Despite a warning from the Senate sergeant-at-arms for senators to remain silent as the Democratic impeachment managers laid out their case against the president, a so-called quote read by lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) elicited several responses from Republican senators Friday evening.
Rep. Schiff was referencing a CBS news report claiming a Trump ally had warned GOP senators, "vote against the president and your head will be on a pike." But many senators responded to Rep. Schiff, saying aloud, "That's not true."
Witnessed this in real time. A number of Republican senators looked visibly angry and whispered to each other right after Rep Schiff cited a CBS report that Republicans’ heads would be on a “pike” if they voted to remove President Trump. https://t.co/5mE9KgIYaG— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 25, 2020
“That’s not true,” Susan Collins said several times on the floor, shaking her head when Schiff cited a news report saying WH warned senators that a vote against Trump means “your head will be on a pike.” Risch also said aloud: “That’s not true.” Cotton laughed when Schiff said it— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 25, 2020
The lead impeachment manager seems to have alienated some of the very senators the Democrats were hoping to peel away from the Republican majority on important votes like calling forward new witnesses and subpoenaing documents.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) responded, "I have not been told that my head is on a pike," Murkowski continued, "I thought he did fine until he overreached."
@shearm with the full Murkowski quote: “I have not been told that my head is on a pike,” she said. “I thought he did fine until he overreached.”— Emily Cochrane (@ESCochrane) January 25, 2020
Republicans are VERY angry about Schiff’s decision to reference that CBS “head on a pike” report. Murkowski says “that’s where he lost me.” Barrasso says “whatever gains he may have made, he lost all of it — plus some — tonight.”— Emily Cochrane (@ESCochrane) January 25, 2020
Of course Adam Schiff would overplay his hand. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for the Democrats to let the Schiff show continue on in the Senate. Leaving aside the graphic imagery that heads on pikes conjures up, Schiff's comments certainly seem to have alienated key GOP senators. But maybe the Republicans knew just how much rope the Democrats needed to hang themselves.
GOP senators are heard yelling “that’s not true” when House manager Adam Schiff cites a CBS report claiming Pres. Trump told them their heads “will be on a pike” if they voted against him. pic.twitter.com/wrXI4KhGPR— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) January 25, 2020