This morning, impeachment manager Rep. Jason Crow of Aurora appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation, where he was questioned about
whining complaints from supposedly “swing” Republican Senators–incensed over fellow manager Rep. Adam Schiff reading a CBS News report stating that GOP Senators were warned their heads would (metaphorically we hope) wind up “on a pike” if they voted against the President. Vox covered this latest round of faux outrage yesterday:
After lawmakers left the trial, several continued to voice their concerns. “I thought he was doing fine with moral courage until he got to the head on a pike. That’s where he lost me,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “Nothing like going through three days of frustration and then cap it off with an insult,” said Sen. James Lankford. “He has basically offended every Republican senator in there tonight,” added Sen. John Barrasso.
Even though Rep. Schiff said that he hoped the allegation in the CBS story was not true, apparently the mere suggestion that the Trump administration would have made such a statement–which of course would not have been at all out of character–was enough to make Republican Senators howl with indignation. But as Crow picks up the story on Face The Nation today, do hurt feelings matter more than Senator’s constitutional obligations?
“This isn’t about how people are feeling about this issue,” Crow told “Face the Nation.” “Everybody sitting in that chamber has taken an oath to be an impartial juror.” [Pols emphasis]
Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who are considered critical votes in the debate over calling witnesses, have criticized impeachment managers Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler for portions of their presentations…
However, Crow said he didn’t believe the impeachment managers had “overplayed” their hand. While he “can’t read people’s minds,” he said he hoped Republicans would vote to call allow deliberations over witnesses.
“The president deserves a fair trial. The American people deserve a fair trial. And the senators who are going to have to make a really important decision here in the coming days need to have all the evidence and the full picture in front of them,” Crow said.
Over the last few days, House impeachment managers have rained historic fire on the Trump administration, making a compelling case that the President should be removed from office for manipulating foreign policy for domestic political benefit–and then obstructing Congress’ investigation into his actions. The GOP’s interim response has been that the presentation was “boring” old evidence they’ve already seen from the House proceedings–but after Sen. Cory Gardner and Senate Republicans voted repeatedly to block new evidence from being introduced that argument is ludicrous. There doesn’t even appear to be much desire to refute the facts of the case against Trump at this point, let alone justify the GOP’s contradictory position of complaining about “boring old evidence” while voting against considering new evidence.
The powerful indictment of Trump delivered by Schiff, Crow, and the rest of the impeachment managers last week isn’t going to be derailed by lame Republican complaints about a news report that few if anyone even find implausible. For Sen. Gardner, there’s just nothing to work with in this latest weak sauce of a defense, and that’s exactly what Rep. Crow drove home today on Face The Nation. If Gardner, who voted to exclude the new evidence Republicans disingenuously now complain isn’t being presented continues to stick to this untenably contradictory party line, he will pay dearly in November when Colorado voters render their own verdict.
At some level, we believe Gardner is aware of this. Gardner is seeing the same poll numbers that Democrats see. His actions in the coming week could tell an important story: whether Gardner still has the will to fight the most uphill U.S. Senate battle of 2020, or whether he is already resigned to the fate the polls forecast.