Barring an unwelcome surprise internationally, the prime topic on today’s Sunday shows will be the prime topic on next week’s Sunday shows and the prime topic for every week of Sunday shows until … February? March? There’s no telling how long the impeachment process will run. This week brings the start of public testimony and with it an appearance from two of Trump’s most ardent Republican supporters in the Senate. It’ll be Rand Paul on “Meet the Press” to make the case for calling the whistleblower to testify and John Kennedy on “Face the Nation” to argue for calling one or both Bidens. Kennedy spent the past week telling print media that we can’t know if Trump was right to pursue a quid pro quo without knowing if there was grounds to believe that Hunter Biden (or ideally Joe Biden) was up to no good with Burisma. If he was, then the president had a legitimate public purpose in pressuring Ukraine. Better put him on the stand and find out.
The most interesting Republican member of the Senate to appear this morning, though, is Ron Johnson. Johnson is playing no fewer than three roles in the impeachment process. He’s a juror, of course. But he’s also the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and could hold his own hearings into whether one or both Bidens behaved improperly towards Ukraine. Trump has been pressing Lindsey Graham to investigate that but Johnson is a fallback option. Meanwhile, he’s also a potential witness to the Ukraine quid pro quo, having told the Wall Street Journal last month that Gordon Sondland confirmed for him in August that military aid was part of the deal with Zelensky. Trump denied that in a separate call with Johnson. What other relevant conversations did he have with the key players while all of this was going on? He’ll be on “State of the Union.”
Elsewhere, Amy Klobuchar will follow Johnson on “State of the Union” and try to contain her rage that (a) Pete “Who?” Buttigieg is outpolling her in the Democratic primary and (b) Mike Bloomberg reacted to Joe Biden’s weakness as a candidate by jumping into the race himself instead of bankrolling her as the great centrist Plan B. And if none of that grabs you, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley will be on “This Week” to discuss the prospect of Pentagon funding running out this month if Congress can’t reach a deal on appropriations and whether the president maybe blabbed a bit too much in sharing details publicly of the al-Baghdadi operation. The full line-up is at the AP.