Jerry Nadler made a “huge blunder” during the impeachment trial according to Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor from George Washington University Law School. “One of the things you teach law students is that when you make arguments to juries, make sure you don’t insult the jury. That is, you don’t want to make statements that make them feel stupid or ascribe any bad motivations to them,” Turley told CBS News.
Prof. Turley: Jerry Nadler made a “major blunder” by insulting senators.
— Kambree (@KamVTV) January 23, 2020
The professor was referring to the moment that Nadler accused the Senate of a cover-up, which set highly partisan fans buzzing.
“The question is,” said Nadler, “is whether the Senate will be complicit in the president’s crimes by covering them up. Any senator who votes against Ambassador Bolton’s testimony or any relevant testimony shows that he or she wants to be part of the cover-up.”
#JerryNadler sums up the #republican strategy, #CoverUp. The #republicans have become the party of #TheCoverUp! #Shame on these #Spineless senators and everyone who supports these complicit #Cowards. #ObstructionOfCongress #AbuseOfPower #tRUMPUkraineExtortion #tRUMPUkraineBribery pic.twitter.com/Kb4OQzwshH
— Gary Grafter (@Graftacus) January 22, 2020
Turley believes that was a real low-point for Nadler. “If there was one major blunder during the argument it was Jerry Nadler, who got ahead of his skies a bit and said that the Senate could be engaged in a cover-up,” Turley told CBS. “When he said that, people on the floor recounted later that there was sort of a hush, a reaction from the senators. This is not the place for that.”
Turley then dropped what could be a bomb on the Democrats’ plans to convince moderate Republicans to side with them. “What was notable was that it was Lisa Murkowski, one of the senators they’re trying to get, who was the first to object outside the chambers and said that she was deeply insulted.”
Turley believes that the error by Nadler could have thrown a wrench in the Democrats’ plot to overthrow the president. “This is not just the most deliberative body, it’s the most defensive body and if you actually call them traitors or conspirators in a cover-up it’s more likely that they’re going to join together than break apart.”
Alaska Public Media’s Liz Ruskin reported Murkowski’s statement after Nadler’s charge. “I took it as very offensive. As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended,” she said.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter