As the fight over testimony from Bolton and other White House aides drags on in the courts, Democrats will find it nearly impossible to press their advantage with voters on issues such as health care, which helped them win in 2018. Instead, the Democrats would be held responsible for prolonging the impeachment trial, which would serve as a giant campaign poster for the president’s attack on the ‘Do Nothing Democrats’.
The Democrats would be paying all these political costs to extend a trial whose outcome is virtually certain. Trump will be acquitted.
So, what’s the best achievable outcome for Senate Democrats? Actually, it is a successful, party-line Republican vote to forego witnesses and end the trial now. The Democrats cannot vote for that, but a loss would allow them to say ‘we wanted to know more but Trump and the Republicans wanted to keep us in the dark. It’s a massive cover-up by a criminal president in cahoots with a spineless Republican party.’ Those reliable barometers of Democratic Party opinion, CNN and MSNBC, are already saying that. If the Senate ends the trial without witnesses, all Democrats will be saying it.