As the Democrats pushed for amendments to the Senate impeachment rules well into the night, Chief Justice Roberts made sure that everyone remembered where they were.
It’s understandable if you didn’t catch all 13 hours and Sen. Chuck Schumer(D-NY)’s 11 amendments to Senate Rules in the impeachment hearing. (I found myself nodding off as Rep. Zoe Lofgren(D-CA), one of the House Managers, was urging for the adoption of an amendment that would allow for “new evidence.”)
There are some moments of note, (Lofgren’s isn’t one of them unless you’re suffering from insomnia,) that you should be aware of.
One happened late last night as Rep. Jerry Nadler(D-NY) was pushing for the adoption of Sen. Schumer’s eighth amendment to the rules — the other seven had been rejected — and, after claiming that President Trump’s legal team was filled with liars, he said that Republicans were “voting against an honest trial” and it was “obviously, a treacherous vote.” He said that the “Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people.”
Here’s what he said:
NADLER: The President is on trial in the Senate. But the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people. Will you vote to allow all of the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray your pledge to be an impartial juror? Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the President’s misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the President’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. An absolutely indefensible vote. Obviously, a treacherous vote. A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States. A real trial we know has witnesses. We urge you to do your duty, permit a fair trial. All the witnesses must be permitted. That’s elementary in American justice. Either you want the truth or you (pause) and you must permit the witnesses or you want a shameful cover-up. History will judge and so will the electorate.
Now, them’s some fightin’ words.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone wasn’t having any of it.
CIPOLLONE: We came here today to address the false case brought to you by the House managers. We’ve been respectful of the Senate. We’ve made our arguments to you and you don’t deserve and we don’t deserve what just happened. Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team. He made false allegations against all of you. He accused you of a cover-up. He’s been making false allegations against the President. The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you for the way you addressed this body. This is the United States Senate. You’re not in charge here.
Watch Cipollone blast Rep. Jerry Nadler:
Chief Justice Roberts, staying true to his squishy nature, didn’t condemn Rep. Nadler for his horrible behavior, but instead issued a reminder to “both sides.”
It’s like when one sibling pokes the other in the eye and the pokee yells “Stop it!” but the parent condemns them both as equally responsible for their clearly unequal actions.
Gee, why has the Supreme Court been tilting leftward, I wonder?
Anyway, here’s what Chief Justice Roberts had to say:
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House Managers and the President’s counsel in equal terms to remember they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse.
In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word ‘pettifogging’ and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.
So, sure. Maybe Chief Justice Roberts doesn’t want to appear partisan. I get it. (Sort of.)
The best thing about this, however, was the introduction of the word “pettifogging” into our modern vernacular.
I think pettifogging should be the word of the week. Well done Justice Roberts. Well done. pic.twitter.com/niEOJbSxNY
— Russian Asset Stacey (@ScotsFyre) January 22, 2020
Of course, President Trump had to weigh in on the dispute early this morning. It was Trumptatstic!
TRUMP: “Nadler, I’ve known him a long time, he’s a sleazebag, everyone knows that” pic.twitter.com/jVmB7gYBMr
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 22, 2020
President Trump was absolutely correct. Pat Cipollone was spectacular, and it wasn’t just Rep. Nadler that he had in his rhetorical crosshairs. Rep. Schiff and the entire House impeachment process was blasted into smithereens.
Preparedness — it’s the GOP way.
— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 22, 2020