The lead House manager of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called the Senate hearings a “dramatic success,” despite the acquittal.
Speaking to “Meet the Press” Raskin called the effort a “dramatic success in historical terms,” and the “largest impeachment conviction vote in U.S. history,” because seven Republicans crossed party lines to vote to convict the former president of inciting a riot at the United States Capitol on January 6th.
Raskin also hailed Trump’s second impeachment as a bipartisan achievement.
“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 told “Meet the Press.” “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.”
Trump still escaped being convicted of the single count on which he was impeached by the House of Representatives, with the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) even refusing to cast a vote against Trump despite blistering the former president’s actions in the days and weeks leading up to the Capitol riot in a speech on the Senate floor.
Democrats have faced steep criticism, as well, since closing arguments in the Senate on Saturday.
Despite passing around a press release from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), who claimed that House Minority Leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) asked Trump to “publicly and forcefully” call off the riot and that Trump responded by claiming Antifa had infiltrated a rally of his supporters in order to frame them for the violence, they refused to call her as a witness — a process that would have opened the door to witness testimony from both sides of the case.
In the “Meet the Press” interview, Raskin waved off the criticism, blaming Republicans.
“We were going to proceed to do it. Then the Republicans stipulated to allow the evidence to come into the record,” he said. “We could have had 1,000 witnesses,” but McConnell and others were insisting the trial itself was unconstitutional.
When asked by the Washington Post in an interview the same day, Raskin again claimed Trump’s second trial was the most successful impeachment in history but suggested that audiences watching the proceedings on television were distracted from Democrats’ success by Trump’s lawyers.
“The evidence was overwhelming, devastating, undisputable, and undisputed,” Raskin said. “As for the opposing counsel, Raskin called their lawyering ‘explosive and deranged.’”
“They couldn’t get a summer internship with ‘My Cousin Vinny,’” Raskin said, per the Post. “In some sense, he suggested, the gap between the defense and the House managers’ teams (the ‘goofus and gallant’ of lawyering) obscured that the House managers’ presentation would have shined even against competent counsel.”
Democrats, given the lack of success with the impeachment trial, are now reportedly considering taking other action against the former president and holding “9/11 commission-style” hearings on the January 6th Capitol riot.
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