Republicans take aim at Nadler for saying GOP senators complicit in 'cover-up'

Republicans are slamming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse passes bill to expedite financial disclosures from judges Unrequited rage: The demand for mob justice in the Rittenhouse trial Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs MORE (D-N.Y.) over his remarks accusing GOP senators of participating in "a cover-up" by voting against an amendment to the rules for President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE's impeachment trial that would have allowed for new witnesses to be called.

The criticisms come in the wake of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts admonishing the House impeachment managers and President Trump’s defense team after a fiery exchange between Nadler and White House counsel Pat Cipollone around 1 a.m. 

GOP lawmakers argued the comments were offensive and served to "alienate" the senators serving as a jury.

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“If the goal was to persuade, they took a huge step backward last night,” Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyTo counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors Facebook unblocks Rittenhouse searches GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions MORE (R-Mo.) told reporters Wednesday. 

“Particularly toward the end there, Nadler was especially partisan, and I think that is not helpful to their cause, frankly,” Senate Majority Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight MORE (R-S.D.) told reporters. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (Alaska) — a moderate Republican that could play a critical role in Democrats’ quest to sway members across the aisle to join their push to bring in additional witnesses and information — said she took offense to the comments.  

“As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended," she said.

Nadler had been arguing in favor of having former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWhen will Biden declare America's 'One China, One Taiwan' policy? India's S-400 missile system problem Overnight Defense & National Security — GOP unhappy with Afghan vetting MORE testify and said Trump and his allies were "afraid" to allow it because "they know he knows too much."

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Cipollone responded that Nadler was making "false allegations" and added, "The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you."

“Listen, we get admonished in the House on a regular basis and so what you saw was a little bit of House rhetoric by Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse passes bill to expedite financial disclosures from judges Unrequited rage: The demand for mob justice in the Rittenhouse trial Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs MORE come forth into the Senate, and the chief justice was right to admonish Jerry Nadler. I also think that Pat Cipollone was very right to call him out on that," Meadows told reporters. “And yet the chief justice saying we need to be civil in our discord, there’s nothing I agree with more. I believe that you have a difference of opinion and you do it in a polite and respectful way. Jerry Nadler was out of control and certainly out of line in his comments the other night.”

Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinRudy Giuliani becomes grandfather after son welcomes child Rep. Suozzi to run for New York governor House GOP seek to block Biden from reopening Palestinian mission in Jerusalem MORE (R-N.Y.), who serves on the president’s impeachment defense team, said he doesn’t think any more heated moments would work in Democrats’ advantage. 

“It wouldn't be smart for them to plan to do that on the spot, it would be more of a mistake when emotionally choosing to go off the cuff in a way that they'll regret later,” he told The Hill.

The New York Republican added that it’s possible more tensions flare when questioning begins after opening statements. 

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“I think that as you go further along past opening statements and you're going to be answering questions from senators, there might be room there for their members to step away from what might be on their paper, you might see that, especially if and when coming out of the White House counsel's opening statement, the presidents team's opening statements you're hearing good effective points get made,” he said. “They might want to try to clear something up in a way that actually makes it worse.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), one of Trump’s most vocal allies in the House, argued it was “unbecoming” to go after the president’s legal team and GOP senators in the way Nadler did. 

“Jerry Nadler may have managed to outdo Lead Impeachment Manager Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth Jan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back MORE last night with his outlandish and irresponsible allegations and accusations against President @realDonaldTrump and Republican Senators. His words were reprehensible and unbecoming,” Biggs tweeted.

While Nader’s remarks may have sparked pushback from the GOP, his Democratic colleagues have largely defended his comments, arguing the late hours and circumstances of the trial sparked a moment of outrage. 

“When you schedule a trial as Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellUS could default within weeks absent action on debt limit: analysis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal MORE did, that’s designed to be hidden in the dead of night, where you require litigants who are going at it for the entire day to go into the wee hours, you’re going to have tempers flare,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters. 

“That happens in every courtroom in America, as well. But we are going to try to keep focused on the facts," Schiff said. "The president's team would like nothing more than to provoke a bitter conflict. We're not going to let them."