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(Thread) Impeachment Law 101

Instead of answering the individual questions I'm getting about this post about John Bolton⤵️ (some doubtful, along the lines of "so what?")

. . . it's time for Impeachment Law 101: Review the rules and facts.

Take out your notebooks.🤓Here we go.
1/ Here’s the full thread. It gets a little wonky, but you’re all up to it.

Highlights: Rules V and VII, provide that the Chief Justice (who presides over the trial) may make all orders and rulings that an ordinary judge would make.

(“May” means he doesn’t have to: He can defer the decision to the Senate.)

The hitch is that even if the Chief Justice does make a ruling, he can be overruled by a majority of Senators.

If John Bolton sticks by this, I envision the process looking like this:
3/ The House Managers call Bolton as a witness, and explain that he refused to testify during the investigation and is willing to testify now.

Roberts will order Bolton to testify because this is what a judge would do, and Roberts has never shown himself to be utterly unhinged.
4/ Moreover, Roberts has never indicated a desire to forever break the American judiciary, so he'll order Bolton to testify.

To stop it, a member of the Senate will have to object to Bolton’s testimony.

This will trigger a vote.
5/ One absolute given in the rules is that the doors must remain open. So the vote will be public.

Each Senator will have to vote on the record.

This is the part where the GOP Senators find themselves in a pinch.
6/ Imagine them doing this:

💠One by one, each refuses to hear evidence from a witness with first hand knowledge.
💠They declare the president exonerated.

I wouldn't put that past the GOP Senators—but if they do it, it will be in public, splashed across the headlines.
7/ On the other hand, they might not.

(Nobody has crystal ball, and the situation is changing constantly. If anyone tells you, "This will" or "this won't" happen, take it with a grain of salt.)

If you want a review of the evidence, it’s here:
8/ Time for a reality check about what we can expect.

I’m a fan of the 538 polling aggregate because it prevents us from focusing on outlier polls, and it shows pattern over time. (@NateSilver538 explains his methodology on the site)

@NateSilver538 9/ It looks to me like no matter what happens, 42% of Americans will support Trump.

This chart persuades me that even if Trump’s taxes proved that he was beholden to Putin, about 40% of Americans would be fine with that.
@NateSilver538 10/ When presidents win with landslide victories, they win with between 58% and 62% of the vote.

I think this was one of our biggest landslide elections (maybe the biggest, right?)

Even FDR, at the height of his popularity, got about 60%
@NateSilver538 11/ If I recall correctly, the Democrats won in 2018 with 8 percent lead. Even with all the voter suppression and cheating.

All you have to do is widen that by a point or two.

The GOP won't expand its base if they vote for a sham trial and then declare Trump exonerated.
@NateSilver538 12/ Thus, while these numbers may not be enough to remove Trump from office, they set the GOP up for a landslide loss in 2020.

Trust me: McConnell understands this.

That's why he wanted the trial over in December with a quick vote. The 2-week delay has already hurt the GOP.
@NateSilver538 13/ Personally I think it's better for this to happen in the Senate trial.

Remember, impeachment is analogous to the law enforcement investigation and grand jury proceedings.

It's not unusual for new evidence to be presented at a trial.
@NateSilver538 This can't be accurately measured.
Expect big changes in Georgia, where I think it's understood that Stacy Abrams would have won without the old voting machines that have now been replaced by court order.
@NateSilver538 The messaging in response to Bolton's testimony:

Maybe Bolton was scheming for center stage and a spotlight. Maybe he didn't want to be one of 17 people offering depositions.

Addressing my cynics: Expect him to tell the truth. Why would he risk jail?
@NateSilver538 Right on cue: Pelosi applies pressure.

Something is going on behind the scenes. I won't pretend to know what, but I can take a guess: Perhaps they're trying to line up the votes to overrule whatever McConnell is cooking up.

@NateSilver538 My threads are also blog posts. This one is here: terikanefield-blog.com/the-john-bolto…
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