Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has announced that the House will vote Wednesday on sending the two articles of impeachment to the Senate for the formal trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of office and obstruction of Congress.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is still refusing to promise that he will allow for witnesses at the trial, but Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin notes in an op-ed that Pelosi may still wind up getting the “last laugh” when it comes making sure new evidence is heard by the Senate:

“With polling showing that the public overwhelming wants to hear from Bolton (two-thirds support it, including more than 70 percent of independents, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Monday) and a new report suggesting major defections on the Republican side, Pelosi may get the last laugh.”

Adding that Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has already made it clear that he will vote to hear from witnesses, Rubin goes on to predict that other Republicans will follow suit to protect their political futures:

“Now, it is possible that potential Republican defectors have searched their souls, decided in good conscience that they need to conduct a fair trial and have grown spines to stand up to Trump and his cohort, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) On the other hand, Republicans with rotten poll numbers may have spent the last few weeks testing public sentiment, only to discover it is politically untenable for them to aid in the Trump coverup. If that is the case, Pelosi should take a victory lap.”

All that remains, Rubin concludes, is finding out if others in the GOP will grow a spine long enough to reassert their role as a check on Trump’s power:

“We have yet to see whether a sufficient number of Republicans do demand a real trial rather than a sham. If so, it would be a major step in reestablishing checks and balances, as well as the stature of the Senate. Let’s hope those Republican senators come through.”

Let’s also hope that when all of this is over with, Trump will be so politically damaged that voters will turn out in record numbers to vote against him come November.

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