Schiff Tells Senators: Hope ‘You Don’t Choose Imprisonment’ Over Paying Attention at Impeachment Trial

By Craig Bannister | January 23, 2020 | 2:42pm EST
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

Impeachment Manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told senators that he hopes none of them will choose prison over paying attention at the Senate trial.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) says that may have been a joke – but, if so, Schiff didn’t tell it very well.

Schiff first thanked the senators for “their long and considerable attention” during Democrats’ presentations – then, added:

“Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the morning starts out every day with the sergeant-at-arms warning you that, if you don’t, you will be in prison.”

‘It’s our hope…that you don’t choose imprisonment,” Schiff said:

“I also want to, again, take this opportunity to thank the senators for their long and considerable attention over the course of the last two days.

“I’m not sure the chief justice is fully aware of how just how rare it is, how extraordinary it is, for the House members to be able to command the attention of senators sitting silently for hours…or, even for minutes, for that matter.

“Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the morning starts out every day with the sergeant-at-arms warning you that, if you don’t, you will be in prison.

“It’s our hope that, when the trial concludes and you’ve heard us and you’ve heard the president’s counsel over a series of long days, that you don’t choose imprisonment instead of anything further.”

Rep. Zeldin reacted to Schiff’s comment by tweeting that Schiff isn’t helping his cause by making such remarks:

“Adam Schiff kicks off Day 3 of the Senate impeachment trial threatening Senators with imprisonment. Not sure what he’s worse at: reading his audience or telling jokes. Either way he is not helping his cause.”

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