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This blog serves my columns as an archive, a place to add footnotes,data sources and drafts of columns for the Sky Hi News(www.skyhidailynews.com) and after November 2019, the Winter Park Times, and postings on the Muftic Forum Blog. Often these are posted on my political Facebook page, The Muftic Forum. I have another facebook page for personal happenings found under feliciamuftic.
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Monday, February 3, 2020
It ain't over till it's over
A version of this was published in the Winter Park Times, Feb.7,2020
As that baseball legend Yogi
Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over”. The Ukraine saga is only in the 7th
inning. The Senate Impeachment trial of Donald Trump may have ended, but there
is more to come as leaks and House oversight hearings and the November presidential
elections complete what the Senate failed to do in their half-baked, pseudo trial.
It was the only trial in the history of impeachments to be conducted without witnesses
and evidence. For that matter, it was the only trial of any kind I ever heard
about that did not have witnesses and corroborating evidence. What’s next? There is
still much to come.
- Expect between now and November voters
will hear a constant drip of new
information revealed by media and House hearings.
- Expect Donald Trump to crow to
the high heavens he was not only acquitted, but he was also exonerated. That he was cleared of any wrongdoing will
have little credibility since the Senate trial itself lost credibility when it
denied witness testimony and evidence that had not been included in the House
inquiry. Many GOP Senators post-trial have stated they believed the House managers
had proved their point, that Donald Trump used his power to get political favors
from a foreign government to help him in
2020, but they still voted to acquit him for a variety of rationales such as too close to an election, not a bad enough to
justify removal from office, the process was flawed, unfair, too rushed, too partisan. In reality,. it has always been a foregone
conclusion the Senate vote would be to acquit because twenty GOP Senators would
have had to join all Democrats to reach the two-thirds threshold vote to remove
him from office. Any defections from party discipline were expected to be too
few. What was unexpected, but not surprising, was that all but two GOP Senators would vote to prevent anyone hearing the whole
story from newly emerging witnesses and evidence. The GOP leadership pulled a fast one on the voters. 70% of voters wanted to hear witnesses and see
documents that had come to light since the House impeachment vote.
- Expect John Bolton to finally get
his opportunity to testify under oath. Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor, had finished a
manuscript of his book that somehow was leaked to the media in the middle of
the trial. He wrote that Trump told him he withheld bipartisan military aid to
Ukraine until the Ukrainian president announced in the media of the personal
favor of investigations Trump had asked him to do as a condition of getting military
aid Trump had frozen. Bolton, the darling of Senate anti-Russian hawks, would
have been the most credible first hand, direct witness, of Donald Trump’s
single-minded intent. It was not about Trump’s unexpressed concern about corruption
in Ukraine; it was to get the favor of the investigations announced.
- Expect 2020 to be about rigged
elections. Foreign actors, especially Russia,
got the green light to use their psyche
warfare to help Donald Trump win again. The GOP Senators were not disturbed
enough by foreign interference in our elections to oust Trump from office.
- Expect an out of control
president to act out of control. Sitting in the Oval Office is a President who
believes he can do anything he wants, laws and norms be damned. There is no way
to check him. He ducked the Mueller probe. He beat removal even though impeached. His Department of Justice still proclaims a
sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime. The Senate trial only added
to his belief he can issue blanket orders to ignore Congressional subpoenas and
would not be impeached for it. The
courts are hopelessly too slow-moving to make much difference before November. The
only recourse Americans have left to keep this president who would be king (dictator,
strong man, autocrat) in check is for the
GOP to lose the presidential election and control of the Senate in November.
More evidence of the president’s guilt will come out, from John Bolton’s book and elsewhere. Indeed, one can be forgiven for thinking that the reason Rubio, Alexander, and others felt the need to proclaim the president’s guilt has less to do with a desire to tell the truth and more with getting ahead of a future torrent of irrefutable facts. Nor should we rule out that Trump, emboldened by his “exoneration,” will do something even worse.