Around 4:00 p.m on Wednesday, Senate Republicans will vote in lockstep to fully acquit Donald Trump in the sham impeachment trial they held without bothering to hear from witnesses or subpoena relevant documents.
Once the trial is complete, Trump will undoubtedly be the most powerful president in U.S. history, able to pursue efforts to punish his perceived enemies and conspire with any foreign government in a craven attempt to win a second term in office.
But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has her own post-impeachment strategy, and there’s an excellent chance that her plans will wind up uncovering some incredibly damaging information that could prove politically fatal to Trump’s reelection.
For example, while the White House is waiting for the formal vote in the Senate tomorrow, FBI Director Christopher Wray will be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, and you can bet he’ll be asked about the Ukraine scandal and possible foreign interference in the 2020 election.
And then we have other moves to expect from Pelosi and House Democrats, which are spelled out in an excellent article by Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, who predicts what we’ll likely see in the months ahead.
First and foremost, former National Security Adviser John Bolton will testify, either willingly or in response to a subpoena, Sargent notes:
“Learning more (from Bolton) — which Senate Republicans refused to do — will further illuminate the scope, reach and inner workings of (the Ukraine) scheme. Bolton can almost certainly detail other episodes implicated with it.”
Also, Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani’s close associate and henchman, will also be called before one or more House committees:
“’Parnas can speak to the shady characters Rudy is talking to,’ Sam Berger, an expert on democracy reform at the Center for American Progress, told me. ‘Congress needs to figure out everything it can about Trump’s ongoing efforts to cheat in the upcoming election.'”
And then there’s dealing with Trump’s personal protector at the Department of Justice, Attorney General Bill Barr, who may well be running interference for the president when it comes to ongoing investigations into Giuliani being conducted by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and also trying to get payback against those who have investigated the president:
“Given Barr’s role in helping Trump whitewash Russia’s attack on our democracy, one cannot rule out at least the possibility of Barr somehow using the Justice Department against one or more Trump foes in some form, perhaps to lend validity to Trump’s narratives.”
If Trump thinks he’s in the clear now that impeachment is almost over with, he’s about to find out that Democrats still have several cards left to play. And Speaker Pelosi may well hold the Ace of Spades.