House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff delivered a two-and-a-half hour opening statement Wednesday in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump, and multiple media personalities were quick to praise him for it.
The Washington Post’s Greg Miller lauded the California Democrat as “the most underestimated politician California has ever produced.”
Adam Schiff might be the most underestimated politician California has produced. Many in GOP dismiss him as bland/partisan. But the way he has handled impeachment will leave a mark on history, exceeding nearly all contemporaries.
— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) January 23, 2020
Jennifer Rubin called Schiff’s opening statement “the most brilliant legal presentation I have heard.”
This is the most brilliant legal presentation I have heard. None comes close. The tone, the facts, the anticipated defenses. I am in awe.
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) January 22, 2020
I’m sorry my fellow “conservatives,” but you’ve been conned about who Adam Schiff really is. I disagree with his politics, but that opening argument was really OUTSTANDING. If he was a Republican speaking about Obama/Hillary you’d be cheering!!#ImpeachmentTrial #AdamSchiffROCKS
— John Ziegler (@Zigmanfreud) January 22, 2020
Schiff is so good. Using this time to basically make an opening statement is genius. It’s what I’d do and what any seasoned litigator would do. There’s no point wasting time debating a “rules” question that McConnell has already fully cooked. Schiff is hitting the ground running.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 21, 2020
Adam Schiff’s opening remarks include reading this statement by Alexander Hamilton on impeachment, which so perfectly describes Trump it should have been sung to make it less painful. pic.twitter.com/T38XwJAW61
— francesca fiorentini (@franifio) January 22, 2020
New York Times Columnist appeared to argue that, if America were a “functioning Democracy,” Schiff’s opening statement “would be the beginning of the end of the Trump nightmare.”
In a functioning democracy Adam Schiff’s masterful opening would be the beginning of the end of the Trump nightmare.
— Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) January 22, 2020
And the praise didn’t stop at Twitter. MSNBC host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough took a moment on “Morning Joe” to call Schiff’s lengthy statement a “virtuoso performance.” (RELATED: ‘Schumer Is The Devil!’: Protester Bursts Into Senate Gallery)
Joyce Vance, the first female U.S. Attorney appointed by former President Barack Obama, sat down just hours later with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd to discuss the statement.
“I thought yesterday there was a powerful moment Adam Schiff looked to the Senators and said demand the documents, demand the truth,” Vance said. “I thought this is the first time we heard a battle cry from Democrats because you don’t know what else is out there until you’ve seen it.”
Chuck Todd went on to note that, following the opening statement, it appeared that even some Republicans conceded that Schiff had done a good job. “Even if they didn’t like Adam Schiff, [they] were impressed with his presentation, most notable person being Lindsey Graham,” Todd said. “I thought Adam Schiff had a command of that case in a way that the other impeachment managers didn’t.”
MSNBC’s Garrett Haake agreed, saying that at least one Republican had described Schiff to him as “a worthy adversary.”
Chuck Todd later appeared to concede that, while he felt Schiff had done a good job presenting the case, the fact that he went on for over two hours might not have done him any favors.
“I felt like Democrats were both trapped by their detail at times with the tedious laying it out and at the same time you also saw Adam Schiff’s command,” he explained, adding, “Part of me wonders, Adam Schiff’s first 20 minutes, last 20 minutes, if that’s all anybody saw, I think Democrats would be happy.”
What none of them mentioned was the fact that in that very same speech, Schiff launched an attack on democracy itself — arguing that impeachment was the only solution because the ballot box could not be trusted to deliver a referendum on the president.
They don’t accept the results of 2016 claiming Trump cheated
Now they are arguing against a Democratic vote for President because they don’t want Trump to win
They are doing everything they claimed Trump would do https://t.co/VtRRZNDnMf
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) January 23, 2020
In Nov 2016, Pres. Obama acknowledged that Trump won fair & square.
“We stand behind the election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people.”
So Schiff isn’t just ignoring his own party’s assessment here.
He’s stoking hysteria.
And it’s unforgivable. https://t.co/LgUhwgT85v
— Bryan Dean Wright (@BryanDeanWright) January 22, 2020
NEW argument from Schiff this afternoon: you can’t trust elections! Schiff says @realDonaldTrump “cheated” in 2016 and apparently not legitimate. And can’t trust outcome in 2020. So preserve democracy by overturning election results & ignoring the voters. Amazing
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 22, 2020
This is completely insane. People are playing with fire when they talk this way as it rightfully will be seen as circumventing democracy https://t.co/lsjo46urFM
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) January 22, 2020
Some were even quick to suggest that what Democrats really feared was that the American people might deliver a referendum on the president that they did not like.
— Jessica Fletcher (@heckyessica) January 22, 2020
Day one of the impeachment trial didn’t disappoint. Adam Schiff and the gang confirmed what this impeachment is all about: that Trump’s great crime — winning the 2016 election — can’t be allowed to happen again. @FDRLST https://t.co/gYNGS3vQYP
— John Daniel Davidson (@johnddavidson) January 22, 2020
The Senate trial is set to resume Thursday at 1 pm.