New York Rep. Jerry Nadler may have single handedly killed the Democrats entire impeachment case all by himself.
The 72-year-old curmudgeon accused Republican senators who decide to vote against subpoenas for witnesses and more documents of being engaged in a coverup.
“I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote,” he said.
There are not many Republicans open to siding with the Democrats on that issue and Nadler managed to anger two of them in Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
Collins was so incensed at Nadler’s tirade she wrote a note that got to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts via Secretary for the Majority Laura Dove.
She said she believed that the fiery exchange between White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Nadler was in violation of the Senate’s rules, Politico reported.
“It reminded me that if we were in a normal debate in the Senate, that the rule would be invoked to strike the words of the senator for impugning another senator. So I did write a note raising the issue of whether there’d been a violation of the rules,” she said.
“I gave that note to Laura Dove and shortly thereafter the chief justice did admonish both sides. And I was glad that he did,” Collins told reporters.
She vowed that her vote will not be influenced by her feelings towards Nadler’s performance because it came when “everyone was getting very tired.”
“I’m going to cast my vote regardless of the congressman’s performance,” she said. “His negative comments about the Senate will not have any impact.”
The senator from Maine said that she has filled 25 pages of her notepad during the House’s presentation and she is still likely to support debating the idea of bringing in witnesses.
“I already have a list of questions in the margin of the extensive notepad that I’ve been filling up every day of questions that I’d like to know the answers to,” she said.
Now, maybe they’ll all be answered,” Collins said. “But I would doubt that.”
Still, Nadler and the Democrats do not have many swing votes to lose, with the most likely to support th Democrats desire for witnesses being Sens. Collins, Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, Lamar Alexander and Lisa Murkowski.
Democrats need to secure four of the five of them in order to force witnesses and Nadler’s tirade also angered Murkowski.
“I took it as very offensive,” the Alaska senator said on Wednesday. “As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended.”
And when the chief justice of the Supreme Court has to admonish you it is not a good sign that your side is winning.