Liberal Hacks: CNN Hails Schiff as ‘Effective Orator’ Making ‘A Pretty Compelling Story’

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Having all received their marching orders from Dear Leader Jeffrey Zucker, CNN’s panel of so-called analysts and journalists sang the praises of pal and lead House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) late Tuesday afternoon as an “effective orator” who produced “a pretty compelling story” with “facts” that, in their minds, put the White House to shame.

Senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson boasted at 4:53 p.m. Eastern that “[o]ne of the things that is notable here is that the trial experience of not only [Congresswoman Zoe] Lofgren, but also Schiff very much on display here” with the pair being “able to tell, I think, a pretty compelling story” even though it was “the same story we heard in the House.”

 

 

Chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin hilariously had the gall to falsely assert that “I don’t want to sound like a partisan” before reminding us that he’s indeed just that (click “expand”):

I don't want to sound like a partisan, but the Democrats have been so much better, it’s not even a close comparison as far as — as far as I can tell. You know, Adam Schiff knows the facts. You know, that — that is something that you can't — you can’t fake. I mean, you know, a lot of what he is doing is off the cuff, is responding to the arguments. Most of the lawyers have been just reading, reading presentations. Jay Sekulow for the — for the President knows the facts well, and is, I think a very effective lawyer. Pat Cipollone, less so. Mr. Philbin? Not ready for primetime or the afternoon as the case may be. 

But, you know, I think that Adam Schiff, you know, is just in charge of, and you know, acting like a lead prosecutor. And I think that Congresswoman Lofgren, while not as theatrical of a performer, you know, she had a very good argument to make, and she made it very effectively, because what she did was that she went through the evidence and said, there would be evidence, there would be e-mails associated with these meetings. There would be documents that are relevant here, and she showed exactly where. It looks like we’re not going to see them, at least at this stage in the trial.

Earlier in the break, Toobin griped that, despite the railroad nature of the House impeachment proceedings, the impeachment managers have never “been allowed to try their case” as it doesn’t appear that the will get what they want (if anything) regarding the trial’s rules.

Serving as co-host for these partisans, co-host Jake Tapper then told liberal constitutional law professor Michael Gerhart “to fact-check” an argument from the White House lawyers, claiming that the President’s legal team had every chance to “participate in the process” of their client’s impeachment.

Moments later, Tapper wondered to former Obama official and CNN national security/legal analyst (but I repeat myself) Carrie Cordero whether “Schiff is the right person” to convince persuadable senators.

Cordero replied in much the same way Toobin did, which was offer unvarnished fluff for Schiff, insisting that “he is” the best person to make the case to remove the President and cast aside voters that decided the 2016 election “because he does know the facts, and because he is an effective orator, and he is effective at making this presentation, and he really does come across that he truly believes in” and thus has been “an effective advocate.”

Cordero also praised Lofgren for having been “very effective in terms of her preparation” and “communicat[ing] in an accessible way the history and some of the historical precedents that are in play here.”

She then argued that the White House lawyers are committed to engaging in lies and, if this were a real courtroom, would face consequences (click “expand”):

CORDERO: [T]here is a difference of being a really strong advocate and effective advocate as a lawyer, and lying or misstating the truth and if this were an actual trial with a judge who was actually going to be more active, a lawyer who knowingly appeared before that proceeding and misstated the facts in a way that is so obvious for anyone who’s aware of the facts —

TAPPER: You’re talking about the president's lawyers? 

CORDERO: I’m talking about the President’s lawyers.....Cipollone and Philbin, who misstated quite obviously the presence of Republican members in the closed hearings in the House. That is just not okay, as a lawyer, to misstate the facts in that way, when they know, I think what they are doing, and it’s just something that goes beyond the step of forceful advocacy of a lawyer.

To see the relevant transcript from January 21, click “expand.”

CNN Senate Impeachment Trial
January 21, 2020
4:53 p.m. Eastern

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: One of the things that is notable here is that the trial experience of not only Lofgren, but also Schiff very much on display here, right. You saw them with testimony from the House trial, raising what Fiona Hill said, and raising what Vindman said and essentially saying, listen, don't you want to fill in the dots, not only the folks who were there that they’re talking to, those 100 senators, but also the American public, and it’s interesting the way they were able to tell, I think, a pretty compelling story, the same story we heard in the House, in comparison to what the — the Republicans are doing. Philbin, for instance, not the most charismatic, television-friendly presenter, and he’s talking about process mainly. So they are using their opportunity every time they get up there even though it is about the process and these amendments that are not going to pass, they’re using time quite effectively. I think they very well know that Americans have a short attention span. They may not be through, you know, be through the trial, through the whole thing. They’ve got one bite at the apple, at least right now, and maybe the viewership is really high now, so I think they’re using their time very wisely. 

JEFFREY TOOBIN: You know, I thought that one of Adam Schiff's most effective moments was, you know, in responding to the accusation which we have heard many times is that the — the President's lawyers keep saying that the president’s lawy — the house managers, they’re not ready and he says we’re ready. We call John Bolton. Okay. Let's see John Bolton. They can't call John Bolton unless the Senate agrees to call John Bolton. So the idea that, you know, that the House managers are like kids who came to the teacher without their homework is just not true. What's true is that they’ve not been allowed to try their case and you know, that is — and when you are coming to the documents, these two motions for documents, you know, if you were trying a real case —

HENDERSON: Right. 

TOOBIN: — the first thing that you would do would be to get the documents. 

GLORIA BORGER: Connect the dots. 

CARRIE CORDERO: And the question is when is the right time? I mean, this is the game that the Republicans have been playing in. Well, the right time was not in the House, the — you know, the Democrats should go to the courts and fight it through the courts, and now they’re in a Senate trial. Well, the right time is not now that we are on trial, and we should wait until later in the trial, and the question is if there ever going to be evidence that they’re going to admit and one of the most significant changes made earlier in the day before they got to the voting is not so much the time extension, but the time extension is a humanitarian thing and it’s nice, but the more significant change was the automatic admittance of the evidence from the House. That really does change what the Senate will actually be looking at. But in terms of these two amendments from Senator Schumer, there actually is a stronger argument for the senators to really take the second one, the State Department document amendment and think about it in a different way than the White House one. Because the White House one, you can think of all of the different privileges that would apply there. But the State —

TAPPER: Executive privilege or whatever, yeah.

CORDERO: — executive privileges, attorney/client privileges that what they’re talking about — the communications with the NSC lawyer, but the State Department documents go to heart of what was going on within that branch, and I would think that senators should be thinking about each of those amendments separately and individually. 

TAPPER: And Michael Gerhart, I just want to bring you in for one thing, because you were taking issue with the fact that the Trump lawyers, the defense team keeps arguing that the President Trump has not been allowed to participate in the House process. You want to fact-check that for us? 

MICHAEL GERHART: Sure. He’s — he’s been invited more than once to participate in the process. His lawyers have been invited more than once to participate in the process on the House side and they declined. And so what we are seeing from the President's lawyers here, they’re asserting the same talking points, and the audience of course is not just the base, but to those Republican senators, and they’re reminding them all of the talking points even if they are not true. On the other side, we’ve got the House managers arguing to the of course American people and to the senators, but they are trying to work with the evidence. They’re trying to remind everybody of the evidence that they had pulled together on the house side, so it is actually going to undercut any argument made by the other lawyers. 

(....)

5:02 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: I just want your thoughts, Jeffrey, on the presentations that we are hearing from the House managers, the Democrats versus the presentations that we’re hearing from the President's counsels. 

TOOBIN: You know, I don't want to sound like a partisan, but the Democrats have been so much better, it’s not even a close comparison as far as — as far as I can tell. You know, Adam Schiff knows the facts. You know, that — that is something that you can't — you can’t fake. I mean, you know, a lot of what he is doing is off the cuff, is responding to the arguments. Most of the lawyers have been just reading, reading presentations. Jay Sekulow for the — for the President knows the facts well, and is, I think a very effective lawyer. Pat Cipollone, less so. Mr. Philbin? Not ready for primetime or the afternoon as the case may be, but, you know, I think that Adam Schiff, you know, is just in charge of, and you know, acting like a lead prosecutor. And I think that Congresswoman Lofgren, while not as theatrical of a performer, you know, she had a very good argument to make, and she made it very effectively, because what she did was that she went through the evidence and said, there would be evidence, there would be e-mails associated with these meetings. There would be documents that are relevant here, and she showed exactly where. It looks like we’re not going to see them, at least at this stage in the trial.

(....)

5:04 p.m. Eastern

TAPPER: Do you think that, given the fact that, really, the audience we’re talking about here is one or two Democrats who are iffy like Manchin and Sinema out of Arizona, and maybe four or five Republican, do you think Adam Schiff is the right person, regardless, of his command of the facts. I’m talking about the politics of it to go after and win over these six, six senators in the middle? 

CORDERO: I think that because he is, actually, because he does know the facts, and because he is an effective orator, and he is effective at making this presentation, and he really does come across that he truly believes in what he’s saying, I think that makes him an effective advocate. I think that Congresswoman Lofgren was also very effective in terms of her preparation. She clearly prepared and understood and was able to communicate in an accessible way the history and some of the historical precedents that are in play here today. So I think that he is effective. The only thing that I — I worry about Congressman Schiff is that in the long term, it — serving in this role hurts his leadership of the Intelligence committee. It will be hard for him to go back to work on intelligence matters and that committee will struggle with how to move beyond the partisanship of the impeachment hearing, but I think he is effective. I do want to come back though for a second that Gloria made earlier, and because there is a difference, and as a matter of lawyering, there is a difference of being a really strong advocate and effective advocate as a lawyer, and lying or misstating the truth and if this were an actual trial with a judge who was actually going to be more active, a lawyer who knowingly appeared before that proceeding and misstated the facts in a way that is so obvious for anyone who’s aware of the facts —

TAPPER: You’re talking about the president's lawyers? 

CORDERO: I’m talking about the President’s lawyers.

TAPPER: Sekulow and Cipollone. 

CORDERO: Yeah. 

BORGER: Cipollone.

CORDERO: Cipollone and Philbin

TOOBIN: Yes. And Cipollone and Philbin. 

BORGER: Philbin.

CORDERO: Cipollone and Philbin who misstated quite obviously the presence of Republican members in the closed hearings in the House. That is just not okay, as a lawyer, to misstate the facts in that way, when they know, I think what they are doing, and it’s just something that goes beyond the step of forceful advocacy of a lawyer.

NB Daily Congress Trump Impeachment Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN Video Jake Tapper Jeffrey Toobin Nia-Malika Henderson Adam Schiff Pat Cipollone
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