Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already declared that an impeachment trial of Donald Trump — which the Constitution requires the Senate to hold — would be short and that he would allow no witnesses to testify. According to a Washington Post analysis published on Thursday, McConnell’s reason for preventing witness testimony is simply that “Trump is flagrantly guilty of all of the corruption for which he’s now been impeached.”
According to former Trump administration communications director Anthony Scaramucci, however, Trump may share the same concern. Speaking in an MSNBC interview Saturday morning, Scaramucci — who served in the administration for 11 days in July 2017 — said that if witnesses sought by Democrats such as former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney are compelled to testify, Trump will simply quit.
“There is no way he can handle the heat of that testimony,” Scaramucci told MSNBC host Joy Reid, as quoted by the news site Raw Story.
Earlier this year, Scaramucci did an about-face from his previous loyalty to Trump. The former hedge fund manager has made a series of TV appearances blasting Trump, and predicting his imminent downfall. Even before the Ukraine scandal that has now led to Trump’s impeachment broke in the national news, Scaramucci predicted that Trump would drop out of the 2020 presidential race.
Scaramucci’s appearance on the MSNBC AM Joy program Saturday may be viewed in the video below.
“If they have to testify under oath, he has to leave,” Scaramucci said on Saturday, referring to Bolton and Mulvaney, as well as to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, all of whom would potentially testify in an impeachment trial. “If that happens, scoundrel number one, he’ll leave before that testimony.”
Writing in the Washington Post, political analysts Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman stated that testimony from such witnesses would not only confirm Trump’s guilt of the allegations that he illegally withheld military aid from Ukraine in exchange for political favors, but would expose that “Trump’s conduct is without question even more corrupt than we currently know.”
That speculation may have received support from Saturday morning’s revelations in a Freedom of Information document release from the Center for Public Integrity. The previously secret — and still heavily redacted — internal Trump administration emails showed that Trump’s order to hold back almost $400 million in badly-needed, congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine came down just 91 minutes after Trump hung up the phone with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky.
In that phone call, Trump pressed Zelensky for a “favor,” asking the Ukraine president to investigate Trump’s potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden, as well as a debunked claim that Ukraine rather than Russia attacked the 2016 election.