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Democratic senator defends decision not to call witnesses: 'They weren't going to get more Republican votes'

Democratic senator defends decision not to call witnesses: 'They weren't going to get more Republican votes'
© Greg Nash

A Democratic senator who along with his colleagues served as jurors for former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE's second impeachment trial defended the decision by House impeachment managers not to call witnesses even after the upper chamber voted in favor of doing so.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyPassage of FASTER Act is critical for food allergy community Sunday shows: Biden's border woes, gun control dominate Murphy, Toomey say background check bill could pass Senate MORE (D-Conn.) asserted that Democratic managers had achieved their goal of drawing national attention to a statement released by Rep. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerLawmakers urge Capitol Police release IG report on riot House Republicans who backed Trump impeachment warn Democrats on Iowa election challenge Hillicon Valley: Democrats push Facebook to 'take responsibility' for placement of gun accessory ads | Lawmakers introduce bill allowing Americans to take foreign hackers to court | Malala Yousafzai signs content deal with Apple MORE (R-Wash.) revealing how Trump had told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTop academics slam Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act Boehner: 'There's a lot of leaders in the Republican Party' Pelosi on whether Gaetz should resign: 'That's up to the Republicans to take responsibility for that' MORE (R-Calif.) that the rioters were "more upset about the election" than McCarthy was as the Capitol was being invaded.

"Frankly I think they did get what they wanted. They got the whole country tuned in," Murphy said.

"In the end, the managers made the decision that it probably wouldn't have helped their case," he added.

Murphy added that he did not believe Democrats could have secured more defections among the GOP caucus for the conviction vote even had the party called witnesses and extended the trial for weeks.

"They had proved their case by yesterday morning, they weren't going to get more Republican votes," Murphy said.

Asked by CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperArkansas governor says 'divisive' Trump attacks on GOP officials are 'unhelpful' Arkansas governor: Veto on trans youth bill was a 'message of compassion and conservatism' Buttigieg: Lawmakers can call infrastructure package 'whatever they like' but 'it's good policy' MORE about the speed of the impeachment trial, which was the shortest in U.S. history, Murphy remarked that the facts of the case were so apparent due to the very public nature of the riot and the former president's own remarks that day.

"Prior impeachment trials were about secret proceedings inside the White House. This was about the president publicly assembling, inciting a mob to storm the Capitol that the entire world watched," Murphy said. 

"I don't know if we needed as long as we took on Ukraine, or on others to get a result," he continued, referring to Trump's first impeachment trial over his conversations with Ukraine's president. That trial ended with an acquittal in early 2020 with only one GOP vote to convict, that of Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRomney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' Trump's early endorsements reveal GOP rift Two sheriff's deputies shot by gunman in Utah MORE (R-Utah).

Trump was also acquitted on Saturday in a 57-43 vote that saw seven Republicans joining Democrats in voting to convict the former president.