Impeachment Fumble: GOP’s Collins, Murkowski Shame Adam Schiff for Citing Fake ‘Head on a Pike’ Threat

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, pauses while giv
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Republican senators rallied after leading House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) cited a CBS News report in his closing arguments on Friday that alleged GOP senators were warned, “Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.”

“A Trump confidant tells CBS News senators have been warned — vote against the president and your head will be on a pike,” CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on CBS This Morning on Friday — a report that caught Schiff’s attention.

“CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said GOP senators were warned, ‘Vote against your president, vote against the president, and your head will be on a pike,’ Schiff stated as he closed on Friday.”

“I don’t know if that’s true,” he added:

Republican senators, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), were taken aback. Collins reportedly shook her head and said, “That’s not true,” while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), another Republican Democrats hope to win over to push for witnesses, said, “That’s where he lost me.”

“Not only have I never heard the ‘head on the pike’ line but also I know of no Republican senator who has been threatened in any way by anyone in the administration,” Collins said, according to multiple reports:

“That is completely totally false, and all of us were shaking our heads, like where did that story come from, and Adam Schiff just kept saying it,” Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said after the closing arguments.

“The whole room was visibly upset on our side of it. … That’s insulting and demeaning,” he added.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) also denied that any Republican received that threat and added that Schiff “offended every Republican senator”:

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) was also overheard saying, “That’s not true,” according to the Hill.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) admitted that he did not know if the report was true but told MSNBC, “The Republicans are so afraid to confront the actual facts here that are presented by the House managers that they’re always looking for a diversion.”

Schiff’s remark comes as Democrats close their final arguments and hope to win over a cluster of GOP senators to support their calls for additional witnesses. Schiff has since suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts should make a ruling on the matter.

“To the degree that there were a dispute over whether a privilege applied, we have a perfectly good judge sitting behind me, empowered by the rules of this body to resolve those disputes,” Schiff stated on Friday.

President Trump’s team will present its case on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern.


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