Monday, May 13, 2024

What Are The Republicans Saying About Impeachment

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Partisans Express Little Or No Confidence In The Senators On The Other Side Of The Aisle To Be Fair And Reasonable During Impeachment Trial

About four-in-ten say that Republicans in the Senate will be at least somewhat fair and reasonable during the trial, with just 17% saying they are very confident GOP senators will do this. Slightly more expect Democratic senators to be at least somewhat fair, though just 18% say they are very confident in this.

Opinions about the behavior of senators during the trial are similar to views about how House Republicans and Democrats would conduct themselves during the impeachment inquiry in a survey conducted in October.

As in October, these views largely fall along partisan lines. Most Republicans and Republican leaners say they are at least somewhat confident in Senate Republicans to be fair. By contrast, 85% of Republicans express little or no confidence in Democrats in the Senate – with 53% saying they are not at all confident.

Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, 78% are at least somewhat confident in Democrats to be fair during the trial, while 84% have little or no confidence in Senate Republicans – including 52% who express no confidence at all.

Only about one-in-ten Americans express at least some confidence that both parties will act fairly. About three-in-ten express confidence in Republican senators, but not confidence in Democrats and 36% are confident in Democrats, but not Republicans. One-in-five Americans are not too confident or not at all confident that either Republicans or Democrats will act fairly and reasonably during the impeachment trial.

In Trump’s 2019 Impeachment Trial Romney Was The Only Republican Who Voted To Convict Already Six Times That Many Have Broken With The Ex

A second defendant has stepped into the dock in this first week of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The brilliant work by the House managers contrasted with the inept showing by the former president’s counsel so far leaves no good excuse for anything other than a conviction. That one-sidedness puts the U.S. Senate itself on trial, threatening serious reputational, career and historical consequences for senators who fail do the right thing — vote to convict Trump.

As a trial lawyer who served as co-counsel for the first impeachment of then-President Trump, I had been expecting surprises and there were many. The House managers enlivened what was supposed to be a constitutional debate Tuesday by previewing their main argument: that Trump knowingly incited the insurrectionists. It’s amazing that Trump’s lawyers were caught off guard by this. We did the same thing in the 2019 impeachment trial, using the opening debate over whether to call witnesses to preview the entire case. Nevertheless, Trump’s counsel were thrown into confusion — they both showed it and one admitted that they’ll “have to do better.”  

Capitol Police Chief Apologizes For Security Failures During The Assault Including A Delay In Calling For Guard Troops

The acting chief of the Capitol Police apologized to Congress on Tuesday for the agency’s extensive security failures on Jan. 6, acknowledging during a closed-door briefing that the department knew there was a “strong potential for violence” but failed to take adequate steps to prevent what she described as a “terrorist attack.”

Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting chief of police, also confirmed that the Capitol Police Board, an obscure panel made up of three voting members, had initially declined a request two days earlier for National Guard troops and then delayed for more than an hour as the violence unfolded on Jan. 6 before finally agreeing to a plea from the Capitol Police for National Guard troops, according to prepared testimony obtained by The New York Times.

In an extraordinary admission, Chief Pittman, who was not the acting chief at the time of the siege, told members of the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for the agency, that the Capitol Police “failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours.” She added, “I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the department.” Chief Pittman’s predecessor, Steven Sund, resigned after the riot.

Chief Pittman’s comments offered the fullest detailed account to date about police preparations for Jan. 6, when thousands of angry protesters, believing false claims that the election had been stolen, marched on the Capitol at the behest of former President Donald J. Trump.

While Most Republicans Are Likely To Vote To Acquit The Former President A Handful Of Votes Appear To Be In Play

Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on a charge of inciting the riot at the Capitol Jan. 6 begins with the battle lines clearly drawn. The partisan math makes it unlikely there will be the 67 votes necessary for a conviction. But at least a handful of Republican senators do appear to be in play to join what will likely be all the Democrats in voting to convict.

Forty-four of the Senate’s 50 Republicans voted Tuesday that the trial was unconstitutional because Mr. Trump has left office. Most legal experts disagree with that argument, but it was embraced by both the Trump defense team and even senators who believe he bears some responsibility for the riot, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Here are the most important Republican senators to watch during the second Trump impeachment trial.

Sen. Mitt Romney
Sen. Susan Collins

Ms. Collins has long held Trump at arm’s-length, especially when running successfully for a fifth term last year. Ms. Collins frequently falls back on a refrain that as a juror she can’t comment on impeachment proceedings until she gets to hear from the prosecution and the defense, but she has sharply criticized Trump’s conduct. “He incited them in the first place” and later failed to quell the violence by his supporters “by repeating his grievances and telling the rioters that he knew how they felt,” she wrote in a first-person account of Jan. 6 for the Bangor Daily News.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Among Gop Views Of Whether Trump Has Behaved Illegally Or Unethically Are Associated With Opinions On Removal

Congressman Says Some Republicans

Among the two-thirds of Republicans who say Trump has definitely or probably not done things that are illegal, nearly all say that he should remain in office following the Senate trial. While a majority of the 32% of Republicans who say Trump has likely done illegal things either during the campaign or while in office also say he should remain in office , about four-in-ten say the president should be removed from office.

Janet Yellen The First Woman To Be Treasury Secretary Is Sworn In By The First Woman To Be Vice President

Janet L. Yellen was sworn in as the secretary of the Treasury Department on Tuesday by Vice President Kamala Harris, a history-making moment as both are the first women to hold two of the most powerful jobs in the United States government.

Ms. Yellen is the nation’s 78th Treasury secretary and the first woman to head the institution in its 232-year history. She is also the first woman to have held all three top economic jobs in the government, having served as chair of the Federal Reserve and the Council of Economic Advisers.

She is taking the job at a time of economic crisis, with millions still out of work and the recovery slowing as the coronavirus persists. Ms. Yellen will quickly be thrust into fraught negotiations over how to design and pass a robust stimulus package to help revive an economy that has been hammered by the pandemic.

Standing outside the White House, Ms. Yellen took the oath of office with her husband, the economist George Akerlof, and her son by her side. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Ms. Harris said, “Congratulations, Madam Secretary,” to which Ms. Yellen replied, “Thank you, Madam Vice President.”

Ms. Yellen said on Twitter that she was proud to be joining the Treasury Department and described the field of economics, and the agency’s mission, as one that can “right past wrongs and improve people’s lives.”


Capitol Riot Investigation Will Slow As Officials Work To Build More Complicated Cases Justice Dept Says

Justice Department officials said on Tuesday that the fast-moving federal investigation into the assault on the Capitol is expected to slow as investigators turn their attention to more complex matters such as conspiracy and sedition cases, the investigation into the death of Officer Brian D. Sicknick of the Capitol Police and violent attacks on members of the press.

In the 20 days since rioters stormed the Capitol, the F.B.I. has received over 200,000 digital media tips and identified more than 400 suspects. Federal prosecutors quickly charged 150 criminal cases, many of which have now been elevated to felonies.

But the manhunt and investigation is expected to “reach a period of a plateau,” said Michael R. Sherwin, the U.S. attorney in Washington, as investigators shift from identifying and rounding up individuals to putting together more complicated conspiracy cases related to possible coordination among militia groups and individuals from different states who had planned to travel to the Capitol and engage in criminal conduct before the attack.

“We have to have the proper evidence to charge these, and we’re going to get it,” said Steven M. D’Antuono, the F.B.I. assistant deputy in charge of the Washington field office. “All these cases are not based upon social media and Twitter and Instagram posts. We also have traditional law enforcement tools we need to use — grand jury subpoenas search warrants — and you don’t get that overnight.”

Senator Patrick Leahy 80 Is Briefly Hospitalized As A Precaution After He Reported Feeling Unwell

Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the longest-serving senator and the president pro tempore, was briefly taken to a hospital in Washington for observation early Tuesday evening after he reported not feeling well, his spokesman said. He returned home a few hours later after an evaluation.

Mr. Leahy, whose position in the Senate puts him third in line for the presidency, oversaw the start of the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald J. Trump earlier on Tuesday. At 80, Mr. Leahy is one of the oldest senators and has served in the Senate since 1975.

After he reported not feeling well in his office, Mr. Leahy “was examined in the Capitol by the attending physician,” said David Carle, the spokesman. “Out of an abundance of caution, the attending physician recommended that he be taken to a local hospital for observation, where he is now, and where he is being evaluated.”

Mr. Leahy was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he received tests and “a thorough examination” before being released, Mr. Carle said.

The senator “looks forward to getting back to work,” Mr. Carle said.

Mr. Leahy has received both vaccine shots for the coronavirus, and it was unclear what his symptoms were.

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and Mr. Leahy’s predecessor as president pro tempore, was among those who wished Mr. Leahy well in a tweet Tuesday evening.

Republicans Have Questioned The Constitutionality Of The Trial To Prevent It From Moving Forward

Day one of Trump’s second impeachment trial was primarily focused on debates about its constitutionality, since Republicans have increasingly argued that it’s unconstitutional to try a former president — even though most legal scholars disagree, a fact Democratic House impeachment managers emphasized Tuesday.

As Vox’s Ian Millhiser has explained, a majority of legal scholars have concluded that holding an impeachment trial for a former president would be constitutional. However, the precedent for how to handle the impeachment of a former government official is less clear: In 1876, Secretary of War William Belknap faced a Senate trial after he had already resigned, and though a majority voted to proceed with the trial, two-thirds did not vote to convict, with multiple lawmakers citing concerns about the proceedings’ constitutionality.

The House impeachment managers and Trump’s counsel presented their respective arguments on this matter Tuesday, with Democrats emphasizing that impeachment is still viable for officials who’ve left office because the Constitution’s authors intended it as a way to ensure accountability, while Trump’s attorneys tried to paint the trial as a partisan effort for political gain.


Trump won’t be convicted. Impeachment is still worth it.

Ultimately, as the result of the final constitutionality vote suggests, their arguments seemed only to reaffirm where senators, on both sides of the aisle, already stood.

Gop Senators Signal They Plan To Acquit Trump Despite Visceral Presentation By House Democrats

The House impeachment managers presented senators with videos of their colleagues fleeing a pro-Trump mob, which breached the US Capitol shouting “stop the steal.” They showed the rioters searching for then-Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and rummaging through the senators’ desks on the chamber floor.

Some of the Trump supporters were dressed in tactical gear, armed with zip-ties. Others held Trump 2020 flags, broke windows with poles and set up a gallows for Pence, who was constitutionally obligated to oversee the certification of the 2020 presidential election, and the peaceful transfer of power to the Democrats.

Key moments from the second day of Trump’s impeachment trial

But even after witnessing the deadly violence firsthand, and being reminded of it again at the scene of the crime, many Republican senators appeared no closer on Wednesday to convicting former President Donald Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

While they were struck by the impeachment managers’ presentation, these Republicans said that the House Democrats did not prove Trump’s words led to the violent actions. They compared the January 6 riot to last summer’s racial justice protests and criticizedhow the trial is being handled.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said he couldn’t believe “we could lose the Capitol like that” but added that it didn’t change his mind on whether to acquit Trump during the trial.

How will GOP senators ignore this?

Others were clearly moved.

Biden Calls Putin To Discuss Navalny Government Hack Ukraine And Malign Actions By Russia

President Biden called President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Tuesday to address a long list of grievances — from the hacking of U.S. federal agencies, to the poisoning and detention of the Russian dissident Aleksei A. Navalny as well as a host of other “malign actions by Russia,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said.

Mr. Biden struck a more confrontational tone — a sharp break from former President Donald J. Trump’s chummy approach to Mr. Putin — committing to the protection of Ukraine’s “sovereignty,” and pressing for the extension of the New Start treaty for five years, which would limit both countries to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons.

“President Biden made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies,” according to a White House readout of the conversation. “The two presidents agreed to maintain transparent and consistent communication going forward.”

When Mr. Biden was asked at an event at the White House on Tuesday what Mr. Putin had to say, the president joked, “He sends his best!”

Mr. Biden attacked Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin with abandon during the 2020 campaign. But although he was able to mock Mr. Trump’s relationship with the Russian leader when he was a candidate, as president he must keep the peace between uneasy nuclear rivals.

But he quickly pivoted to the need for cooperation in “mutual self-interest,” and the treaty.


Lloyd Austin The New Defense Secretary Prepares To Address Sexual Assault In The Military

After years of failure to curb the scourge of sexual assault in the military, Lloyd J. Austin III, the new secretary of defense, is open to to how those crimes are prosecuted, a potential sea change that generations of commanders have resisted.

Overhauling the way the military handles sexual assault cases — by taking them outside the chain of command and assigning them to prosecutors with no connection to the accused — would need approval by Congress, where some legislators have long pushed for such a system.

President Biden has been a vocal proponent of these changes, even as general after general has gone to Capitol Hill to argue against them over the past decade. “I had a real run-in with one of the members of the Joint Chiefs in the cabinet room on the issue,” Mr. Biden said last year at a fund-raiser.

Mr. Austin’s first act as secretary was to order a review of how the Pentagon has been handling sexual assault cases. He is also being pushed by Congress. Senators repeatedly asked him how he planned to handle the problems of sexual harassment and assault in the military during his confirmation hearing this month.

If Mr. Austin, a retired four-star army general, were to embrace these changes, he would be the first secretary to do so, a major shift in position for the Pentagon.

The Capitol Attack Wasnt A False Flag Gop Officials Continue To Spread The Theory Anyway

Former GOP Senator Says At Least 35

In the hours after supporters of President Donald J. Trump engaged in a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, some Republicans began advancing a fantastical alternative theory: that the attack was actually led by far-left activists trying to frame Republicans.

The outlandish claims have been widely discredited by the authorities, and some of the faces in the Capitol crowd were recognizable right-wing figures. The numerous arrests since the assault have overwhelmingly involved devoted Trump supporters and far-right adherents. But despite the clear evidence, the so-called false flag theory continues to persist in Republican circles.

Last week, the Oregon Republican Party passed a resolution falsely claiming that there was “growing evidence that the violence at the Capitol was a ‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters and all conservative Republicans.” Bill Currier, the chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, said in a video discussion that state party officials were working with counterparts across the country to “coordinate our messaging” around the Capitol attack, the response to it and the continuing efforts to impeach the president.

Mr. Currier said other states would be adopting similar resolutions. “There will be many states doing this,” Mr. Currier said. “We’re not the only ones.”

Most Senate Republicans Back Measure Saying Trump Impeachment Trial Is Unconstitutional

Dareh Gregorian

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday for a measure that would have declared the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump unconstitutional because he is no longer in office.

The motion, by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was defeated by a vote of 55-45, showing that Democrats have an uphill climb to secure the 67 votes needed for a conviction. Among those who voted for the motion was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has said he is undecided whether to convict Trump and who worked on the trial calendar with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

McConnell, when he was majority leader, rebuffed Democrats’ efforts to hold the trial while Trump was in office.

Senators were sworn for Trump’s second impeachment trial earlier Tuesday, a day after House impeachment managers delivered to the Senate the article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement of insurrection in the Capitol riot this month.

The senators were given the oath by Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Democratic-controlled Senate.

“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of Donald John Trump, former president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws, so help you God?” Leahy asked the assembled senators.

Leahy is presiding over the trial instead of Chief Justice John Roberts because Trump is a former president.

Majorities Of Americans Say It Is Likely That Trump Has Acted Illegally Or Unethically

About six-in-ten Americans think that Donald Trump has probably or definitely done things that are illegal either during the 2016 election campaign or during his time in office. Slightly more say he has probably or definitely done things that are unethical.

More than nine-in-ten Democrats and about one-third of Republicans say he has definitely or probably done illegal things, while 90% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans say he has definitely or probably done things that are unethical.

About two-thirds of Democrats express certainty that Trump has done things that are illegal, including 79% of liberal Democrats and 55% of moderate and conservative Democrats.

Republicans are much less likely than Democrats to say that Trump has definitely done illegal things, with only 8% saying this. However, an additional 23% say he has probably done illegal things.

About half of moderate and liberal Republicans say that Trump has probably or definitely done things that are illegal . Just 20% of conservative Republicans say this.

The proportion of Democrats saying Trump has probably or definitely done unethical things is nearly identical to the proportion saying he has done illegal things . Among Republicans, more say that Trump has probably or definitely acted unethically than say he has probably or definitely acted illegally .

Stacey Plaskett Addresses Emotional Toll Of Seeing Black Women Used In Trump Defense

“Those 43 who voted to acquit the president did so because they were afraid of him, because they were more interested in party and in power than they were in our country and in duty to their Senate oath,” she added.

Plaskett said Trump “will be forever tarnished” by the impeachment.

“I think it leaves him for all history — our children and my grandchildren will see in history that this was the most despicable despot attempting to become a fascist ruler over a country that was founded in democracy,” she said.

President Biden said the attack on the Capitol “has reminded us that democracy is fragile.” Above, Biden speaks during a visit Thursday to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Evan Vucci/APhide caption

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President Biden said the attack on the Capitol “has reminded us that democracy is fragile.” Above, Biden speaks during a visit Thursday to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

President Biden responded to the Senate’s acquittal of Donald Trump on Saturday by reminding Americans that truth must be defended, saying the impeachment of the former president was a stark illustration of the danger posed to democracy by lies, misinformation and extremism.

And Biden said that although Trump was acquitted, his actions in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection were not “in dispute.”

Trump Lawyer: His Call To Georgia Officials To ‘find’ Votes Was Taken Out Of Context

Trump’s lawyers largely sidestepped Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked during the question-and-answer session: “Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a big lie, or in your judgment did Trump actually win the election?”

Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen shot back, “My judgment? Who asked that?”

“I did,” Sanders replied.

“My judgment is irrelevant,” van der Veen said.

“You represent the president of the United States!” Sanders yelled back before Sen. Patrick Leahy, the presiding officer, gaveled the chamber back to order.

Trump’s rhetoric about widespread fraud and a stolen election was false, dismissed by many courts stemming from dozens of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and allies across several key states.

How The Seven Republicans Who Voted To Convict Trump Later Explained Their Decisions

“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Senator Richard Burr, who is retiring at the end of his term in 2022.

Senator Bill Cassidy said he voted “guilty” because that’s what Trump was, and that “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person.”

“Instead of preventing a dangerous situation, President Trump created one,” explained Senator Susan Collins, referencing how primed the January 6 crowd of Trump supporters was for violence. “And rather than defend the Constitutional transfer of power, he incited an insurrection with the purpose of preventing that transfer of power from occurring.”

Explained Senator Lisa Murkowski: “If I can’t say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me?”

Senator Mitt Romney said the House managers proved their case, adding that Trump incited an insurrection “despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the vice president, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction.”

After Speaking Out On Impeachment Herrera Beutler Heads Toward Clash With Her Party

“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” he said, “and having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”

McConnell rebuked Trump for his actions after the insurrection as well.

“He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored,” he continued.

“No. Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily — happily — as the chaos unfolded,” he said. “Even after it was clear to any reasonable observer that Vice President Pence was in serious danger.”

But McConnell said that the process of impeachment and conviction is a “limited tool” and that he believes Trump is not “constitutionally eligible for conviction.”

“The Constitution gives us a particular role. This body is not invited to act as the nation’s overarching moral tribunal,” he said.

He said that the text of the question of constitutionality is “legitimately ambiguous” and that he “respects” his colleagues for reaching either the conclusion to acquit or convict.

Seven Republicans broke ranks with their party in voting for a conviction.

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Michael van der Veen, defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump, gives closing arguments during Trump’s second impeachment trial on February 13, 2021.

Trump’s Defense Closes Its Case By Saying Impeachment Trial Is A ‘complete Charade’

Manager Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado rebutted the defense’s argument that Trump has been denied due process.

“We had a full presentation of evidence, adversarial presentations, motions. The president was invited to testify. He declined. The president was invited to provide exculpatory evidence. He declined. You can’t claim there’s no due process when you won’t participate in the process,” he said.

He noted that impeachment is separate and distinct from the criminal justice system.

“Why would the constitution include the impeachment power at all, if the criminal justice system serves as a suitable alternative once a President leaves office?” he asked. “It wouldn’t.”

Neguse also sought to address an allegation raised by defense attorneys, that the impeachment trial was rooted in hate. He turned to a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“This trial is not born from hatred,” said Neguse. “Far from it. It’s born from love of country. Our country. Our desire to maintain it. Our desire to see America at its best.”

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On Saturday morning, senators voted to hear from Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler as a witness in the impeachment trial. Later, an agreement allowed a statement by her into the record without calling her.

The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump won’t be hearing from witnesses after all.

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The White House Press Briefings Will Include An American Sign Language Interpreter

"IMPEACHMENT SHAM" Republicans Say Impeachment Process Is ...

The Biden administration announced this week that it would include an American Sign Language interpreter in its daily press briefings, a step that the previous administration avoided taking until a court ordered it to do so late last year.

The move is a “historical first,” according to Howard A. Rosenblum, the chief executive officer of the National Association of the Deaf.

Past administrations have occasionally had A.S.L. briefers at some White House events and meetings, Mr. Rosenblum said, but President Biden is the first to make it a fixture.

“The president is committed to building an America that is more inclusive, more just and more accessible for every American, including Americans with disabilities and their families,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said during Monday’s briefing. She introduced the interpreter as Heather.

Last year, Mr. Rosenblum’s advocacy group and five deaf Americans sued the Trump administration for holding briefings on the coronavirus without a sign language interpreter present, arguing that it was a violation of the First Amendment.

The government responded that it had provided closed-captioning, but the plaintiffs said that was not an adequate substitute. A federal judge in Washington sided with the plaintiffs, and the Trump administration started including an interpreter in November.

Stacey Plaskett: Trump Trial Needed ‘more Senators With Spines Not More Witnesses’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and West Virginia GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito both cited constitutional concerns in their decision to vote to acquit Trump.

Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett, another impeachment manager, told NPR’s Weekend Edition that they didn’t “reverse course” on witnesses but instead succeeded in adding Herrera Beutler’s statement describing a conversation between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump as the attack was ongoing.

“I know that people have a lot of angst and they can’t believe that the Senate did what they did . But what we needed were senators, more senators with spines, not more witnesses,” Plaskett said.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a close ally of President Biden, reportedly urged House managers to relent on witnesses. He told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that spending “months fighting over witnesses” wouldn’t have been worth it.

“What the House managers needed wasn’t more witnesses or more evidence, what we all needed was more Republican courage,” he said. “This was the most bipartisan verdict in American history, a strong rebuke to President Trump, but frankly at the end of the day, the trial had reached its natural conclusion.”

Seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump, after 10 GOP House members voted to impeach Trump for inciting the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol.

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