People in the Fake News Media (FNM) love to dunk on Donald Trump by calling him a “former reality TV host” and ignoring the fact that he is a legendary job creator. For example, Donald Trump has created a serious amount of jobs in the criminal defense industry since becoming president. There are also lots of journalists who can actually afford to pay $6 for their coffees due to the fact that Trump says insane things that get their articles retweeted. That said I am 100 percent on the same page as the FNM when it comes to Donald Trump being the reality TV president. Every day in D.C. is basically a new episode of The Real Housewives of Trump’s White House.
One of my favorite characters from this reality show is ex-National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was exited from the series when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got into a cat fight with him over Iran. Trump sided with Pompeo and fired Bolton. Savage. But now that we are headed into the Senate impeachment trial, Bolton has been teasing his return to the Trump Real Housewives cast. He has said that he is “prepared” to testify in Trump’s Senate trial. But he is not the only cast member who might be appearing in an episode that could be Trump’s series finale. Acting Chief of Staff and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, as well as lawyer/Fox News guy Rudy Giuliani, may also be called to testify in the Senate. This means that we’ve got these three awesome markets to bet on:
What is the answer? I am going to boil them down to a few questions:
Will enough Republicans vote to allow more witnesses?
The first and most obvious question is whether or not enough GOP Senators will vote with the Democrats to allow more witnesses to testify. They need 51 to get this done, which means 4 GOP votes.
The media has reported that Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and Lisa Murkowski are all “open” to hearing more testimony. But I am still skeptical as to whether or not they are for real. Being “open” to more witnesses is a great way for Senators who are vulnerable and/or “principled” to look less partisan and hacky when they inevitably review the evidence and conclude that there is no need to subpoena additional witnesses. Let’s look at statements given by the Senators of interest and see if there is anything we can learn:
Lisa Murkowski said that, “I don’t know what more [testimony] we need until I have been given the base case.”
Thoughts: This reminds me of someone at a yoga studio who says, “I’m open minded” but actually despises everyone on the planet who doesn’t drive the same model of Prius she does. This statement means nothing. 80/20 NO.
Susan Collins said that, “I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999 [for Clinton].”
Thoughts: This sounds like someone who thinks she has found a clever way to wax the pole of her GOP base and the moderate ppl living in her New England state at the same time. 70/30 YES.
Senator Lamar Alexander is retiring so I would take his threat to vote YES on more witnesses very seriously. 50/50.
Thoughts: He basically just recites some facts about, “the Clinton process.” That said I think the only thing Romney would miss one of his 50+ grandchildren’s birthdays for would be to seriously bone Donald Trump. And calling more witnesses would def bone Trump.Â
But it would also bone his GOP colleagues, so I dunno. 50/50 yes.
Also Cory Gardner, who is arguably the most at-risk GOP Senator, has been laying low like he just robbed a 7-Eleven. I’m not sure what is going on in his brain but he is probably wetting the bed thinking about Trump’s impeachment trial.
I would say that at least one of these Senators, but probably two, are going to vote against hearing more testimony.
If the Senate does call additional witnesses, will Trump use executive privilege to block their testimony?
We already know the answer to this. Trump’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, told Fox News that Trump would 100 percent try to block Bolton from testifying. Watch this clip.
If the Senate votes for more testimony but the President blocks his advisors from complying, will Chief Justice John Roberts overrule Trump from the chair?
I personally do not understand the legal jargon of impeachment trials. This is due to the fact that my only life skills are buying Adderral without facing criminal penalties, and slamming Modelos. That said I would be 100 percent shocked if Chief Justice John Roberts unilaterally decided a very weighty issue like the limits of executive power. The best look inside Roberts’ mind was the Obamacare opinion where he employed some legal reasoning to uphold the individual mandate as a “tax” that was more confusing than a Kanye West Jesus rant. I do not care whether that was right or wrong, just that it shows Roberts is a bro who is not interested in politicizing the court in blockbuster cases.
Long story short, I think that a challenge to Trump’s executive is decided in the courts and not on the Senate floor.
How long would the courts take to rule?
Ted Cruz said in an interview that he thinks this process would take 6-8 weeks.
Sen Cruz has one of the worst beards in history but he also has a highly-regarded legal mind. If he’s right, that mans the courts hand down a ruling in early March — which is enough time for Bolton, Mulvaney et al to testify.
But who would win the court case?
This is where it gets dicey and I am hopefully going to release a pod with Zoltar (lawyer) on this subject. My understanding is that advisors who work in foreign policy, legal affairs, and national security are way harder to subpoena than someone like Mick Mulvaney, who the Dems could call for his work managing the federal government’s checking account as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. That’s interesting because the odds for Bolton and Mulvaney are the same — but the risk is not. Watch for a post on this soon.
Will the Rs and Ds do a “witness reciprocity deal?”
There is some talk about whether or not the Rs and Ds would trade hostages. In this version of events, the Ds would get to hear John Bolton’s story and the Rs would get to call someone of their liking, like Hunter Biden or Adam Schiff. I do not view this as a likely scenario because Dems have made it very clear that they think Hunter Biden has nothing to do with this, and Rs seem to think he’s the only witness worth their time. Not gonna happen.
If called to testify, will witnesses plead the 5th?
Mick Mulvaney is a company man and I could totally see it. Not sure about John Bolton. But if one of these guys comes to the Senate and doesn’t answer meaningful questions, then this market resolves NO.
What do I actually think is happening?
I personally think we are watching a tug-of-war where the Godfather aka Mitch McConnell is trying to make this the shortest trial possible while Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are trying to drag things out so that Trump is dirty AF going into the election. I think the Dems would love the courts to chew on witness testimony for weeks regardless of the outcome and will structure their offensive strategy to favor that. Basically, when it comes to The Real Housewives of Trump’s White House, both parties are committed to letting voters decide whether or not to renew the series in the fall.
I am taking NO on BOLTON.
I have a NO on Mulvaney but might be dumping it. Look for the next post.
More to come.