In a piece published in The New Yorker this Tuesday, columnist Susan B. Glasser wrote that sometimes, "it’s what happens outside the courtroom that throws a trial into turmoil—even in a Senate impeachment proceeding whose outcome we all think we know."
Glasser is of course referring to the leaked details from the unpublished manuscript of John Bolton's upcoming book, where he confirms that Trump "conditioned nearly four hundred million dollars in military aid to Ukraine on politically motivated investigations."
According to Glasser, the ensuing attack on Bolton from Trump's defenders was "swift and predictable," but may not have had its intended effect.
"It only takes four Republican votes to buck Party leaders and call for witnesses," Glasser writes. "By Monday morning, it was clear that a vote for witnesses had become much more likely, and that the fight was now over the terms. Trump’s ally Lindsey Graham laid it out starkly, threatening to call witnesses such as former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, whose work in Ukraine Trump wanted investigated, as a way of embarrassing the potential 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee."
But as Glasser points out, Graham's colleagues were even more revealing in their attempts to distract from Bolton's revelations.
"At any other moment in Washington in my lifetime, I would have predicted with absolute confidence that the Bolton revelation would force Republican senators to switch their position and support witnesses," she writes. 'And not just a few, but almost all of them. But this is now, and the unthinkable and inconceivable have become increasingly routine. Here it was, the proverbial smoking gun, right in the middle of the trial, crucial evidence that Trump, his advisers, his lawyers, and his enablers on Capitol Hill knew about and were trying to suppress."
Read her full piece over at The New Yorker.