RUSH: Yesterday — toward the end of the day, last night — around 6 p.m., somehow the news leaked that Mitch McConnell said that he does not have the votes, as of now, to prevent witnesses.
It was right there on the Drudge Report, and every Drive-By news outlet ran with it.
But in truth, nothing had changed. All that the Turtle had said was he didn’t “have the votes yet.” The potential or prospective Jeff Flakes all want to decide at the last minute to garner maximum attention. There’s four of these Republicans, and they know the attention is on them, and they know everybody is gonna be watching, everybody is gonna be paying extra careful attention. They’re gonna milk it for all they can. We put together a montage of the Drive-By Media breathlessly anticipating the possibility that McConnell has lost control of the Senate.
ERIN BURNETT: Breaking news! Senator Mitch McConnell telling Republicans he doesn’t have the votes to stop witnesses from testifying!
DAVID MUIR: He does not have the votes right now to block witnesses.
MARY BRUCE: He does not have the votes to block witnesses.
PETER ALEXANDER: There are not four Republican votes.
BRET BAIER: He does not have the votes to block the calling of witnesses!
MARTHA MACCALLUM: McConnell told his GOP colleagues that they do not have the votes.
ARI MELBER: Mitch McConnell saying he doesn’t have the votes.
ANDERSON COOPER: He doesn’t have the votes.
LOU DOBBS: …confirmed he does not have the votes.
CHRIS HAYES: He does not have the votes to block impeachment witnesses!
CAROL LEE: They don’t have the votes!
RUSH: They are so excited. “McConnell doesn’t have the votes, and that means that four Republicans are turning tail, turning turncoat on Trump, and it’s all because of the Bolton leak!” “Well, since Bolton said what he said, reputedly…” By the way, do you know where Bolton is? At this very moment, do you know where Bolton is? I need to double-check this. I got a note that Bolton is in Qatar — Qatar, for those of you who don’t know. Q-a-t-a-r. What’s Bolton doing in Qatar?
I mean, why isn’t he standing by nearby the Capitol, ready to respond to the demand, the requests that he show up and give a deposition? Well, I’m joking. I mean, that won’t happen for days, if it happens at all. But still, he’s in Qatar, which… I don’t know. I find it somewhat interesting. Folks, I know McConnell a little bit. I’m not saying I talk to him frequently, but I’ve studied him enough, and I think that he’s one of these consummate Senate guy. He’s a consummate, consummate Senate guy. He knows it backwards and forwards.
He loves it, and he is expert at keeping his herd together, and I don’t think that he does… I don’t think he’s lost this vote yet. I think saying this is designed to create exactly what’s happened: A bunch of Democrats jumping out early, a bunch of media people thinking, “The issue’s been won! It’s over. McConnell has lost control,” because they live in this alternative universe anyway. I don’t think that we’re anywhere near the day where this final assessment could be made.
Here’s David Axelrod last night also on CNN about the possibility of witnesses in the impeachment trial…
AXELROD: I think there’s gonna be an enormous amount of pressure on those who are — who have not committed to voting against witnesses in the next 72 hours, and it’s gonna become a loyalty test for them with the president.
RUSH: Okay. So Drudge puts it out there that McConnell’s lost the Senate. He’s lost the Republican caucus. The Republican caucus has told McConnell to go pound sand. The Republicans want witnesses because the Republicans hate Trump, and the Republicans can’t wait to vote to get witnesses in there so they can make Trump look bad — because this is what the media and the Democrats desperately hope will happen.
But after a night to ponder this, this morning on “CNN Special Coverage,” they call it, the coanchor Wolf Blitzer speaking with the coanchor Jake Tapper about this…
BLITZER: You know, it’s interesting, uh, you know, Jake, uh, that probably at least two, maybe three Republicans will go ahead and vote for witnesses, but they gotta get to four. And Lamar Alexander, you know, I — I suspect he’s gonna go along in the end with his old friend, Mitch McConnell.
TAPPER: There is a — a — a… Look, we know this… Tribalism, party affiliation, partisan politics are very strong in this city.
TAPPER: People vote against things that they feel because they need to stay loyal to the party.
TAPPER: So there is a — adegree of self-preservation —
TAPPER: — in this decision.
TAPPER: “Do I want Republicans at the country club, my friends —
TAPPER: — to think that I’m disloyal, to look at me the way that a lot of Republicans look at Jeff Flake?”
RUSH: “Do I want Republicans at the country club, my friends, to think that I’m disloyal, to look at me the way that a lot of Republicans look at Jeff Flake?” It’s not just the way that a lot of people look at Jeff Flake. It’s when you look at hum, you can’t find him! The guy lost his Senate seat. He wasn’t gonna win his primary to be reelected. The guy made this big deal, big moral stand anti-Trump. Where is it? You can look at Jeff Flake all day.
You can’t find him. Your best bet of finding Jeff Flake is to find Chris Coons and find out where the Democrats are hiding out. The idea that the Democrats aren’t members of clubs? Ha-ha-ha-ha. Bottom line: These two guys are very, very aware that this may be very premature — and at the end of the day, McConnell holds the cards for a whole bunch of legitimate political reasons. There’s one thing else that these guys are not considering.
You have seen the story, perhaps, that Dianne Feinstein is leaning toward acquittal. It was a story in the Los Angeles Times. They reported that because Dianne Feinstein said (paraphrased), “You know what? This is all happening so close to the election. I — I — I just… I think maybe the election’s the way to handle.” They glommed on that; said she may be voting for acquittal. So she had to issue a statement. “No, no, no, no, no! I have been misunderstood. I am not thinking about voting for acquittal,” but I betcha damn well she is.
But she’s not alone. With all of these so-called phantom Jeff Flake Republicans, how about the fact that there are three potential Democrats who will vote against witnesses, and who will join the vote to acquit? Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, and there’s one other. There are three Democrats that may not vote for witnesses. There’s a bunch of these senators in there that want this over.
They just discovered that there’s no evidence that’s been presented. There aren’t any facts. Grab sound bite number 4 yet again. I want you to hear it. This is Chuck You Schumer this morning. This is after last night’s slam dunk, which was, “McConnell’s lost the caucus! McConnell has lost the Republicans. He cannot guarantee the vote against witnesses will win.” So why did Schumer say this?
SCHUMER: I remain hopeful that four Republican senators will join us in supporting witnesses and documents in this trial. It’s an uphill fight, as I’ve always said. But the public is on our side, and truth, above all, is on our side.
RUSH: The public is not on your side. If you’re gauging it by Twitter… But, you know, why the continued caterwauling on searching and hoping and requesting for four Republican Jeff Flakes to step forward if it’s already happened?
RUSH: Joe Manchin… By the way, the other Democrat that might be voting to acquit and for no witnesses is Doug Jones of Alabama. They’re Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Manchin of West Virginia, and Doug Jones. Manchin’s out there saying, “You know what? I think it might be interesting to hear from Hunter Biden, not John Bolton. I think it’d be great to hear from Hunter Biden.” Ha! More on that, by the way.
That ABC story that I went back and revisited yesterday from May 2019 that I thought was the first step in the media and the Democrats deciding to take Biden out? The timing of that report has taken on additional significance. I’m gonna pass it on to you. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here. With Manchin signaling that Hunter Biden might be fascinating to talk to, not saying that John Bolton would be… (sigh) I mean, I don’t know these guys. I’m not in their heads, but that’s the kind of thing you float, if you’re a Democrat…
“Yeah, I want to talk to Hunter Biden. That’s who I really want to hear from.” Democrats do not want Hunter Biden called as a witness. They don’t want him calling the witness and claiming the fifth. They don’t want Plugs called. They don’t want to go there. They’ve tried to stonewall it already. They said, “There’s no reason to call the Bidens. The Bidens have got nothing to do with this.” The Bidens are everything to do with this! The Bidens are exactly why all this is happening. They should have been legitimately investigated because they were legitimately engaged in corruption.
Well, I say not “legitimate.” They were illegitimately engaged in it, but they were in it, and it needs to be uncovered and exposed. Now, Pierre Delecto, “[i]n a private lunch with fellow Senate Republicans Monday … reportedly ‘made a strong pitch’ for calling additional witnesses … according to Politico… “According to [Pierre Delecto], the claims in Bolton’s book has made it ‘increasingly likely’ that his fellow Republicans will call Bolton to testify.
“Despite his public optimism about winning the witness argument, as Politico notes, the three moderate senators’ appeals seem to be going ‘nowhere’…” So, again, these are more stories contradicting the thing that hit last night claiming that McConnell has lost control; McConnell can’t guarantee he’s got the votes to defeat witnesses. Yet everywhere you look… Here’s the next headline from TheHill.com:
“Republicans Signal Renewed Confidence They’ll Avoid Witness Fight — Senate Republicans emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting on Tuesday” that Pierre Delecto attended “voicing renewed confidence that they will bypass a nasty witness fight in the impeachment trial. ‘The consensus is that we’ve heard enough and it’s time to go to a final judgement,’ Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) told reporters.” So there’s a setup somewhere that is happening here.