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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.

Go deeper

Updated Feb 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Senate acquits Trump

Photo by congress.gov via Getty Images

The Senate failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict former President Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, with a final vote of 57-43 cementing his acquittal.

Why it matters: Seven Senate Republicans voted ‘guilty,’ the most bipartisan margin in favor of conviction in history.

Senate votes to call witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 55-45 on Saturday in favor of calling witnesses in former President Trump's second impeachment trial after three days of presentations from House Democrats and Trump's defense team. Five Republicans voted with Democrats to call witnesses.

The state of play: The vote opens up new possibilities for Democrats to strengthen their case, which alleges that Trump incited an insurrection on Jan 6. Witnesses were not called in Trump's first impeachment trial, but Republicans held the Senate majority at that time.

House Republican calls on Trump aides to speak out on Capitol attack

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler speaking outside the Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) has called on those close to former President Trump and former Vice President Pence to reveal what they know about Trump's actions as a violent mob of his supporters was assaulting the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Herrera Beutler, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to support Trump's impeachment for inciting the Capitol insurrection, also claimed in a statement on Friday night that the president accused House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of not supporting him when McCarthy urged Trump to publicly and forcefully call off the riot.