Saturday, January 25, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He tweeted out impeachment poll numbers that don't mean what he thinks they do.

Today, Trump retweeted a story about an impeachment poll. Unusually for Trump, the poll in question is a real one (Harris/The Hill). But it's unlikely Trump read the story—or understood it if he did—because it is not good news for him.

The poll, released earlier this week, showed that 60% of Americans did not believe that Trump's trial in the Senate would result in "new and important information" coming out. 

Those 60% may very well be correct: Trump has repeatedly refused to allow potentially incriminating testimony or evidence to be released to Congress or revealed publicly, which is why one of the impeachment articles against him is for obstruction of Congress. 

But an overwhelming majority of Americans want new information to be revealed, in the form of subpoenas for witnesses and documents. 66% of Americans want to hear from witnesses, according to the most recent poll on the question.

In other words, whether he realizes it or not, Trump is gloating that he's convinced a majority of Americans that he'll get away with keeping "new and important" evidence and testimony secret. This echoes comments he made earlier in the week, predicting his acquittal because of what his defense team had managed to keep hidden: "We have all the material. They don’t have the material."

Why is this a bad thing?

  • People who are innocent do not conceal evidence or block witnesses who can exonerate them.