Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said months ago that if the House goes ahead and impeaches President Donald Trump, the Senate “has no choice” but to conduct a trial to determine whether the president is removed from office.
The Kentucky Republican told NPR that “if the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into a trial.” McConnell made the comments long before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would begin an impeachment inquiry into the president.
That sounds to me rather like a warning. Mollie Hemingway comments:
"Please, we beg of you, please don't throw us into that Briar Patch," the Republican leader added with a strange smirk.
ADDENDUM: Yesterday I published a Twitter thread by Fred Fleitz taking down the whole "whistleblower" narrative: "A Grevious Violation Of Trust". Today Fleitz has worked the basic ideas in that Twitter thread into an article in the New York Post that emailer Jim brought to my attention: Former CIA official on whistleblower: ‘How could this be an intelligence matter?’ Although it's largely an expansion of the basic ideas in the Twitter thread it's worth excerpting it in its new form, especially since Fleitz would be particularly knowledgeable about such matters:
the declassified whistleblowing complaint ... appears to be written by a law professor and includes legal references and detailed footnotes. It also has an unusual legalistic reference on how this complaint should be classified.
From my experience, such an extremely polished whistleblowing complaint is unheard of. This document looks as if this leaker had outside help, possibly from congressional members or staff.
Moreover, it looks like more than a coincidence that this complaint surfaced and was directed to the House Intelligence Committee just after Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), an outspoken opponent of President Trump, expressed numerous complaints in August 2019 accusing President Trump of abusing aid to Ukraine to hurt Joe Biden. This includes an August 28 tweet that closely resembled the whistleblowing complaint.
House Republicans need to ask the whistleblower under oath whether he spoke to the press or Congress about his complaint.
Also very concerning to me is how the complaint indicates intelligence officers and possibly other federal employees are violating the rules governing presidential phone calls with foreign leaders.
The content and transcripts of these calls are highly restricted. The whistleblower makes clear in his complaint that he did not listen to a call in question, nor did he read the transcript — he was told about the call by others. If true, intelligence officers have grossly violated the rules as well as the trust placed on them to protect this sensitive information.
I refuse to believe that the leaking, timing and presentation of this complaint is coincidence. I don’t think the American people will buy this either.
I’m more worried, however, that this latest instance of blatant politicization of intelligence by Trump haters will do long term damage to the relationship between the intelligence community and US presidents for many years to come.