As the second week of testimony in the House impeachment hearings ended, the plot thickens. Democrats now have a clear path to charges they can get passed and send to the Senate. They did not have that before these hearings; now they do.
A charge of bribery will be the main point, based on President Trump’s now confirmed effort to get Ukraine’s leader to dig up dirt on his political opponents. Other charges may include refusal to allow witnesses who were subpoenaed to appear and refusal to turn over subpoenaed documents, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
Many, if not most, Republican leaders now concede that, with the evidence and testimony of the last two weeks, House Democrats probably have enough to pass articles of impeachment and get a Senate trial. Not that they agree that Democrats should do that, just agreement that they do have enough to get it done.
For Mr. Trump to be found guilty in the Senate and removed from office, it would require all Democratic Senators and at least 20 Senate Republicans voting against him. The chances of that are slim to none. So the question is not whether the GOP will abandon Trump. We know the answer. The question is whether the country will abandon the GOP as a result of their blind allegiance.
There is a long dark and stark trail stretching out for the nation with consequences no one can fully foresee. But some of it will play out in the next month and the next year.