Disgraced former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial would have differed greatly from his first one because the Senate actually voted to hear witness testimony this time, and Republicans were furious.

As you will recall, there were plenty of witnesses who could have testified against Trump during his first trial early last year on his scheme to blackmail Ukraine into opening a scam investigation against his political rivals ahead of the 2020 Election. But Senate Republicans refused to allow witness testimony, opting instead to rig the trial by move straight to acquitting him.

Only Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had the courage to vote to convict, making the vote to convict a bipartisan one compared to the partisan acquittal.

With Democrats in control of the Senate this time around, witnesses were going to be heard. On Saturday, five Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in a 55-45 vote to hear witness testimony, especially from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), who has confirmed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) begged Trump to call off the insurrection during a phone call between the two in which McCarthy also informed Trump that the insurrectionists were Trump supporters.

Herrera Beutler is one of the 11 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and she released a statement describing what McCarthy told her about the call and urged others to speak up.

Needless to say, Trump’s Senate Republican allies are not at all happy about the prospect of witness testimony being part of the trial, including Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), who confronted Romney for voting with the Democrats.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who was recently booted off her committee assignments by a House vote in response to her outrageous statements and behavior, went so far as to vaguely threaten Herrara Beutler in what appears to be an act of witness intimidation.

Let’s not forget that these kinds of shout-outs to Trump supporters is what led to the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. Now Herrera Beutler needs police protection, not just from Trump supporters, but also from Greene and other Trump Republicans who may be carrying guns.

Republicans are upset because they know witness testimony will torpedo Trump’s defense. Witness accounts of the insurrection and Trump’s role in it could force more Republicans to vote to convict because the impeachment trial will become too hot for them handle. Democrats should not only call Herrera Beutler to testify, they should call McCarthy, Capitol Police officers, reporters, Pentagon officials, and anyone else who can tell the nation about what happened on that day. Witness testimony will bury Trump. This is why Republicans did not want witnesses during the first trial, and it’s why they don’t want witnesses in this trial.

Unfortunately, Democrats don’t have the spine to follow through with calling witnesses, making them just as complicit with Trump’s scheme to overthrow democracy, paving the way for him or another Republican extremist to do it again.

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