CNNers Gush About How ‘Very Smart’ Dems Were on Day 1 of Senate Trial

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With fruitless attempts by Senate Democrats to prematurely vote on witnesses and documents for the impeachment trial stretching deep into Tuesday night, something they and the liberal media decried when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wanted to do it for opening arguments, CNN’s heavily liberal panel praised the Democratic impeachment managers for doing what they were doing.

During a late-night break in the 11:00 p.m. hour, former presidential adviser David Gergen was the first on the panel to celebrate the Democrats. “But let me just say this. I thought that Democrats were very smart today. On this first day, they went for substance right in the opening statements,” he said.

Gergen then commended them for having this play out at night when people were watching and putting Senate Republicans on their heels:

They didn't go to process. They laid out the case behind the whole effort. And at night, which is probably going to get one of the biggest audiences, first time the senators have heard all of that. And I thought they were very smart to go for that and for the witnesses.

They've created a situation now that it's just going to be a hard call. If you call -- if the Republicans now vote to call witnesses they're voting for the unpredictable. But if they don't go for witnesses, they've got 70 percent of the country who thinks they're wrong. That's not a very good choice.

As of the writing of this piece, the debate looked as though it would run until 1:00 a.m., and possibly beyond. It was the exact thing the left condemned McConnell for proposing for the opening arguments. Then they would vote on witnesses.

Host and supposed journalist Anderson Cooper had his own praise to heap on Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), because he didn’t want to “just kind of lump all these requests in at once and just get it over with, they want to play it out person by person.”

 

 

Adding: “They've been using this time to talk about specifics so it's not just, as Adam Schiff was saying, you know, thousands of documents kind of a generic documents, it's actually specific things, these are why we need this particular document.”

That was all part of a longwinded tee-up to former Schumer staffer Elliot Williams who boasted about how his former boss was getting Republicans on the record (click “expand”):

You made the point earlier, lawyers say don't ask a question you don't know the answer to. Get the witnesses. You can't even ask the questions if you don't have the witnesses. And so you've been hearing a lot from the Democrats today about how you can't have a proceeding. You can't have a trial if you don't have witnesses, and I think the strategy, as David said, is put the Republicans on the record and make the case that this actually is a bit of a cover-up because you have not heard from, I think, nine subpoenaed agency witnesses, thousands -- tens of thousands of pages of documents that they've requested.

And, again, this is far outside of the norm of any past impeachment proceeding that we've seen. There haven't been that many but at least in the past ones you've had.

A few minutes later and after an abrupt cut back to the live proceedings on the Senate floor, Cooper looked to USA Today columnist Kristen Powers to hype the Democratic political strategy.

There's a political strategy here, right, it's -- they want any persuadable voter that's out there to see that -- that the Republicans aren't looking for a fair trial, that they aren't doing what's typical in any kind of impeachment, which is to have witnesses and to have documents. And, you know, and to convince people that they're engaging in a cover-up,” she stated, parroting Democratic talking points.

Luckily, former Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Mike Shields was on hand to pop their bubble and bring some reality to the conversation, noting Schumer was simply acting politically to try to win back the Senate.

“That's what this is. This is about politics. They're not going to find the President guilty and remove him from office. That's not going to happen,” he explained. “The good thing is, the public actually knows that at this point. They've seen enough of this now. There's nothing new.”

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

CNN Senate Impeachment Trial
January 21, 2020
11:16:00 p.m. Eastern

(…)

DAVID GERGEN: But let me just say this. I thought that Democrats were very smart today. On this first day, they went for substance right in the opening statements. They didn't go to process. They laid out the case behind the whole effort. And at night, which is probably going to get one of the biggest audiences, first time the senators have heard all of that. And I thought they were very smart to go for that and for the witnesses.

They've created a situation now that it's just going to be a hard call. If you call -- if the Republicans now vote to call witnesses they're voting for the unpredictable. But if they don't go for witnesses, they've got 70 percent of the country who thinks they're wrong. That's not a very good choice.

ANDERSON COOPER: And Elliot, to David's point about what the Democrats are doing, there's a reason Chuck Schumer didn't agree, besides animosity, to not just kind of lump all these requests in at once and just get it over with, they want to play it out person by person.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS: Yes.

COOPER: Mick Mulvaney, these two witnesses, Bolton. And they want to get details about the documents that they want from different agencies, and that's what they've been doing. They've been using this time to talk about specifics so it's not just, as Adam Schiff was saying, you know, thousands of documents kind of a generic documents, it's actually specific things, these are why we need this particular document.

WILLIAMS: Right and put each of the 53 Senate Republicans on the record saying that they don't want the documents, that, you know, you can't compare this to 1999 because of the fact that there just haven't been documents here.

You made the point earlier, lawyers say don't ask a question you don't know the answer to. Get the witnesses. You can't even ask the questions if you don't have the witnesses. And so you've been hearing a lot from the Democrats today about how you can't have a proceeding. You can't have a trial if you don't have witnesses, and I think the strategy, as David said, is put the Republicans on the record and make the case that this actually is a bit of a cover-up because you have not heard from, I think, nine subpoenaed agency witnesses, thousands -- tens of thousands of pages of documents that they've requested.

And, again, this is far outside of the norm of any past impeachment proceeding that we've seen. There haven't been that many but at least in the past ones you've had.

(…)

11:21:46 p.m. Eastern

KRISTEN POWERS: I think for anybody who's watching this, they're probably wondering what is going on. Right? Because it's just -- they -- the Democrats keep asking for something that they're not going to get and it's pretty clear and I think it's -- there's a political strategy here, right, it's -- they want any persuadable voter that's out there to see that -- that the Republicans aren't looking for a fair trial, that they aren't doing what's typical in any kind of impeachment, which is to have witnesses and to have documents. And, you know, and to convince people that they're engaging in a cover-up.

And I think, you know, the Republicans are just basically repeating the Trump argument, that this is an unfair process in the House and that you can't trust what's been done in the House.

(…)

MIKE SHIELDS: Yeah, and I think I actually agree with what you were saying in terms of how political this is. You're making the same point as well. That's what this is. This is about politics. They're not going to find the President guilty and remove him from office. That's not going to happen.

So, what does Chuck Schumer have to do to try to win the Senate? So, the idea that this is solemn and somber and this about all the evidence and they're really sticking to the facts, I think that's a great tactical thing for them politically to do to try to look above politics, but the reality is this is about politics. This is a political trial, the majority in the House ran it through politically. The majority in the Senate is going to stop it politically. And the Democrats politically are trying to win back the Senate.

The good thing is the public actually knows that at this point. They've seen enough of this now. There's nothing new. The arguments are literally the exact same things we've been hearing over and over and over again from all these managers on both sides.

(…)

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