Scaramucci: It takes only 4 Republican senators

He predicts Trump will resign if McConnell can’t block Democrats’ witnesses

Anthony Scaramucci, a former White House communications director who worked for Trump and knows him well, predicted on MSNBC Saturday that “Trump will resign” before a Senate trial if GOP majority leader Mitch McConnell can’t block the Democrats’ requested witnesses from testifying. You can view the video of the interview here.

Trump, he said, would quit to keep those witnesses from testifying in a Senate trial.

The Constitution requires two-thirds (67 senators) to remove the president, but under the Senate rules that will govern a trial, a simple majority  decides procedural matters, such as whether to call witnesses.

Thus, assuming all Democrats and Independents vote for removal, at least 20 Republican votes are needed to remove the president, and potentially 21, because Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is thought to be a likely “no” vote. (West Virginia is pro-Trump.) But Manchin would be more likely to side with his Democratic colleagues in procedural votes.

McConnell, who is openly coordinating with the White House, prefers a summary dismissal of the charges against Trump, and opposes calling any witnesses. But Trump’s control over Senate Republicans is weaker than his grip on the House GOP caucus, and several Republican Senators facing re-election in swing states are thought to be more open than McConnell to conducting a real trial.

This number could grow by 4 or 5 more if Thursday’s Christianity Today editorial calling for Trump’s removal opens cracks in his evangelical base. That’s not enough votes to remove him, but it’s enough to swing procedural votes in Democrats’ favor, especially if they’re joined by those few GOP senators who might resist pressure from McConnell for a peremptory disposition of the articles of impeachment.

Scaramucci didn’t clarify why he thinks Trump would resign rather than face a Senate trial — i.e., to save face, or because those witnesses’ testimony would be damning. One of them, John Bolton, referred to the Ukraine scheme for which Trump was impeached as a “drug deal.”

As the facts of that scheme are pretty well established now, and there are few if any blank spaces in the picture that has emerged from the House investigations, it’s hard to see what those witnesses could add that would prompt a resignation; their value as witnesses is they can provide direct instead of hearsay evidence, but otherwise they probably would just confirm the hearsay testimony of the House witnesses.

Scaramucci has previously predicted Trump will be removed from office, based on his belief that public support in polls for removal would grow as facts became known, but that hasn’t happened. Support for removal has remained steady at about 48% throughout the impeachment hearings and to the present time.

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  1. Mark Adams #

    This is wishful thinking on the part of Democrats. The Senate is not going to call new witnesses that the house wanted to call but did not. The Senate could call witnesses that did testify, but that is unlikely. The reason why the Senate will not call them is Separation of Powers (including the separation between the House and Senate) and the Senate has traditionally been more respectful of executive privilege. As a practical matter the Senate is not going to cure any deficits in the Houses case against the President, and is not going to resort to the courts to bring those close to the President under Subpoena. The Senate may or may not allow the President to call witnesses preferring to dispense with the matter quickly. Those Senate seats become uncomfortable after many hours 6 days a week. The Senate judiciary could well call the whistleblower and Biden’s to a hearing during or after impeachment.
    At the end of this Trump will get a big W in the win category. If Pete Carol could play an opponent like the Democratic house he would schedule every game in the 20202 season against.

  2. Mark Adams #

    And McCconnell can bring out the same threat Nancy Pelosi used. IE a primary challenge should you not vote with the rest of us. If the Senator in Maine would switch parties that would upset Democratic schemes and plans. Would she get the big bucks or would a Republican candidate?

  3. Roger Rabbit #

    No, it’s wishful thinking on Scaramucci’s part. I can’t see Trump resigning to keep Bolton et al. quiet, unless they have something on him that would send him to prison. I do think the odds are about 50-50 there will be a Senate trial with witnesses. And I think there’s a 100% chance there will be partisan fights over who the witnesses are.

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