An impeachment manager says Republicans privately told her she made a compelling case to convict Trump, but they acquitted him anyway
- Del. Stacey Plaskett was a House impeachment manager in Trump's second trial.
- She told CNN that some Senate Republicans had privately told her she "made the case" for conviction.
- But she said they planned to acquit Trump and didn't want to "stand out on a limb" by convicting.
A House impeachment manager said Republican senators had told her privately that she "made the case" to convict former President Donald Trump, but they still voted to acquit him.
Stacey Plaskett, a Democratic delegate from the Virgin Islands, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Monday about interactions she had with unnamed Republican senators during Trump's second impeachment trial last week.
Plaskett said she tried to win these senators over by saying they could vote to acquit Trump but to not disqualify him from holding office - a vote that requires only a simple majority and would have taken place after a conviction.
—Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) February 16, 2021
"The response was, 'Well, I don't think you'll get to 17, so I'll never get to that second disqualification vote, and I don't want to stand out on a limb by myself,'" Plaskett recalled. Democratic senators needed 17 Republicans to vote with them in order to convict Trump.
Plaskett has in recent days also defended her decision not to call witnesses during the trial.
"We had no need to call any witnesses at the end of the trial because, as all Americans believed at that moment, the evidence was overwhelming," Plaskett told NPR on Sunday.
She also told CNN in a separate interview on Sunday: "I know 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."
Trump was acquitted on Saturday, with 57 votes to convict and 43 votes to acquit. A two-thirds majority vote is required to impeach a president. Seven Republican senators voted to convict, joining all 50 Democrats.
Among the Republicans who voted to convict was Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who is retiring after this term. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a confidant of Trump's, said Burr's vote paved the way for Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to run for his seat.
While Plaskett didn't get the outcome she was looking for in Trump's second impeachment trial, she said that it was necessary for the country and that it might stop Trump from running for office.
"I believe that January 6 was, in effect, a second kind of Civil War, and it was necessary for us to have a reckoning and for those individuals who made war against our democracy would be brought to justice, and that they needed to be held accounted for," Plaskett told Cuomo on Monday.
"And so that's what I saw as my duty and my service to my country. I believe that we were on the front lines to save our union and our republic," she added.
"But I do believe, even though we lost that case, that we have shown who Donald Trump is. We've shown the enemy that was among us, that was attempting to lead us, that was using us for his own greed and power, and that he will not have the same power that he had, should he ever attempt to run again."
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