So far it’s all shaking down pretty much as you would expect. The GOP ruled Senate is doing everything it can to keep the impeachment trial from being a real trial. Democrats sought the inclusion of testimony by Mick Mulvaney, by issuing a subpoena for him to appear, and while it was voted down Tuesday night, that is not the end all and be all. It could still happen. New York Times:
Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt on Tuesday to issue a subpoena summoning Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial. The 53-to-47 vote, which fell along party lines, was the latest effort by Democrats to force the inclusion of new evidence in the proceeding.
Mr. Mulvaney could still be summoned later under Republicans’ proposed rules, but only after opening arguments and a period in which senators can ask questions of the House managers and president’s lawyers is complete. House Democrats subpoenaed Mr. Mulvaney in the fall during their inquiry, but he defied the order. Any similar attempt by the Senate is likely to set off a legal battle with the White House.
Few witnesses have greater access to Mr. Trump than Mr. Mulvaney, who serves as a White House gatekeeper and helped enforce Mr. Trump’s order over the summer to freeze almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine as he pressed the country to investigate his political rivals. At one point, Mr. Mulvaney acknowledged on national TV that the two acts were connected, only to later recant his statement.
It is conceivable, probable even, that Mulvaney would defy a subpoena twice. It’s not going to look good if he does, but that is probably the direction he would go. So far brazening it out seems to be the Republican strategy for this trial.