Jonathan Chait writes,
A wide swath of evidence has established that the Trump administration attempted to trade diplomatic favors with Ukraine for investigations. Several aides testified, or communicated to each other at the time, that they understood this to be the policy. Trump demanded the investigations in public, implicitly dangled them in his phone call with Ukraine’s president, and his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney publicly confirmed the quid pro quo in a press conference. But every one of these pieces of testimony, in one form or another, fell short of the standard of (1) being sworn testimony (2) by a person who spoke directly to Trump AND (3) heard him explicitly condition the meeting and aid for the investigations. It was like a jigsaw puzzle with a single piece missing, the picture completely apparent. …
Well, so much for that.
Last night’s revelation that John Bolton’s forthcoming book reports the exact piece of evidence that Trump’s legal team insisted did not exist, that Trump specifically told Bolton that he was holding up the military aid in return for investigating the Bidens. Trump’s lawyers not only claimed this evidence did not yet exist, but called it one of the facts that “have not, and will not, change.”
The bind that Republican senators are in is readily apparent. (But if you need any help, check out the rest of today’s Chait piece.)
I have no idea what these fuckwits will wind up doing. But I know exactly and precisely what their least bad course of action is: adopt the Arius Aardvark Defense.
If I were, say, Cory Gardner, that would be my story and I would be stickin’ to it