With just hours remaining before the U.S. House votes to impeach Donald Trump for a second time, one might ordinarily assume that the White House would be scrambling. Indeed, it's easy to imagine circumstances in which Trump tweeted away; the White House's counsel's office produced documents and talking points; and the West Wing became a hotbed of kinetic activity.
As the Associated Press reported, this is not at all what's unfolding at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The team around Trump has hollowed out, without any plan for combating the impeachment effort. Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to push Republican senators, while chief of staff Mark Meadows called some of his former colleagues on the Hill.
Reporter Jake Sherman, an MSNBC contributor, noted this morning that White House officials aren't really "working this impeachment vote," adding, "They seem to be pretending it's not happening."
Axios' Jonathan Swan heard from a senior official from Trump's 2020 campaign, who said, "Maybe there's no one in the [White House] willing to defend the president against impeachment to members."
Just as important is the fact there just aren't many left in the West Wing to launch a defense, willing or not: NBC News heard today from a White House source, who said the White House is now "basically a ghost town."
There are also, of course, no Trump tweets making the rounds, because Twitter determined that he posed a security risk.
Is it any wonder anti-impeachment Republicans seem to have no idea what to say in Trump's defense?