Home News Murkowski Says She Found Nadler’s Warnings on Voting Against Witnesses “Very Offensive”

Murkowski Says She Found Nadler’s Warnings on Voting Against Witnesses “Very Offensive”

by Paul Goldberg

Jerry Nadler’s harsh condemnation of Republicans who may vote against witnesses may have hurt Democrats position with a potential ally in moderate swing Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Nadler had warned “any senator who votes to deny a witness, who votes to deny evidence, is voting to cover up the president’s crimes and subversion of the Constitution.”

It did not go well at all and many Republicans were turned off.

“I took it as very offensive. As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended,” Murkowski elaborated, as reported by Alaska Public Media’s Liz Ruskin.

Per RawStory U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, says she was “offended” by remarks Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler made on Tuesday as the Trump impeachment trial got underway.

Senator Murkowski, who values the perception that she is a “moderate” who will cross the aisle when she believes in an issue, did not say what specifically offended her, but she did vote with Republicans against every one of the Democrats’ 11 amendments that were designed to allow witnesses, documents, and a fair weighing of the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors against President Donald Trump.

NY Times congressional reporter Catie Edmondson said via Twitter, “Lisa Murkowski told reporters today she was ‘offended’ by Nadler’s remarks,” in response to this tweet by MSNBC’s Garrett Haake:

“I took it as very offensive. As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended,” Murkowski elaborated, as reported by Alaska Public Media’s Liz Ruskin.

Nadler, just after midnight, stood on the Senate floor as Democrats’ amendments failed along party lines vote after vote after vote, and said: “I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote.”

Reporting from RollCall indicates there may be some discord between Adam Schiff and Nadler.

From RollCall

The rhetorical and stylistic differences, and at times tension, between Schiff and Nadler have been on display since September. Speaker Nancy Pelosi picked Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, to lead the impeachment inquiry over Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary panel that has sole jurisdiction over drafting impeachment articles.

She later picked the former federal prosecutor to lead the impeachment team.

Now, Nadler’s misstep on the Senate floor in the wee hours Wednesday morning provided Republicans with a new line of attack, and allowed them to avoid questions about votes against witnesses and new evidence during the trial.

“I can tell you there was open gasping on the Senate floor when Nadler was saying those things,” Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley told the media. “If the goal was to persuade, they took a huge step back.”

The first sign of the chairmen’s different approaches to the impeachment trial emerged at the House team’s news conference Tuesday, just a few minutes before the trial started.

Schiff spoke for about four minutes about the rules for the impeachment and then asked for questions from the reporters surrounding them.

But Nadler stepped in in what appeared to be an unplanned moment.

“Let me add something here,” Nadler began as he adjusted the microphone. He went on to repeat talking points Schiff and other Democrats have made, saying that “any senator who votes to deny a witness, who votes to deny evidence, is voting to cover up the president’s crimes and subversion of the Constitution.”

Nadler spoke for about two minutes before Schiff, seeming to want to regain control of the time, gently placed his hand on Nadler’s back and said, “Let’s go to questions.” Schiff readjusted the microphone as he began his answer.

Once the trial started, and the day dragged on as Senate Democrats offered amendment after amendment to change Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules for the trial, Nadler did not have a primetime role.

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