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As Trump’s impeachment heads to the Senate, Democrats should push for witnesses (including Hunter Biden)

Originally published at NBCNews.com

Witnesses or no witnesses? That is the question dogging senators of both parties, as they gear up for a Senate trial on the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

On the one hand, you have Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., saying that a fair trial must include hearing from the president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton and possibly others.

On the other, you have Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who says that if Trump wants Hunter Biden called, or the whistleblower, the Senate should allow that.

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Opinion: Trump Is The Biggest Show On TV. Impeachment Will Be Bigger.

Originally published at BuzzFeed, and co-authored with Gur Tsabar.

 

In the days since the news broke that President Donald Trump made a request/demand that Ukrainian prosecutors investigate Joe Biden’s son, the president’s allies have blanketed cable news with allegations against the former vice president. A New York Times reporter reminded MSNBC viewers that “there’s a story here” about Joe Biden and his son, and Trump himself accused the Bidens of corruption on Monday.

To say Democrats are losing the ability to control this story would be an understatement. The allegations led to Biden to angrily jamming his finger in a reporter’s face when asked about his son over the weekend, in an attempt to place the focus back where it belonged.

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What An Impeachment Address By Pelosi Would Look Like

Earlier today, former GOP Representative David Jolly tweeted out an interesting idea:

Jolly gets it. In the era of news under Donald Trump, drama and intrigue draws media focus and attention. I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s good for our country.  But I’m also not so naïve as to think it will change any time soon, before Trump is gone. Democrats can whine about it, or can beat Republicans at this game.

As the story of Trump and the Ukraine slowly morphs into one about Biden and the Ukraine, thanks to right-wing news outlets continuing to amplify Trump’s allies, Speaker Pelosi would be wise to take Jolly’s advice, and use the new media rules in her favor, by taking strong, dramatic action that would drive a new narrative, and place the focus back where it belongs… on Trump’s corruption.

So, what would such a speech look like?  I imagine it would be something like this:

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Democrats, It’s Time To Talk About Impeachment

(Updates at end: 11:15am, 5/18/2017)

The “I” word.

It’s time to talk about it, Democrats.

As stories mount, and mount, that Donald Trump has not been faithful to the oath of office, one House Democrat (not named Maxine Waters), one House Republican, and one Senate independent have broached the subject.  Yet, most Democrats refuse to even talk about it. Nancy Pelosi won’t.  Bernie Sanders, a not-quite Democrat, says he’s “not there, at this point.”

Well, they better get there, and quick.

It is time for Democrats to call for an impeachment inquiry – hearings that investigate these matters, gather the facts, and determine if they warrant impeachment – all at the same time.

Why?

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