Congressional Democrats say Trump acquittal was foregone conclusion

Congressional Democrats say Trump acquittal was foregone conclusion
© Bloomberg/Pool

Democratic members of Congress said on Sunday that the acquittal of former President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS US raises concerns about Iran's seriousness in nuclear talks MORE at the conclusion of his second impeachment trial one day earlier had been a foregone conclusion.

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden officials brace for worst despite vaccine data Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing Democrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP MORE (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, said he had “no regrets” about the trial, however.

“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 said on NBC's "Meet the Press," referencing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE’s floor speech blasting Trump shortly after the Kentucky Republican voted to acquit the former president. 

“It could be First Amendment. It could be bill of attainder. It could be due process. I mean, all of them are nonsense,” Raskin told host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddGOP senator hammers Biden proposal to raise corporate tax rate Buttigieg says infrastructure plan will cut deficit 'by year 16' Sunday shows: Biden's border woes, gun control dominate MORE. “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’s fellow impeachment manager Del. Stacey PlaskettStacey PlaskettPlaskett slams GOP rep for saying Black Lives Matter 'doesn't like the old-fashioned family' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help Plaskett makes history for Virgin Islands after role in impeachment MORE (D-Virgin Islands) expressed similar sentiments on CNN’s “State of the Union,” defending the Democrats' decision not to call witnesses.

McConnell, she said, "agreed with us. They all agreed with us. ... We didn't need more witnesses. We needed more senators with spines."

"We didn't back down" on witnesses, said Plaskett, who noted that Democrats successfully entered a statement from 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.) into the record. Herrera Beutler said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRepublican House campaign arm rakes in .7 million in first quarter McCarthy asks FBI, CIA for briefing after two men on terror watchlist stopped at border Harris in difficult starring role on border MORE (R-Calif.) had told her Trump said the rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were “more upset about the election” than McCarthy was.

"I think what we did was we got what we wanted, which was her statement," Plaskett added.

Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinLawmakers say fixing border crisis is Biden's job Number of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports Grassley, Cornyn push for Senate border hearing MORE (D-Ill.) similarly said the Senate was “never going to reach” the required two-thirds majority to convict without McConnell’s support.

“We were never going to reach 67 votes in the Senate without Mitch McConnell voting guilty. So he went up on the floor afterwards. He basically gave the speech that Jamie Raskin would have given to the Senate and then tried to justify his vote for acquittal,” Durbin said on “Meet the Press.”

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLobbying world New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy Bottom line MORE (D-Minn.), meanwhile, said the trial would serve as a historical referendum on Trump.

“It’s not what we accomplished. ... It’s what our republic accomplished,” Klobuchar said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ve got to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. What this was about to me was about not hiding history.”

The Minnesota senator credited the seven “courageous Republicans” who voted to convict Trump, making the votes in both the House impeachment and the Senate trial the most bipartisan in the nation’s history.

On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike Sanders expresses 'serious concerns' with Biden's defense increase MORE (R-S.C.) defended his vote  to acquit Trump, conceding the former president's repeated claims of voter fraud were “not sound and not true” but calling them “politically protected speech.”

Graham said he had recently spoken to Trump and that the former president was “mad at some folks” but “ready to move on.”

The South Carolina senator during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" also referenced McConnell’s speech. 

“That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns. I would imagine if you’re a Republican running in Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire, where we have a chance to take back the Senate, they may be playing Sen. McConnell’s speech and asking you about it if you’re a candidate,” he said.

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyCalls grow for national paid family leave amid pandemic Senators urge Energy chief to prioritize cybersecurity amid growing threats Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general MORE (R-La.), one of the seven Republicans to vote to convict, also said on ABC’s “This Week” that it was clear Trump “wished that lawmakers be intimidated” while finalizing the Electoral College results.

“And even after he knew there was violence taking place, he continued to basically sanction the mob being there. And not until later that he actually asked them to leave,” Cassidy said. “All of that points to a motive and a method and that is wrong. He should be held accountable.”