A friend at the progressive table asked, “Do you think there’s a ghost of a chance there will be any witnesses in the Senate trial?”
My response surprised her. I responded that it depends on what Trump argues in defense.
If he and his legal team are smart, they will assiduously avoid nit-picking the facts. Instead, the question they will pose to the Senate and to the country will be: Why should Trump be impeached when almost all of the bad acts (or what we imagine to be the bad acts) of his predecessors didn’t result in impeachment?
The defense team, if it is sound in its thinking, will not defend Trump and it will not prosecute Hunter Biden. It will instead dwell ad nauseum on the alleged faults of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and you name it.
A defense along those lines would at least tacitly admit the Democrats’ central narrative. Maybe even explicitly admit it, or some of it.
If the facts are not in dispute, there is no need for witnesses, because everyone agrees on the relevant facts. So just vote to acquit or convict and remove from office.
If, on the other hand, the defense team tries to dispute the relevant facts, then the pressure on Republicans ratchets up even more.
Assuming a defense that purports to be based on the relevant facts of the case, I think there’s maybe a 60 to 70 percent chance that witnesses like John Bolton will testify.