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Senate’s most principled civil libertarian and most reasonable moderate share Donald Trump’s entire boot for dinner

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Well, this is always where his career was going to end up:

Sen. Rand Paul is waging a fierce campaign to prevent the Senate from hearing witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, vowing to force tough votes on his fellow Republicans if they break with the president or back Democrats’ demands fornew evidence.

The Kentucky Republican is occasionally at odds with Trump, from his killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani to his national emergency to build his southern border wall. But when it comes to impeachment, Paul is taking the hardest line possible in Trump’s favor.

Paul says if four or more of his GOP colleagues join with Democrats to entertain new witness testimony, he will make the Senate vote on subpoenaing the president’s preferred witnesses, including Hunter Biden and the whistleblower who revealed the Ukraine scandal — polarizing picks who moderate Republicans aren’t eager to call. So he has a simple message for his party: end the trial before witnesses are called.

Rarely has the search for a Principled Republican leftier-than-thous could celebrate as a superior alternative to a liberal Democrat been more pathetic than the attempts to project something admirable about this standard-issue neoconfederate hack. As a recently deceased Canadian philosopher once observed:

Peart outgrew his Ayn Rand phase years ago, and now describes himself as a “bleeding-heart libertarian,” citing his trips to Africa as transformative. He claims to stand by the message of “The Trees,” but other than that, his bleeding-heart side seems dominant. Peart just became a U.S. citizen, and he is unlikely to vote for Rand Paul, or any Republican. Peart says that it’s “very obvious” that Paul “hates women and brown people” — and Rush sent a cease-and-desist order to get Paul to stop quoting “The Trees” in his speeches.

“For a person of my sensibility, you’re only left with the Democratic party,” says Peart, who also calls George W. Bush “an instrument of evil.” “If you’re a compassionate person at all. The whole health-care thing — denying mercy to suffering people? What? This is Christian?”

OK, but how about the alleged moderate who is up for re-election this year?

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said on Wednesday she doesn’t think newly released evidence, which happens to show Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump were deeply involved in the effort to force Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, should be allowed at the Senate impeachment trial.

“I wonder why the House did not put that into the record and it’s only now being revealed,” Collins said, referring to documents Democrats released on Tuesday from Lev Parnas, the indicted Giuliani aide who turned over his notes and text messages with Giuliani and other Ukrainian officials as part of the impeachment investigation.

Parnas only just released the documents to the House Intelligence Committee because federal authorities had seized them as part of its investigation into Parnas’ political activity. Parnas was ultimately indicted for breaking federal campaign finance law.

When reporters reminded Collins of that fact that Parnas just released documents to House investigators yesterday, she replied, “Well, doesn’t that suggest that the House did an incomplete job then?”

Collins’ remarks ignore the fact that it was unclear whether the documents would ever be released at all.

Federal authorities had seized the documents as part of the investigation that ultimately led to Parnas’ indictment on campaign finance charges. Parnas had to ask a judge whether he could then publicly release those same documents that prosecutors had seized.

A federal judge signed off on allowing him to release the documents only two weeks ago.

I’m beginning to think that this trial might not be entirely impartial!

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