As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Republicans remain poised to rig the impending impeachment trial in President Donald Trump’s favor, a New York Times columnist warned on Friday that such a cover-up will be televised for all Americans to witness firsthand.

McConnell and several other senators such as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have made no secret of the fact that they intend to lie when they take the oath of impartiality prior to the impeachment trial and will move to acquit Trump quickly without much consideration of the evidence against him or hearing witness testimony.

Just this week, McConnell co-sponsored a resolution to dismiss the charges against Trump if the articles of impeachment are not delivered to the Senate by January 12th. Clearly, Republicans are desperate to sweep Trump’s Ukraine scandal and crimes under the rug before the 2020 Election takes place in November.

But such a cover-up could have lasting consequences for the GOP, especially moderate Senate Republicans who face tough re-election campaigns, including Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Cory Gardner (R-Co.) and others who would prefer not to be seen as being Trump toadies even though they frequently do his bidding.

Michelle Goldberg, a columnist for the New York Times, warned McConnell and these vulnerable Republicans that their actions and votes will be very public during a discussion with MSNBC host Ari Melber.

“And Michelle, the other thing I want to ask you about is the way that Donald Trump’s defenders double-down on everything doesn’t always work,” Melber said. “It may enrage, and it may get attention, but this is a process whereby whether you lose a few Senate votes can change, as we have discussed with who testified, and so I wonder if you think just as we saw in Iran, some of that didn’t work, and Republican senators pushed back, we’re seeing that with Collins here. Do you think that some of Trump’s defenders, including Mr. Graham here, may have actually pushed Collins in the other direction?”

“I’m far past the point of expecting any kind of decency or consistency from any Republicans,” Goldberg replied. “Really, I’m pleasantly surprised that Collins said she’s going to fight for witnesses, and a small group is all you need, given the makeup of the Senate. I’m not counting on it.”

Indeed, especially since Collins recently signed on with McConnell’s scheme to rig the trial and not hear witnesses.

Now she is desperately trying to create the appearance that she actually wants witnesses to testify. This is likely a ruse to take off some of the pressure, as if she thinks Maine voters are stupid.

The bottom line is that Republicans still have to openly vote to convict or acquit, and those votes will be on the record and will likely be cast on national television.

“I do think that at the very least, this cover-up will be televised, right, the process of the cover-up,” Goldberg continued. “The arguments against letting the country hear from, you know, hear from John Bolton and hear from Mick Mulvaney — hear from Rudy Giuliani, for that matter, who seems to want to testify. You know, at least that will be public at the very, very least, right, so that the country can hear about what this president doesn’t want them to hear.”

Here’s the video via YouTube:

Trump blocked his top officials from testifying in the House, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, all of whom apparently warned Trump that he should not freeze military aide to Ukraine to force them into opening a sham investigation into his political rival.

If these three officials were to testify and tell the truth, it would be damaging to Trump. And if they lie to protect him, they’d be engaging in a cover-up and committing perjury. Senate Republicans then run the risk of being seen letting them get away with it.

Trump is just the third president to ever be impeached. Therefore, his impeachment trial will draw intense interest across the country and around the world. And that’s why Republicans like Collins are having second thoughts about how they handle it. Americans overwhelmingly support impeachment and also support witness testimony in the Senate. If McConnell goes through with the cover-up for Trump, he and the GOP will pay a price for it.

Featured Image: YouTube screenshot