Johnston imagined a scenario in which McConnell offered a measure to move forward, either with a full trial or something shorter, and a senator from either party objected. That would be McConnell’s cue to shut the entire thing down. “Under the rules, there would be unlimited debate until the leader files a cloture motion,” he explained. “That triggers an additional 30 hours culminating in a vote. As you know, other than nominations, it takes 60 votes to end debate (even though it just takes 51 votes to adopt a motion to proceed).”

“With 51 votes and the ‘Reid Rule,’” Johnston continued, “McConnell could first block the filibuster on any motion to proceed and then move to dismiss any article of impeachment with a simple majority.”

Which means there would be no trial — the political equivalent of a mistrial to throw into the mix already including the two-plus years of the Mueller hunt and the ongoing inquiry of U.S. Attorney John Durham into “Russiagate” as the country approaches the 2020 election.