January 23, 2020

During a long Day 2 of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, there was some breaking alleged news during the dinner break. Robert Costa joined the MSNBC panel doing color commentary to announce that Senator Ted Cruz has declared that "testimony from Hunter Biden is, quote, now critical and directly relevant." This, after Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had said there would be no "trade" for witnesses: no John Bolton for Hunter Biden, to be specific.

Ari Melber was hosting the panel, and he turned to former Senator Claire McCaskill for her reaction to what he called Ted Cruz's "demand." Suffice it to say, she was skeptical.

McCASKILL: Well Ted Cruz has demanded a lot of things during his time in the Senate. And typically he's not been particularly effective at getting them done. Famously calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor of the Senate, reading Green Eggs and Ham, and shutting down the government. Trying to boast that he's better than all of the — he's always trying to be NOT one of the guys. He wants to be the outsider. So for him now to be this, "I'm demanding," he can't demand. He can't demand anything. And, frankly, if Ted Cruz wants Hunter Biden as a witness, then he needs to get his buddy Lindsey Graham, who was melting down today, to call him in the Judiciary Committee as a witness. They control the Senate. To act like somehow they can't get Hunter Biden in front of the Senate is just BS, frankly.

Lawrence O'Donnell agreed.

O'DONNELL: The idea that Ted Cruz is a key player, well, this is the first time. If he's the key player in this, that is the first time in his life.

O'Donnell goes on to explain exactly why Republicans don't want Hunter Biden to testify...because they don't want ANY witnesses to testify. McCaskill, though, sorted through Cruz's mindset.

McCASKILL: And why he's doing this is very simple. He wants them to vote for no witnesses and no documents. So he's looking for a peg for them to put their hat on. "Well, the only reason we didn't vote for witnesses or documents is because they wouldn't give us Hunter Biden." That's what he's doing. He's trying to give the senators an out to shut this thing down without it being a trial.

There's a reason Ted Cruz is the commonly considered the most detested senator in the upper house of Congress. Claire McCaskill's contempt for him is particularly entertaining, though.

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