- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, taking a time-out from her presidential campaign trail to take part in the Senate’s impeachment trial, sent a written query to House managers that, weirdly enough, awkwardly enough, seemingly accused Chief Justice John Roberts — the reader of the questions, the keeper of the impeachment trial key — of being an illegitimate leader.

Warren, what were you thinking?

Maybe Democrats have been so habitual about accusing President Donald Trump of stealing the election from Hillary Clinton — of being an illegitimate occupier of the White House — they’ve forgotten themselves and are of the mindset that justices, too, are illegitimate occupiers of the Supreme Court.

Or maybe Warren is just tired from all that campaigning. And lying.

Either way, as far as strategy goes, publicly slapping the face, figuratively speaking, of course, of the guy who’s overseeing the process to remove the guy you don’t want in the White House anymore doesn’t seem, well, smart.

This is what transpired.

Roberts, reading the question submitted from Warren, said: “The question from Sen. Warren is for the House managers. At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact 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?”

Well, that’s awkward.

Roberts had to actually read aloud, for the watching and listening American audience, for the congressional records of the impeachment trial — for the forever history of this whole U.S. moment in time — a thinly disguised challenge of his own credibility.

And it’s not like he didn’t notice.

He pursed his lips while nodding slightly, disapprovingly, in the seconds of silence that followed the reading. Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff rushed to do some damage control.

“Senator,” Schiff said, in response, “I would not say that it contributes to a loss of confidence in the chief justice. I think the chief justice has presided admirably.”

That’s code for: What the freak, senator?

Warren’s question, awkward, short-sighted and contrary to the Democrats’ cause of impeachment as it seemed — does nevertheless follow the party’s Get Trump playbook.

Both Schiff and Rep. Jerry Nadler kicked off the opening of the articles of impeachment into the Senate by basically telling senators that if they didn’t vote to remove the president, that meant they were partners in Trump’s corruption.

That meant they were criminals, like Trump. Again: Not smart strategy to call the jurors a bunch of corrupt accomplices to the crime. Amusing to watch, yes. Smart strategy? No.

Democrats, in the end, may not get their impeachment conviction.

But they can brag at least one win. When it comes to speaking without thinking, Democrats certainly have shown themselves the “winners.” They can certainly take home the blue ribbon on that.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.


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