President Donald Trump demanded that Senate Republicans turn his trial into a circus focused on persecuting Democrats he wanted called to testify, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has reportedly been blocked from bowing down to his wishes.

Earlier this week as the House moved to draft articles of impeachment over Trump’s attempt to blackmail Ukraine into investigating his political rival to get dirt on him ahead of the 2020 Election, he took to Twitter in an effort to relay to Senate Republicans how he expects them to run his trial. This would include demands that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and former Vice President Joe Biden all be called to testify in what would amount to a show trial that has nothing to do with Trump’s crimes.

Of course, McConnell apparently intended to give Trump what he wanted. But the Senate Republicans he leads are resisting.

According to the New York Times:

While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office.

At a meeting with senior White House officials and senators in the Roosevelt Room of the White House almost three weeks ago, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, made clear that there are not enough Senate votes to approve some of the edgier witnesses that Democrats and Republicans want to call. While he mentioned no names, it was interpreted by those in the room to refer to people like Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, whom Mr. Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate.

So, Republicans are wary of disgracing the Senate even more than they already have done and would rather McConnell not give in. Because that’s what they would be doing by calling Trump’s political opponents to testify rather than focusing on the charges in the articles of impeachment.

If anyone should be called to testify under oath, it should be Trump. He’s the one on trial here and he’s the one who blatantly committed crimes in an effort to interfere with the 2020 Election with the help of a foreign nation. Republicans are already under fire for signaling that they will acquit Trump regardless of the evidence and witness testimony against him. If they comply with Trump’s demands to persecute Democrats, they will make it absolutely clear that they don’t care about doing their duty as outlined by the Constitution.

They need to take this trial seriously and vote to impeach Trump if they ever hope to be taken seriously themselves by the American people again.

Featured Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons CC-by-2.0