Move over, Barack Obama. Because the liberal media might love Adam Schiff just as much — if not more! Along with CNN, MSNBC reacted late Thursday with eye-rolling joy for lead House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff’s closing remarks, boasting that the “emotional,” “impassioned,” and “powerful” media darling gave such a “cri de coeur” that “was a wonderful, wonderful thing to see.”
Pundit Rachel Maddow started by reacting to Schiff’s “emotional closing statement” that closed a day focused on the first of two Articles of Impeachment.
“We had not necessarily anticipated how they were going to wrap up tonight's questions, but I don’t think any of us knew that it would be an impassioned sort of cri de coeur there from — from Adam Schiff...This was a powerful closing from Congressman Schiff,” Maddow added, turning at the end of Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell.
O’Donnell bragged that Schiff was “their closer” and “finisher” arguing in “very powerful” terms “why this President should be removed.”
Maddow continued by tossing to colleague and former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) with more shock: “I didn’t — I did not expect him to wrap his comments that way. I found it very powerful, Claire.”
McCaskill trumpeted Schiff’s speech as “cogent,” “passionate,” “very powerful,” “strong,” and “thoughtful,” but fretted that “the problem is that he is speaking to people who are not going to vote to remove him.”
In a topic that she would return to later through the lens of having lost her seat, McCaskill griped that, if Republicans would side with Democrats, “they probably will never be reelected again....because the Trump supporters to this moment believe this is all cooked up.”
Continuing to publicly demonstrate his liberal bona fides, former Mueller probe prosecutor Andrew Weissman swooned that not only was he “the adult in the room” but he was “sensational” and “just a remarkable government representative.”
Adding in his admiration for Marie Yovanovitch, Weissman concluded that “just as a citizen, I thought it was a wonderful, wonderful thing to see.”
Fellow left legal mind Maya Wiley repeated Schiff and then bashed Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (click “expand”):
The truth matters. Right matters. The most effective trial lawyers are the ones that truly believe in their clients because you can't fake that, but you also can use that power with the jury, because the jury knows you're not just putting one over on them. Juries are very smart, right? And the American public is very smart. They know the difference between I'm playing politics, or I just want to win, and I'm telling you that I just spent two days meticulously putting all these facts together.
And when you hear a Senator Cruz, a Senator Cruz, be so smugly dismissive in public, after this recitation, you cannot agree with it, you can come to a different conclusion, you can make a different argument, but to be so smugly dismissive of it, is something that I think the emotionality of an Adam Schiff really kind of spoke to and that is very powerful, because that's when people know this lawyer is not just trying to tell me a story. This lawyer is trying to bring my attention to the truth.
Later, McCaskill went to bat for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, continuing the liberal media narrative that Vindman is someone who’s above any and all criticism, calling it “startling” for Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to have “go[ne] after his character, go[ne] after his war record.”
Not to be left out, 11th Hour host Lyin’ Brian Williams must have heard his colleagues from the previous hour as, just shy of the 11:30 p.m. Eastern mark, he marveled to Senator Angus King (I-ME) that Schiff had “a wrap-up so emotional that [he] briefly lost his composure.”
To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC on January 23, click “expand.”
MSNBC Senate Impeachment Trial
January 23, 2020
10:32 p.m. Eastern
RACHEL MADDOW: Chief Justice John Roberts gaveling tonight's session to a close after an emotional closing statement from Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee and the lead of the House impeachment managers. Today was the day in which the prosecutors in effect, the House impeachment managers, focused on article one of the two articles of impeachment that have been passed against President Trump in the House. The first article is about abuse of power. Today, they went through that systematically. We had not necessarily anticipated how they were going to wrap up tonight's questions, but I don't think any of us knew that it would be an impassioned sort of cri de coeur there from — from Adam Schiff. [INTRODUCES PANEL] Lawrence, let me just ask for your reaction to the way this wrapped up tonight. This was a powerful closing from Congressman Schiff.
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Well, I was sure Adam Schiff would be the finisher tonight. He is their closer. That's been very obvious. What we didn't know is how he was going to handle it. I thought he would do basically a working summation of what you heard today, here's what you heard today. He went far beyond that and he went to the central question of why they're all sitting there, which is the issue of guilt and then the issue of removal, because they have this dual function. Jurors weighing the evidence, deciding the verdict, but then they are also the judges pronouncing the sentence and he went to the sentence and I don't think anyone expected him to go to the sentence tonight, why this President should be removed and that's what his finish was about. It was very powerful. He kept saying to those senators, you know you can't count on him, meaning, you know you can't —
MADDOW: He started with, you know he's guilty, and then you know you can't count on him.
O’DONNELL: — which is 100 percent true. There’s — everyone knows there's not a person in that room who believes that they can count on Donald Trump to do anything, including the thing that he has told them at lunch he's going to do this afternoon, whether it's big or small and so it was very powerful. The country knows it and so he was saying something that everyone knows is true and he was using it as the reason, in this case, with these facts, but why he has to be removed.
MADDOW: The point about the President, the dangerousness of the President, that the President is willing and has shown himself willing by the acts adjudicated here and in other contexts, has been willing to put the interests of the country aside in favor of his own interests when he finds that they conflict. That's the story of these impeachment articles, Chairman Schiff was saying, and that is what you know to be true of him as a person and as a President, and therefore if you believe he recalls it and you know he did, it can't just be that you accept it, you have to remove him. I didn’t — I did not expect him to wrap his comments that way. I found it very powerful, Claire.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL: It was very powerful. You know, the problem is that he is speaking to people who are not going to vote to remove him and the fact that he's using that argument, and it was very strong, it was passionate, it was thoughtful, it was cogent, it was all those things, but, you know, he really moved on from the fight of are we really going to set a precedent that we have no witnesses and documents at this trial, to, we've got to get this guy out of office because he's a danger to our country. Most of those Republicans, in fact probably all 53 of them, know if they ever did that, they probably will never be reelected again, because most of them are from states that that would be an unacceptable result, because the Trump supporters to this moment believe this is all cooked up.
O’DONNELL: But it's not Trump supporters in Maine who are going to put the pressure on Susan Collins.
O’DONNELL: And I think that speech goes straight to Maine, it goes straight to Colorado, it goes to those voters who say to their senator, you must do the right thing.
MCCASKILL: Very — you’re right, Lawrence. Very effective to the greater audience.
O’DONNELL: Yes. I also think it puts as much pressure on the witness argument as the witness argument itself, and the witness argument has a way of sounding after a while kind of legalistic, needle-threading and that sort of thing — this is what it's about and this is why you the witnesses and I think he had that impact even without talking about witnesses and of course this is the opening argument and the final argument and the witness argument, has to do it all at the same time.
MADDOW: We have two very experienced litigators, Maya and Andrew. Hearing that summation and watching this devolve over the course of the day, how do you self this professionally?
ANDREW WEISSMAN: So, do you want to go
MAYA WILEY: No, I — after you.
WEISSMAN: I thought he was the adult in the room. I thought he was sensational, but I think if you pull the aperture back a little to what's happened, if you look at the House proceeding and then today, if you're an American and you think you have the cynicism that the President wants you to have in our federal government, just think about the people who the American public have seen. So Adam Schiff is just a remarkable government representative and then you see Marie Yovanovitch, who really broke the logjam of saying, you know what? I'm going to testify because I am paid by the public. I am paid by public funds and I'm going to testify if subpoenaed and you had a host of other people. So just as a citizen, I thought it was a wonderful, wonderful thing to see.
WILEY: The truth matters. Right matters. The most effective trial lawyers are the ones that truly believe in their clients because you can't fake that, but you also can use that power with the jury, because the jury knows you're not just putting one over on them. Juries are very smart, right? And the American public is very smart. They know the difference between I'm playing politics, or I just want to win, and I'm telling you that I just spent two days meticulously putting all these facts together and when you hear a Senator Cruz, a Senator Cruz, be so smugly dismissive in public, after this recitation, you cannot agree with it, you can come to a different conclusion, you can make a different argument, but to be so smugly dismissive of it, is something that I think the emotionality of an Adam Schiff really kind of spoke to and that is very powerful, because that's when people know this lawyer is not just trying to tell me a story. This lawyer is trying to bring my attention to the truth.
10:42 p.m. Eastern
MCCASKILL: I think one of the most startling things that has occurred in this is that some of the members of the Senate, the Republican members of the Senate, have been so dismissive, and then Marsha Blackburn today goes after Vindman, goes after his character, goes after his war record.
MADDOW: Attacking him literally as unpatriotic, as a purple heart veteran.
MCCASKILL: I mean, it is just unbelievable, the — the shamelessness that some of these Republicans have. I mean, I just tweeted a minute ago, Ben Sasse allowed his spokesperson today to call this a clown show. Now, this is Ben Sasse who has had moments in the Senate where he's been thoughtful, publicly thoughtful about this President's shortcomings. This is a senator I had conversations with, which I'm not going to reveal a private conversation with a colleague, but he got it.