Feb 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Del. Plaskett: “We didn’t need more witnesses. We needed more senators with spines.”

Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Democrats “didn’t back down” from calling witnesses during former President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, but instead they "got what [they] wanted' by entering a statement by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) into the record.

What they're saying: “I think that all Americans, when we rested our case, believed that we had proved our case and the nonsense that the defense put out did not dispute that,” Plaskett, who served as an impeachment manager, said. “As you heard from Mitch McConnell, his closing statement was what we said, he agreed with us.”

  • "I know that people are feeling a lot of angst and believe that maybe if we had this, the senators would have done what we wanted. But listen, we didn't need more witnesses, we needed more senators with spines."

Driving the news: The Senate ultimately voted 57-43 in favor of acquitting Trump, after a chaotic Saturday, during which the House impeachment managers sought, and then abandoned, plans to call witnesses.

  • The Senate then voted 55-45 to call at least one witness, with all Democrats and five Republicans voted in favor of seeking witness testimony. Witness testimony would have delayed the end of the trial.
  • But then the two sides hashed out a deal to instead submit a statement from Beutler, that asserted Trump blew off a request for help from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), for the record.
  • Beutler — one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump — said McCarthy told her he pleaded with Trump to go on television and call off the riots, but the president refused to do so for hours.

Worth noting: Plaskett added that trying to get subpoenas for additional testimony could take months or years.

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