Trump’s legal defense team and Senate GOP sycophants have quietly plotted out contingency plans should Democrats win enough votes to force witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial, including an effort to keep former national security adviser John Bolton from the spotlight, according to multiple officials familiar with the discussions.
Although the GOP doesn’t think (I could leave it right there and still have an accurate statement) the Democratic Party has the votes to call witnesses, they are working hard to come up with Plan B in the event Democratic members can pick off a few Republicans.
Plan B will probably focus on moving “Bolton’s testimony to a classified setting because of national security concerns, ensuring that it is not public.” In order to accomplish sneaky, lack of transparent move, the GOP would need 51 votes to make it happen.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone plans to argue this week that calling witnesses like Bolton would infringe on executive privilege and endanger national security, a game plan first reported by Axios. The team will also say that senators have a duty to protect confidential conversations between a president and a senior national security official, and that infringing on that privacy would have lasting repercussions.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “White House officials would also block any attempt to include testimony from Lev Parnas in the Senate trial,” although it’s not clear on what legal grounds they could use to block his testimony, as Parnas was never a White House employee.
And on Day One of Trump’s fourth year in office, Day One of his impeachment trial begins.