“No regrets” — Lead impeachment manager defends decision to forgo witnesses at trial

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It’s Monday morning quarterback time for the Democratic party after their second attempt at impeaching Donald Trump failed due to the refusal of Republican senators to find the courage to hold a man — whom practically every one of them knows was guilty of the charges of inciting an insurrection — to account.

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While outside observers debate whether the House impeachment managers should have called witnesses — extending the trial potentially for weeks or months and halting progress on the passage of President Biden’s urgent agenda to undo the damage to the United States caused by Trump’s presidency — Congressman Jaime Raskin (D-MD),  the lead impeachment manager for the 2nd impeachment trial, says he has “no regrets” over the decision to refrain from calling witnesses despite the eventual acquittal decision the Senate made.

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Appearing on NBC’s Meet The Press, Rep. Raskin was asked by host Chuck Todd whether there was anything the Democrats could have done differently, including adding additional articles of impeachment, to achieve the conviction that they believed that Trump so richly deserved.

“We have no regrets at all. We left it totally out there on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and every senator knew exactly what happened. And just go back and listen to McConnell’s speech,” Raskin responded, referring to the Senate Minority Leader’s clear indictment of the ex-president as guilty despite his vote for acquittal.

“Everybody was convinced of the case we put forward, but, you know, as the defense lawyer said, just pick any one of these phony constitutional defenses, and then you can justify it,” he continued.

“It could be First Amendment, it could be bill of attainder, it could be due process. I mean all of them are nonsense,” Raskin added. “I thought that I successfully demolished them at the trial but, you know, there’s no reasoning with people who basically are, you know, acting like members of a religious cult and when they leave office should be selling flowers at Dulles Airport.”

Raskin took the long view of history in assessing the ultimate impact of the trial, calling it “a dramatic success in historical terms,” because of the unprecedented numbers of members of Trump’s own party who voted for conviction.

“You need two thirds, but I think that we successfully prosecuted him and convicted him in the court of public opinion and in the court of history,” Raskin stated. “He’s obviously a major political problem for the Republican Party, and as long as he’s out there, attempting to wage war on American constitutional democracy, he’s a problem for all of us.”

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Of course, despite his acquittal in the Senate on the impeachment charges, Trump still faces both criminal and civil investigations and lawsuits that can significantly affect his lifestyle and ability to influence politics going forward.

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No amount of after the fact second-guessing can change the outcome of the impeachment at this point, but it’s likely that no amount of additional witnesses would have been able to sway the staunch partisans in the GOP to go against their political instincts and do something that they believe would kill their chances to win their next elections.

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You can watch a clip of Congressman Jaime Raskin on NBC’s Meet The Press in the video attached below.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter. 

Original reporting by Zach Budryk at The Hill.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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