Now that impeachment is a foregone conclusion in the House, it is time to speculate what will happen in the Senate. First, however, we need to know how many Dems vote against impeachment in the House because that will drive some of the follow up options. If just a few defect (maybe 1-6) I think it will dictate a strong defense response in the Senate, with the President’s team leading the charge. If more than 6 defect and the number gets into the teens, I think the Senate plan will be scaled back some to allow a little wiggle room and a quick end of the trial. But the one thing that Trump will insist on is to demand a vote in the Senate after a trial to completely find him innocent of all charges.
So, as I understand the House voting, they will have a separate vote on each charge. Don’t be surprised if many of those 31 Dems from districts that Trump won in 2016 vote for one article and against one article. That way they can say they considered all the evidence and supported one part but not the other. Will that satisfy voters in their districts? I doubt it. But that is their problem and one which will stay with them until the 2020 elections.
There will be one other required vote. That will be to pick the floor manager for the Senate trial. So who will Pelosi put forth to present their case to the Senate? My guess is that Shifty Schiff will be that person. I think they want to shield him from being called as a fact witness in the trial. But if he is appointed manager, I think that Trump will insist that he be called as a witness. Can you imagine the wrangling that will take place when that day comes? I suspect that Roberts will have to rule on that situation. But in the end, I can see no good legal argument to prevent him from testifying.
Did you see that Trump is considering hiring Alan Dershowitz to his impeachment team? That would be a strong person to provide guidance on constitutional issues. He has clearly stated that the Dems have no legal basis for impeachment so he can provide arguments to bolster the President’s case. I think Trump wants to punish the Democrat Party and make this impeachment an example so that it never happens again. The more he is able to destroy their position, the weaker the Dems become – especially as it pertains to the 2020 elections. I think Trump also sees an opportunity to cause political heartburn for the senators running for the Democrat nomination. Keep them bottled up in Washington for 6 days a week without any opportunities to campaign for the major primaries in February and March. Of course they will blame him for interfering with their campaigns!
The one interesting discussion that may help with the Trump election campaign is the recent statements by various Dems that if they fail on this impeachment attempt that they are already talking about another impeachment ordeal in the near future. If there is one thing that the vast majority of Americans do not want it is to go through this process again. Just mentioning a second impeachment may result in a significant shift in votes to Trump and away from Dems. I believe many voters already feel that giving the Dems control of the House in 2018 was a major mistake. They have done nothing meaningful to help average Americans. Why would we want another 2 years of more impeachments and no legislation?