By the time the House voted to impeach Donald Trump in mid-December, a grim anti-climactic feel had settled upon the proceedings. Senate Republicans, unimpressed by hundreds of pages of testimony and documents establishing the president’s scheme to extort Ukraine to smear his domestic opponents, would dispatch the articles of impeachment quickly and — as these things go — quietly. This was their strategy all along: Strip away the drama and turn impeachment into yet another partisan squabble, rather than a historic judgment on Trump’s unfitness for office. Their plan is to smother it with sheer boredom.
They may still succeed. But a series of revelations in the intervening month has opened up surprising new avenues of inquiry, forcing Republicans either to allow new evidence at the Senate trial or to openly cooperate in a cover-up.