Mitch McConnell is doing everything he can to lower the profile of the impeachment trial and prevent witnesses against Trump, and Chris Jansing talked about it this morning with Christine Todd Whitman and former Obama official Chris Lu.
"Governor, you've watched this before, how much impact over what happens the next couple weeks will have on the presidential race going forward?" Jansing asked.
"You know, it is hard to tell. Obviously the Republicans are going to push it through as fast as they can with the schedule that Mitch McConnell has announced," Whitman said.
"He is trying to get it done at 2 in the morning so other people aren't watching, we know what the Senate will do, unfortunately. I was trying to get two pictures to put together, one of Mitch McConnell with his quote to say he was not an impartial juror, and the other one raising his right hand, swearing his oath of office, swearing on the Bible, 'so help me God,' he would be an impartial jurist. You wonder why the public is skeptical of the whole process?"
"When you watch this, do you think there's a not legit in terms of this is the way to do this to make this a fair process, but strategically is this the way to go?" Jansing asked.
"You know, the American people from everything that I have seen, people I talked to in polls believe that in a trial you have witnesses, and the American people would really like to know what's behind this. If there's nothing there, why not let witnesses who are in the room at the time testify to say there's no 'there' there. But let's get it all out. This has been too convoluted, it is too important to our country. I believe that in fact as far as the average person goes, there's a frustration with the Republican tactic of no witnesses. So unless they allow some witnesses, I'm not sure how that's going to play. As you well know, it is a lifetime between now and November."
Lansing asked Chris Lu about why Republicans are so loyal to Trump, "And is there anything you see about this impeachment process that could change that?"
"Well, look, as the governor said, it is an eternity between now and November, but I would also argue probably an eternity between now and when we get to the witness phase of the trial. we've seen over the last two weeks not only the offer of John Bolton to testify, Lev Parnas, and a GAO report that the president broke the law," Lu said.
"There are things that could happen in the interim that change the dynamics, but if we look at it now, Democrats are where they are, Republicans are where they are. But I still believe there's a group of people in the middle who will be, again, not members of Congress, people in the public that will be listening to this, trying to make up their mind as to what happened. As Governor Whitman says, the truth of the matter, we don't know anything. We have a strong case the Democrats made, but it is without the top tier of Trump officials testifying, and I think they need to testify so the American people know the full story of what happened."