On Thursday morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it official that the House would draft Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump. It isn’t known yet what specific charges will be included, but it’s fairly certain that they will focus on Trump’s extortion of the President of Ukraine and obstruction of justice. However, the possibilities for additional charges are numerous, including perjury, campaign finance violations, witness intimidation, and self-dealing.
It is almost a bygone conclusion that the House will vote to impeach Trump. His fate in the Senate is more difficult to predict. While most Republican senators have been marching lock-step with Trump, his flagrant breaches of law and obstruction could produce a public backlash that makes them think twice about supporting him.
How the Senate trial unfolds will have a significant impact on the final vote. But there is one particular potential event that could be groundbreaking. While Trump has done everything imaginable to throw obstacles in front of the impeachment inquiry, there is some speculation that he might show up to testify on his own behalf.
One of those predicting that is Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News Senior Legal Analyst. Napolitano, who said last month that “the evidence of his impeachable behavior is overwhelming,” also recently said that if he were a member of Congress he would vote to impeach Trump. His is virtually alone at Fox taking that position. And now he is predicting that Trump will testify under oath at his Senate impeachment trial. Napolitano was asked by Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer “If you go to a Senate trial, who testifies on behalf of the president?” Napolitano replied…
“Himself … I think it will be the most dramatic legal political event in the history of our era. With the president of the United States testifying under oath in front of the chief justice, and the full Senate and 200 million people watching on television.”
Is Napolitano right? It’s hard to tell. There two distinct paths for Trump going forward.
PATH #1: Trump will testify because he believes that he is his own best spokesperson. He is a malignant narcissist who is convinced that everything does is “perfect” and that it is impossible for him to fail at anything he attempts. He believes he is better than all of his critics and could outsmart them on the Senate debate field. So of course he’ll testify.
PATH #2: Trump will never testify because he’s scared witless of being cross-examined by the aggressive and hostile Democratic lawyers prosecuting his impeachment. He knows that he is prone to lying in order to achieve his goals, but that in this forum that would only subject him to additional charges of perjury. And he can’t remember his past lies well enough to be consistent. What’s more, he knows the truth. He knows what he’s done and that he will be asked about his activities in detail. How could he respond? If he tells the truth he’s incriminating himself. But if he lies he’s perjuring himself.
So it remains to be seen which of Trump’s psychoses will prevail. Will it be his narcissistic confidence and delusions of grandeur? Or will it be his fear and consciousness of guilt. Either way it’s clear that Trump doesn’t have any good options. In the meantime he’s assuming a brave face on Twitter and asking that congress move quickly to the Senate trial:
…..trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to “Clean the Swamp,” and that’s what I am doing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
This is the typical childish name-calling strategy that Trump employs when under pressure. He can’t respond substantively to the charges against him, so he calls his critics “crazy.” That wouldn’t cut it in a court of law, or in the Senate. But if he’s so keen on compelling the testimony of Adam Schiff and the Bidens, maybe he should be patronized, so long as he also agrees to allow the testimony of Mick Mulvaney, and Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton, and Dan McGahn,, and Rudy Giuliani. Then he might actually be right about the Senate trial “reveal[ing], for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.”
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.