Voting to formalize a set of rules that, most importantly, makes it very likely that we will hear publicly from the likes of Bill Taylor, the US’s top diplomat in Ukraine
, and National Security Council official Alexander Vindman, among others, is also a clear bluff-calling by Democrats. Based on what they’ve heard in private, Democrats believe that the airing of testimony from Taylor and Vindman will put Republicans in a very tough place. Denying these witnesses said what they said behind closed doors will not be a viable option.
And so, Thursday’s vote serves as a recognition of the political realities — and stakes — at play in the impeachment investigation. Democrats are placing a big bet that making these hearings public will box Republicans in and, in so doing, keep the public on their side when it comes to the correctness of the course they have chosen to follow.
Like all big bets — I see you Mattress Mack!
— there’s a huge downside if they’re wrong. But the second Pelosi allowed an impeachment inquiry to begin, the gamble was made. This is just a doubling down on that original wager.