political ploy it’s been.