This afternoon Elizabeth Warren decided to go full Leeroy Jenkins and toss a rhetorical bomb at Chief Justice John Roberts. She dragged the rest of the Supreme Court and the constitution in for good measure. Chief Justice Roberts read her question: “At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the Chief Justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the constitution?”

What was the point of this exactly? A reporter for the Washington Post says others in the chamber were bewildered by it:

Outside the chamber, some people on Twitter are suggesting maybe this was Warren’s attempt to push Roberts into siding with Dems on witnesses, i.e. by making this a question about his and the court’s legitimacy he might be more inclined to vote accordingly. For example:

https://twitter.com/RonWaxman/status/1223017114430255105

https://twitter.com/DanteAtkins/status/1223019129122250753

Would it really help Roberts’ legitimacy if Americans are left with the impression that he was bullied into the corner by a far-left Senator currently running for president? I don’t think that’s how judicial independence and legitimacy work. Others on the left are just pleased Warren is taking a swing at Roberts:

Of course not everyone was a fan of this stunt:

Rep. Schiff pretty quickly backed away from Warren’s question. “Senator, I would not say that it contributes to a loss of confidence in the Chief Justice. I think the Chief Justice has presided admirably.” He went on to say that if the Senate doesn’t call witnesses it would feed cynicism that “is corrosive to this institution and our democracy.”

So what point was Warren trying to make? Well, she’s been fading in the polls and she could really use a viral impeachment bump about now. I think that’s the most likely explanation. Here’s the clip showing the Chief Justice reading Warren’s question followed by the first part of Schiff’s response:

1/31 Update: Looks like Warren’s stunt backfired a bit.