Plaskett defends not calling witnesses in Trump trial: ‘We needed more senators with spines’

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Ashley Terrell
·3 min read
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Del. Plaskett served as one of the nine House impeachment managers

De. Stacey Plaskett appeared on CNN‘s State of the Union with correspondent Jake Tapper on Sunday where she defended the Democratic House manager’s decision to not call witnesses in former President Donald Trump‘s Senate impeachment trial.

The day following Trump’s acquittal, Plaskett said frankly that they “needed more senators with spines” in order to convict the former president, according to CNN.

Stacey Plaskett thegrio.com
Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) speaks on the second day of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 10, 2021 (Photo by congress.gov via Getty Images)

“I know that people are feeling a lot of angst and believe that maybe if we had (a witness) the senators would have done what we wanted, but, listen, we didn’t need more witnesses, we needed more senators with spines,” said Plaskett, who represents the US Virgin Islands’ at-large congressional district and served as one of nine impeachment managers.

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Tapper mentioned Plaskett and her fellow impeachment managers’ intentions to call on Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington as a witness to describe Rep. Kevin McCarthy‘s call with Trump in which he defended the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“He said, ‘Well, Kevin, these aren’t my people, these are Antifa.’ And Kevin responded and said, ‘No, they’re your people…you need to call them off.’ And the President’s response to Kevin, to me, was chilling,” Herrera Beutler said in a recorded call on Feb. 8. “He said, ‘Well, Kevin, I guess they’re more upset about the election theft than you are.”

Herrera Beutler’s statement was entered into the trial record as evidence and no witnesses appeared at the trials which reportedly frustrated Democrats.

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Stacey E Plaskett thegrio.com
(Credit: House of Represenatives)

Plaskett said her team heard they were at risk of losing Republican votes including Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina but assured that it didn’t play into their decision.

When asked why the team backed down, she replied, “I think we didn’t back down.”

“I think what we did was we got what we wanted which was her statement, which is what she said and had it put into the record and being able to say it on the record out loud so others would hear,” she said.

“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.”

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