UPDATE: Below is the post I had written this morning to publish now. I should just change it to "Spineless Surrender Clown Chuck Schumer Strikes Again." Washington's trans-artisan political establishment takes care of its own... and destroying Kevin McCarthy's career on millions of television screens across the country is just something the cowards and phonies in the Democratic Party just do not have the stomach for. Reportedly, McConnell told Schumer that if McCarthy were ousted as leader, the House Republican Conference would elect Gym Jordan leader... and how would you handle that?
In the end, just 7 Republicans manned up and did their duty-- Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE), Bill Cassidy (LA) and two who have already announced they are retiring next year: Pat Toomey (PA) and Richard Burr (NC). Cassidy, who is surely one who may wind up losing his political career over this said simply, "Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty."
The Senate trial cemented Jamie Raskin's reputation as Congress' most brilliant constitutional scholars. This morning, he could have gone even further towards superstardom-- by playing some music on the Senate floor. Imagine hipsters like Lindsey Graham and Miss McConnell dancing-- or swaying-- to the dulcet beats of Marvin Gaye, The Stones or SonReal... Lee Michaels?? Katy Perry?
Instead, he made an effective lawyerly case for deposing southwest Washington state Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and the Senate voted 55 to 45 to do just that. Mainstream conservatives Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Mitt Romney (R-UT)-- but not Pat Toomey (R-PA)-- voted yes and after the roll call, circus clown Lindsey Graham popped up and changed his vote to allow witnesses, certainly hoping to turn the proceedings into a monkey-house on acid.
Raskin would like to just call-- compel-- one witness: Herrera Beutler... but they could, in theory, subpoena a stunned Trump himself or Dan Scavino, who was with Trump in the room when he was encouraging the insurrectionists. Herrera Beutler will not be a hostile witness, the way Trump and Scavino would be. Last night CNN reported that in "an expletive-laced phone call" with McCarthy while Trump's mob was attacking the Capitol and trying to kill Pence, AOC and Pelosi, Trump said 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,' according to McCarthy. On the call he had "insisted that the rioters were Trump's supporters and begged Trump to call them off. Trump's comment set off what Republican lawmakers familiar with the call described as a shouting match between the two men. A furious McCarthy told the then-President the rioters were breaking into his office through the windows, and asked Trump, 'Who the fuck do you think you are talking to?' according to a Republican lawmaker familiar with the call," now identified as Herrera Beutler.
No doubt that's what moved Raskin this morning to ask the Senate to approve him calling witnesses, something neither Schumer nor McConnell wanted. But Raskin had them backed into a corner so tightly that not even scumbags like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema could vote NO. Psychotic Wisconsin fascist was seen on the floor of the Senate screeching in Romney's face that it was all his fault.
If I were Raskin, I would also call coup-plotting Trumpists Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Chuck Herbster (R-NE) as witnesses since they were in Trump's private DC residence gaming out the Jan 6 events the night before the sacking of the Capitol. Witnesses like Tuberville, Herbster and Herrera Beutler could help shed significant light on what Trump knew during the riot and how he responded. After the vote this morning, ABC News reported that sources close to Trump are "floored by what just happened. Stunned/Stupefied/Total panic over who steps up to help the team because the lawyers left were only sticking together because they thought it was over today. Now-- complete panic."
Before the vote today, Nick Fandos reported for the NY Times that Herrera Beutler confirmed last night that McCarthy told her that Trump had sided with the mob during a phone call as the Jan. 6 Capitol attack unfolded. Further testimony may not change any craven Republican senators' minds but at least it will shred the self-aggrandizing and serially dishonest McCarthy's reputation for all eternity. Herrera Beutler in a statement: "To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time."
Ms. Herrera Beutler said that Mr. McCarthy had relayed details of his phone call with Mr. Trump to her. She has been speaking publicly about it for weeks, including during a virtual town hall on Monday with constituents, and she recounted their conversation again in the statement on Friday.
A spokesman for Mr. McCarthy did not reply to a request for comment. Spokespeople for the House impeachment managers did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The Republican leader’s response to Mr. Trump in the weeks since the attack on the Capitol has fluctuated. On the day of the House’s impeachment vote, he said Mr. Trump bore some responsibility for the attack because he had not denounced the mob, but he has since backtracked and sought to repair his relationship with the former president.
Trump had insisted to McCarthy that it was Antifa rioting not his supporters, even as Trumpists were using Trump flags to smash in his office windows. Pro-fascist/fascist Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-GA) was, of course, attacking Herrera Beutler-- painting a target on her back-- via Twitter this morning.