As the GOP comes under fire for orchestrating what would be a mere show-trial in the Senate to acquit President Donald Trump, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) broke ranks on Tuesday to call for a real trial including witness testimony from high-ranking White House officials.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has openly admitted that Senate Republicans are coordinating the Senate impeachment trial with Trump, effectively allowing the defendant to control his own trial proceedings, which could turn the whole thing into nothing but an embarrassing circus designed to let Trump off the hook while persecuting his political opponents.
Both McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) face calls to recuse themselves from the trial because it is impossible for them to take the oath to deliver a fair trial since they are actively already violating the oath by saying they won’t allow certain witnesses to testify and intend to acquit Trump regardless of the evidence.
This strategy is likely to backfire against Republicans as support for impeachment only rises. If they continue to insist on rigging the trial for Trump, they could face punishment from voters on Election Day next year.
That appears to be one of the reasons why at least one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), is reportedly distancing himself from this GOP collusion with the White House and is calling for the Senate to run an actual trial in which former National Security Adviser John Bolton and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney both testify.
Rooney also rejected the Russian propaganda being spouted by his colleagues accusing Ukraine of interfering with the 2016 Election, and referred to Rudy Giuliani’s continued effort to seek dirt on former Vice-President Joe Biden from Ukraine as “extremely disturbing.”
—>>GOP @RepRooney tells me:
– News on Giuliani efforts in Ukraine is “extremely disturbing”
– Senate GOP should “definitely” accept Dem request for Bolton, Mulvaney et al to testify
– And states: “NO INTEL PEOPLE..HAVE CORROBORATED ANY UKRAINE INFLUENCE IN THE 2016 CAMPAIGN.”
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) December 17, 2019
Rooney could be the first of several Republicans who end up calling for Senate Republicans to hold a real trial, which would undermine Trump’s plan to use it as a platform to attack his political opponents and critics. Let’s just hope more of them actually grow a conscience soon because the House is set to vote on the articles of impeachment this week, making the trial in the Senate imminent.
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