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 TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report 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 MurphyUS, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks Democrats face big headaches on Biden's T spending plan Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap 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 BeutlerUninvited Trump is specter at GOP retreat McCarthy defends Trump response to deadly Jan. 6 riot Republicans who backed Trump impeachment see fundraising boost MORE (R-Wash.) revealing how Trump had told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories National Review editors defend Cheney from party attacks 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 TapperCNN's Jake Tapper questions giving some GOP leaders airtime Cheney slams Trump on 'big lie' over election Biden adviser on schools reopening in the fall: 'We can't look in a crystal ball' 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 RomneyThe American Rescue Plan was a step toward universal basic income Cheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Florida's restrictive voting bill signed into law 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.