Democrats touted the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump as a big win despite his acquittal.
“It was a dramatic success in historical terms,” lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “It was the largest impeachment conviction vote in U.S. History.”
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“It was by far the most bipartisan majority that’s ever assembled in the Senate to convict a president, which has traditionally been a kind of partisan thing in American history,” Raskin continued. “We got seven Republicans, and if you look at the ten Republicans in the House who joined us, it was by far the most bipartisan decision and a complete repudiation of the president’s conduct.”
Raskin and his fellow Democrat impeachment managers on Saturday drew harsh criticism from both the left and the right after their stark reversal on whether to call witnesses in Trump’s Senate trial.
Critics said Democrats “caved” for having a press release from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., read into the record after initially asking to depose her — a move that could have potentially brought in many more witness and extended the trial by weeks.
“We were going to proceed to do it,” Raskin said. “Then the Republicans stipulated to allow the evidence to come into the record. You asked about some other people who might have gotten up there and lied. We don’t know what Kevin McCarthy would have said.”
“We could have had 1,000 witnesses, but that could not have overcome the kinds of silly arguments that people like McConnell and [Sen. Shelley Moore] Capito were hanging their hats on,” he continued.
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Raskin’s fellow House impeachment manager, Democratic Delegate Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands, echoed his sentiment during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Just so the American public is aware, witnesses in a Senate hearing do not come and stand before the senators and make any statements. It’s a deposition. It’s videotaped and that is brought before the Senate,” Plaskett said. “So 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.”
Plaskett, a former Republican, accused Trump of trying to “assassinate” former Vice President Mike Pence.
“We knew that these were hostile witnesses. They were not going to testify,” she said. “Has anybody even heard from Vice President Pence? The man tried to assassinate him and he still hasn’t come forward.”
Plaskett also told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she was aware some Republican senators may have pulled their “guilty” votes if witnesses had been called and the trial had been extended.
“I heard from a Democratic senator that there was word going around that if you guys don’t wrap you’re going to lose senators, like Richard Burr from North Carolina,” Tapper said.
“We heard that,” Plaskett responded.
“Was that part of the decision-making?” Tapper asked.
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“No, I think we wanted to get in what we wanted and we did,” Plaskett said. “We believed that we proved the case. We proved the elements of an article of impeachment. It’s clear that these individuals were hardened, that they did not want to let the president be convicted or disqualified. They are afraid of his base. They are afraid of losing power, of losing their seats.”
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.