'The jig is up': Conservative warns Trump officials that courts give them no choice but to testify
Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton (Photos: Screen capture)

On Tuesday, Never Trump conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin blasted senior Trump officials in the Washington Post, warning them that "the jig is up" and they have no legitimate excuse not to testify about the president in the Senate trial.

"On Monday, a federal judge dismissed a case brought by Charles Kupperman, a former deputy national security adviser, asserting an 'absolute immunity' to protect him from testifying," wrote Rubin. "That leaves a ruling by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson rejecting in scathing terms a similar claim of 'absolute immunity' in a case involving former White House counsel Donald McGahn as the final word, for now, on current and former executive branch employees’ testimony."

Now that the courts have made this decision, Rubin argued, officials like former National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney must testify in the Senate.

"Bolton can no longer rely on the Kupperman case, and the relevant precedent is now the McGahn case," wrote Rubin. "Coupled with the blockbuster New York Times story revealing the behind-the-scenes efforts of senior officials including Bolton to release aid to Ukraine that President Trump illegally withheld to gain leverage and force an announcement from Ukraine of an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden, removal of Bolton’s last excuse (i.e., awaiting a Kupperman ruling) now requires both houses of Congress to proceed to get to the bottom of this."

"The court ruling and the Times story confirm the wisdom of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to delay transferring the articles of impeachment to the Senate until such time as rules for a fair trial are in place," continued Rubin. "She can now determine whether the House can call key witnesses to supplement the record and/or push for assurance that Bolton, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, adviser Robert B. Blair and others appear in the Senate trial. Republicans interested in a fair trial have all the more reason to demand live witnesses, given the new facts that have come to light and the dismissal of the Kupperman case."

"In sum, it is time for the House to press forward, for the Senate to do its job and for key witnesses to behave honorably," concluded Rubin. "The judgment of history — not to mention the voters in 2020 — will be harsh if they fail to end Trump’s coverup."