Pelosi says it was ‘sad’ to see McConnell ‘humiliate’ Chief Justice Roberts while presiding over witness vote
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it was “sad” to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “humiliate” Chief Justice John Roberts in President Trump’s impeachment trial by voting against any additional witness testimony.
“It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” Pelosi tweeted Saturday.
It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 1, 2020
Senate Republicans on Friday voted 51-49 against a resolution that would have allowed witnesses to testify and additional documents to be introduced in the trial.
Several Senate Republicans were on the fence about whether to vote for or against allowing witnesses, but in the end, only Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) broke ranks and voted with the Democratic minority.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) were the other main lawmakers on the bubble, but both decided to vote no on the resolution.
Pelosi is also not the first Democrat to bring up Republicans’ call for no witnesses and how it could affect members of the judiciary.
During the open question period on Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is also running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, asked if the lack of witnesses in the impeachment trial was undermining the legitimacy of Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, and the entire justice system.
It is unclear if the question was meant as a dig at Roberts or at Senate Republicans.
“At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court and the Constitution?” Warren’s question read.
Lead impeachment manager and California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, at whom the question was directed, answered that he did not think that lack of witnesses contributed to a loss of confidence in the justice.
After blocking the Democrats’ witnesses resolution, Senate Republicans adopted a resolution to reconvene on Monday, with House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers able to deliver closing arguments and a final vote on the articles expected on Wednesday.