This week, House impeachment investigators publicly released a new trove of evidence that they’d gotten from personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas. His evidence implicated all sorts of figures, including Giuliani and President Donald Trump themselves. There was even a contemporaneous note included in the trove outlining the key plot for Trump to get Ukraine to investigate his domestic political opponents. When confronted this week by CNN reporter Manu Raju, who was seeking comment on the evidence, Arizona Republican Senator Martha McSally denounced the reporter as a “liberal hack” and refused to answer the question beyond that mockery.
McSally even doubled down on her comments in a Twitter post following the interaction. She’s facing a re-election race this November that the Cook Political Report calls a “toss-up,” and her strategy appears to be to dig into her most fierce partisan animosity.
Raju asked the very simple, straightforward question of if the Senate will consider the new evidence in its handling of Trump’s impeachment case during the trial that’s set to begin following the House transferring its impeachment case to the upper Congressional chamber. McSally tersely replied:
‘Manu, you’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.’
She then walked into a hearing room, Raju noted in his initial Twitter post chronicling the incident.
Sen. Martha McSally, a Republican facing a difficult election race, lashed out when I asked if she would consider new evidence as part of the Senate trial. “You’re a liberal hack – I’m not talking to you. You’re a liberal hack.” She then walked into a hearing room.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 16, 2020
Is this the strategy that Republicans are just going to be using indefinitely now? Pettily denouncing their opponents as liberal hacks and running away when faced with even the most simple questions? It’s like McSally and those displaying similarly petulant behavior have simply completely given up on even attempting to look like anything other than devoted partisans.
As Democratic activist Alexandra Chalupa put it, in direct response to the Senator:
‘It was a fair and sincere question about important evidence related to the impeachment trial. Your response was hostile and unprofessional. Your tweet makes it worse. You owe the reporter & Arizonans an apology for your offensive & embarrassing conduct, a stain on your office.’
It was a fair and sincere question about important evidence related to the impeachment trial.
Your response was hostile and unprofessional. Your tweet makes it worse. You owe the reporter & Arizonans an apology for your offensive & embarrassing conduct, a stain on your office.
— Alexandra Chalupa (@AlexandraChalup) January 16, 2020
She’s not the only Republican Senator who has already issued a questionable at best response to the new evidence. Maine’s Susan Collins, who is alleged by some to be a moderate, suggested that House Democrats had fumbled their case by not including the Parnas evidence from the get-go. But that completely ignores the fact that a federal judge only cleared him to release the material to Congress recently, after Trump was already impeached.
Collins mockingly said:
‘I wonder why the House did not put that into the record and it’s only now being revealed.’
And as reporter Sonam Sheth put it:
‘Collins’ implication is that Dems intentionally sat on evidence to maximize its effect. But Parnas needed a judge to allow him to turn over evidence to the House.’
And that only happened recently.
Collins' implication is that Dems intentionally sat on evidence to maximize its effect. But Parnas needed a judge to allow him to turn over evidence to the House. Judge granted permission on 1/3, Parnas gave docs to Congress over the weekend, and House released them last night. https://t.co/WcbFBeJIvQ
— Sonam Sheth (@sonam_sheth) January 15, 2020
The trove of material from Parnas isn’t the only new revelation source. This Thursday, the Government Accountability Office also released a conclusion that the Trump administration had broken the law via delaying military aid for Ukraine that Congress had already approved. That aid delay was attempted leverage for Trump’s gambit to get investigations from Ukraine.