As senators heard hours of debate over amendments to a proposed rules package that would govern the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the rhetoric got a little heated.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, weighed in to chastise both sides for using rhetoric not fitting while addressing “the world’s great deliberative body.”
“I think It is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
Watch his comments below:
This is, without a doubt, the most standout moment of Day 1 of the #ImpeachmentTrial. Chief Justice John Roberts admonishes both sides for their conduct in the Senate. #Q13FOX pic.twitter.com/gLMEjWUI2Z
— Simone Del Rosario (@SimoneReports) January 22, 2020
“One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse,” he added.
Roberts noted that in a 1905 impeachment trial of a federal judge, the presiding officer agreed with a senator that the word “pettifogging … ought not to have been used.”
“I don’t think we need to aspire to that high standard,” Roberts said, adding, “But I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.”
Roberts’ comments came after one of the impeachment managers accused senators of participating in a “cover-up,” and a member of Trump’s defense team demanded an apology from him.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said senators would be participating in a “cover-up” if they blocked a request to subpoena new witnesses.
“I’m sad to say I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses.”
In response to Nadler’s comments, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone accused him of “making false allegations” and called on him to apologize “for the way you’ve addressed this body.”
“Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team. He made false allegations against all of you. He accused you of a cover-up. He’s been making false allegations against the president. The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you for the way you’ve addressed this body.”
As senators applauded Cipollone, he added, “This is the United States Senate. You’re not in charge here.”
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