CBS’s O'Donnell Boasts Dems Prosecuting Trump in 'Dramatic Fashion'

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With the first day of opening arguments for the impeachment trial still unfolding at air time, the CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell kicked off Wednesday's show by singing the praises of the Democratic impeachment managers. With an announcement of “breaking news” at the top of the opening teases, O’Donnell boasted: “The Democrats prosecuting the President open the Senate trial in dramatic fashion.

Her 31-second tease for their impeachment stories set the tone for their coverage:

O’DONNELL: Breaking news tonight: Making their case. The Democrats prosecuting the President open the Senate trial in dramatic fashion.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): If this conduct is not impeachable, then nothing is.

O’DONNELL: Accusing him of abusing his office in an effort to make sure he could keep it.

SCHIFF: President Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to secure foreign help with his re-election. In other words, to cheat.

O’DONNELL: Tonight, the three key dates House managers now say prove the President's guilt.

The Democrats prosecuting the President say it comes down to this: President Trump tried to use the powers of his office to cheat an election,” she proclaimed when the teases were finally over and they got to the story.

The crowing continued as O’Donnell marveled at how, “In a series of dramatic presentations stretching into the night, House managers laid out their case to remove Mr. Trump from office, at times using his own words against him. Today was the first of what will be three eight-hour-long presentations by the Democrats before the President's lawyers are even allowed to speak.”

 

 

CBS chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes joined in by touted how meticulous the Democrats were in utilizing their time. “Norah, the impeachment managers are walking the Senate through all the evidence step by step-- every phone call, every email-- as they lay out why they believe this Senate should be the first in U.S. history to remove a U.S. president from office,” she said.

Cordes began the video portion of her report with a soundbite from a proven liar, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA):

SCHIFF: President Trump has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance.

CORDES: Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff launched his opening arguments by honing in on a three-day period from last summer.

While wrapping up the report, O’Donnell tried to make Senate Republicans look foolish for offering to hear new witnesses in exchange for hearing from former Vice President Joe Biden. “And, Nancy, on this idea of a witness swap idea, I know Democrats are saying this isn't like some fantasy football trade.”

“He campaigning in Iowa, where he says that he himself is not going to be party to any kind of witness swap because he wasn't involved in this scheme and did nothing wrong,” Cordes reported for Biden’s response to the idea. She then admitted that if Republicans voted, they could subpoena him to testify.

With all the praise for Schiff and the rest of the managers, there was no mention of him getting caught twisting impeachment evidence.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
January 22, 2020
6:30:20 p.m. Eastern [Opening tease]

NORAH O’DONNELL: Breaking news tonight: Making their case. The Democrats prosecuting the President open the Senate trial in dramatic fashion.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): If this conduct is not impeachable, then nothing is.

O’DONNELL: Accusing him of abusing his office in an effort to make sure he could keep it.

SCHIFF: President Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to secure foreign help with his re-election. In other words, to cheat.

O’DONNELL: Tonight, the three key dates House managers now say prove the President's guilt.

(…)

6:32:03 p.m. Eastern

O’DONNELL: Good evening, and thank you so much for joining us. The Democrats prosecuting the President say it comes down to this: President Trump tried to use the powers of his office to cheat an election.

In a series of dramatic presentations stretching into the night, House managers laid out their case to remove Mr. Trump from office, at times using his own words against him. Today was the first of what will be three eight-hour-long presentations by the Democrats before the President's lawyers are even allowed to speak.

Democrats are focusing on what they call a crucial three-day span last July, painting a picture of a President who was intent on leveraging military aid to try to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Saying, if his conduct isn't impeachable, then nothing is.

Well, we've got team coverage on this historic day from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Ben Tracy is at the White House. But we’re going to begin tonight with Nancy Cordes on Capitol Hill. Nancy.

NANCY CORDES: Norah, the impeachment managers are walking the Senate through all the evidence step by step-- every phone call, every email-- as they lay out why they believe this Senate should be the first in U.S. history to remove a U.S. president from office.

[Cuts to video]

SCHIFF: President Trump has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance.

CORDES: Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff launched his opening arguments by honing in on a three-day period from last summer.

(…)

CORDES: The president's legal team looked on from a table nearby.

JAY SEKULOW (President Trump’s Legal Team): We will challenge aggressively the case that they're putting forward.

CORDES: In a series of late-night votes, Senate Republicans blocked the minority's attempts to secure new witness testimony.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I move to table the amendment. [Transition] Table the amendment. [Transition] Table the amendment.

CORDES: Some Republicans say they're open to witnesses if Biden testifies, too. Democrat Chuck Schumer:

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): That trade is not on the table.

[Cuts back to live]

O’DONNELL: Nancy Cordes joins us now. And, Nancy, on this idea of a witness swap idea, I know Democrats are saying this isn't like some fantasy football trade. And I understand Joe Biden himself has weighed in?

CORDES: That's right. He campaigning in Iowa, where he says that he himself is not going to be party to any kind of witness swap because he wasn't involved in this scheme and did nothing wrong. But at the end of the day, Norah, it's up to the senators. If 51 of them vote to hear from Joe Biden or John Bolton or anyone else, then those subpoenas are going to go out.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Events Trump Impeachment Conspiracy Theories Labeling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television CBS CBS Evening News Video Norah O'Donnell Nancy Cordes Donald Trump Adam Schiff

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