No, dude, he will not. For cripes sake. Can you imagine the horror among Trump’s advisors and Senate cronies if he suddenly started chirping about wanting to testify? They’re on a glide path to acquitting him, with the public no better than evenly split on removal after weeks of Democratic hearings. Barring surprise testimony from John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney, things have gone about as well for the GOP in all of this as they could have possibly hoped. They may not lose a single Republican vote in either house of Congress. The only thing that could alter the trajectory at this point would be a colossal unforced error of some sort, like, say, the president taking the stand in his defense.
Pat Cipollone and Lindsey Graham would chloroform him and lock him in the White House basement to prevent it.
There’s a reason why he didn’t do an interview with Mueller, remember: No one around him trusts him to keep his story straight if he has to answer questions under oath. He lies easily and rarely convincingly. And given his penchant for saying the quiet part out loud, there’s a nonzero chance if put on the stand that he’d just blurt out Col.-Jessup-style that yeah, he withheld the military aid because he wanted dirt on Biden.
Literally zero percent chance of it happening.
Fine, 0.1 percent chance.
All right, considering that American politics has become a reality show, and that Trump is a compulsive narcissist who wrongly thinks he can outsmart anyone, and that he knows the TV ratings for him if he testified really would be as yuuuge as Napolitano says in the clip, there’s at best a … 49 percent chance of it happening.
Forty-nine point nine percent, tops.
Napolitano’s not the only legal expert losing his mind today amid the excitement of impeachment. This guy was the acting solicitor general under Obama and now he’s reduced to this:
Impt note on future: If the Senate doesn’t vote to convict Trump, or tries to monkey w his trial, he could of course be retried in the new Senate should he win re-election. Double jeopardy protections do not apply. And Senators voting on impeachment in the next months know this.
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) December 5, 2019
The constitutional point is fine as far as it goes. There’s no ruling that says double jeopardy applies to impeachment, so the Senate wouldn’t be barred by law from retrying him. They would, however, be barred by politics. There’s no way Schumer or Pelosi will get bogged down re-impeaching Trump over the Ukraine stuff if their first crack at it led to him being reelected, albeit with a Democratic Senate majority. The people will have spoken and rendered their verdict on the president’s guilt; Democrats wouldn’t dare try to override them. Pelosi in particular won’t want to touch impeachment again since Trump’s reelection will have confirmed her suspicions all along that it was destined to be a political loser. Unless some new evidence came to light that justified the Senate revisiting the matter, having a Democratic Senate vote to remove the president after a Republican Senate had acquitted him would reduce impeachment in the public’s eyes to a nakedly, cynically partisan process no matter how much Schumer insisted that Dems were simply trying to right the GOP’s own hyperpartisan wrong. It would reek of illegitimacy.
And of course, in the end Schumer won’t have nearly the number of votes he’d need to remove Trump. No matter how well Democrats do in Senate races next fall and in 2022, they won’t be anywhere near the 67 needed to remove.
So what is Katyal talking about? Why even entertain the thought of a Senate retrial that wouldn’t produce the result he wants and would doubtless backfire by confirming voters’ suspicion that the Democratic Party in 2021 exists mainly to harass Donald Trump and for no grander reason?
Speaking of losing one’s mind, WaPo thought it was important to double-check with House Democrats today that they’re not going to try to impeach Trump for, ah, treason, which would be a neat trick given that Ukraine isn’t an enemy of the United States. Confirmed: Treason is not on the table. Here’s Napolitano speaking earlier today. Yesterday he told Fox’s audience that he’d certainly vote to impeach Trump if given the chance. The man sticks to his guns.