There is a lot of anxiety in the Democratic ranks regarding Republican ploys to prevent a full and fair impeachment trial for Trump in the Senate. We've already climbed the initial roadblock we feared: an outright immediate dismissal in the Senate of any trial at all. We have Speaker Nancy Pelosi to thank for that, and her ability to not only lead, but listen to the brilliant team surrounding her. Holding the articles for a few weeks has turned outright dismissal of a trial from a real possibility to certain political suicide for the GOP, and we now have assurances that the trial will indeed, proceed.
The next obstacle, however, involves whether or not Republicans in the Senate will allow witnesses to be heard. Any trial without witnesses will be rightly recorded by hindsight and history as a complete sham. A complicit cover-up for the most openly corrupt, mercenary, and cruel American president in its history. Yet, the GOP has dispensed with any attempt to feign distaste for malfeasance, racism, and destruction of any semblance of democracy, here, so Democrats are just going to have to bite down hard and bring the guns to the gun fight.
Elie Mystal made exactly this argument on Joy Reid's show this morning, and in particular, spoke about witness reciprocity. GOP Trump sycophants like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are threatening to call Hunter Biden to the stand if Democrats insist on calling witnesses like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney to testify. And that was before Rachel Maddow's explosive interview with Lev Parnas practically doubled the number of names on the witness list that now seem pivotal and crucial to Trump's crimes.
Mystal's position? Bring on the Bidens.
MYSTAL: I mean, what you're seeing, though, is that the Republicans are getting so desperate they realize they might have to call witnesses. They're trying to find ways to scare the Democrats in other ways. I think to Kurt's point about how this is really a knife fight. The Democrats cannot be scared. So when Ted Cruz and Rand Paul threaten witness reciprocity, "If you call John Bolton then we're gonna call Hunter Biden," man, if that's what it's gonna take to get Bolton, then Hunter Biden can just be played by Jeff Daniels in Speed, alright? Hunter Biden can take one for the team. They can call Hunter Biden, they can call Joe Biden, call Ray Ray Biden, call T. Joe Biden, cause you know what? At the end of the day I want Bolton. I want Mulvaney. And the Bidens can take one for the team because the truth will out. The Bidens did nothing wrong, other than some low-grade nepotism, the Bidens did nothing wrong. That truth will out. We're trying to diffuse a bomb at the top of our country and John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney have part of the answers. I'm willing to sacrifice what I have to sacrifice to get them in the chair.
The Dems need to keep their perspective, here. Mystal is right. We're talking low-level nepotism vs. destruction of every democratic norm, burning of the Constitution, Hitler-without-the-bunker situation if Trump is not removed, either via a guilty verdict or decisive electoral loss in November. And neither is possible without the calling of witnesses in this trial. Step up, Bidens. Not that the Bidens haven't already sacrificed and lost a lot — more than any Trump family member could hold in their tiny brains and tinier hearts. Still, though, it a small price to pay to keep America a democratic republic.