Biden substance of impeachment charge is not in dispute as he calls for unity


President Joe Biden has reacted to the Senate acquittal of Donald Trump by calling for unity, even as he insists that the ‘substance’ of the charge of incitement to insurrection is ‘not in dispute.’

‘While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,’ Biden said in a statement on Saturday night.

‘Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol,’ Biden added.

Biden said that following the trial, he was thinking of those who died on January 6, as well as ‘those who demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy – Democrats and Republicans, election officials and judges, elected representatives and poll workers – before and after the election.’ 

President Joe Biden has reacted to the Senate acquittal of Donald Trump by calling for unity, even as he insists that the ‘substance’ of the charge of incitement to insurrection is ‘not in dispute.’

'This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile,' said Biden

‘This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile,’ said Biden

‘This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile,’ said Biden. 

‘That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America. And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies,’ he added.

‘That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it’s a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America,’ said Biden.

It came hours after the Senate voted 57-43 to convict, falling far short of the 67 votes needed for a conviction even as seven Republicans joined with the Democrats on the question.

‘If I can’t say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me?’ Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of the Republicans voting to convict, told reporters.

It came hours after the Senate voted 57-43 to convict, falling far short of the 67 votes needed even as seven Republicans joined with the Democrats on the question

It came hours after the Senate voted 57-43 to convict, falling far short of the 67 votes needed even as seven Republicans joined with the Democrats on the question

Besides Murkowski, other Republican senators voting against Trump were Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Underscoring the perils of affronting Trump and his legions of GOP loyalists, by late evening top Republicans from at least two of the defecting senators’ states had blasted them.

Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Lawrence Tabas issued a statement saying he shared ‘the disappointment of many of our grassroots leaders and volunteers’ over Toomey’s vote. Louisiana´s Republican Party said, ‘We condemn, in the strongest possible terms’ Cassidy’s vote and said its executive committee voted unanimously to censure him.

Democrats holding out long-shot hopes of convicting Trump would have needed 17 Republicans to prevail, which as expected proved an unreachable goal. 

That hope died after the influential Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said he would vote to acquit because he believed lawmakers had no jurisdiction over a former president.

Even so, McConnell delivered searing words against Trump in a speech after the vote, saying the former president was ‘practically and morally responsible’ for provoking the attack on lawmakers as they formally certified Trump’s Electoral College defeat by Joe Biden. 

Five people died, and the House impeached Trump for inciting insurrection. 

Biden’s full statement on Senate vote in Trump’s impeachment trial 

‘It was nearly two weeks ago that Jill and I paid our respects to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who laid in honor in the Rotunda after losing his life protecting the Capitol from a riotous, violent mob on January 6, 2021.

‘Today, 57 Senators – including a record 7 Republicans – voted to find former President Trump guilty for inciting that deadly insurrection on our very democracy. The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives. While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute. Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol.

‘Tonight, I am thinking about those who bravely stood guard that January day. I’m thinking about all those who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened, and all those who are still today living with terror they lived through that day. And I’m thinking of those who demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy – Democrats and Republicans, election officials and judges, elected representatives and poll workers – before and after the election.

‘This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America. And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

‘That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it’s a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America.’

 

Trump is acquitted 57-43 of inciting MAGA riot: SEVEN Republicans turn on him but Dems fall short of 67 votes needed to convict – and as he hints at ‘glorious’ comeback McConnell attacks ‘disgraceful dereliction’ and says he could be CHARGED 

The Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial Saturday as the vast majority of Republicans held together against a charge that he incited the Capitol riot of January 6.

After a roll call vote of the Senate, 57 senators voted to convict, with 43 senators voting to acquit. It wasn’t enough to meet the two-thirds threshold set out in the Constitution. 

A total of seven Republicans voted to convict; two of them have announced they are retiring at the end of their terms. 

The group included Sen. Richard Burr, who is retiring and who previously chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee during the Russia probe, and who voted ‘guilty.’ It also included Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who had appeared to waver and who voted earlier that the proceeding was constitutional.

Also voting ‘guilty’ were Republicans Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey, who is retiring.  

It was a bipartisan vote, but well short of the 67 votes that would have been needed to convict, a bar that many pro-impeachment lawmakers believed was out of reach even before the proceedings began.

Majority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer called it the most bipartisan impeachment in American history.

Each senator stood and announced their vote from their desks, in a gesture meant to show the solemnity of the occasion.

Members of the MAGA mob had occupied and rifled through many of those desks during the riot, in defiance captured on video now being used against them by federal prosecutors.  

‘They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the speaker of the House,’ said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the chamber had voted. ‘They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the vice president. They did this because they’d been fed wild, falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth because he was angry he lost an election. Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,’ said McConnell – although he himself voted to acquit Trump of the charge, citing technical grounds.

‘The mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners. Hanging his flags. And screaming their loyalty to him,’ said McConnell. 

McConnell, who declined to call back the Senate into session following the House’s January impeachment, also said Trump is not in the clear just yet. ‘President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office,’ McConnell said. ‘As an ordinary citizen unless the statute of limitations has run, still liable for everything he did while he’s in office. Didn’t get away with anything – yet. Yet,’ McConnell said. He brought up the criminal justice system and civil litigation. ‘Presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.’

When House managers spoke after the verdict, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to walk over to the Senate and join them, unloading on McConnell for his decision.

‘I don’t know whether it was for donors or what but whatever it was it was a very disingenuous speech,’ she fumed. 

She wrote off the possibility of a censure resolution, which wouldn’t need to meet the same hurdle, as a ‘slap on the wrist.’ 

‘We censure people using stationary for the wrong purpose. We don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol,’ she said. 

‘He is hereby acquitted of the charge in said article,’ said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont after the votes were cast. 

It was an outcome that was expected but nevertheless disappointed Democrats, who made Trump both the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and the first to be acquitted twice. 

Democratic House managers who brought the charge could at least claim that the former president suffered a bipartisan rebuke – with a majority voting to convict him on the single charge of ‘incitement of insurrection.’

Reaching the required two-thirds supermajority established in the Constitution was already a high hurdle in a chamber that had shown consistent deference to Trump while he was in office.

It continued after Trump left office, even as managers sought to confront them with the existential threat the riot posed to the Capitol and the democracy – as well as their own personal safety.

Minutes after the Senate voted, Trump issued a statement attacking Democrats from his office at Mar-a-Lago. ‘It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree,’ he said. 

‘I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate,’ said Trump.

Each of the seven Republicans to vote to convicted provided their own reasons. Murkowski is the only one to face voters in 2022. Cassidy, of Louisiana, was the most succinct: ‘Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty,’ he said.

 

‘They could have killed us all’ 

‘Things could have been much worse,’ Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island said earlier in the trial. ‘As one senator said, they could have killed all of us.’

But appeals to the senators’ own lives weren’t sufficient in a chamber that went along with Trump through four tumultuous years, only breaking with him to override a veto of a popular defense bill after he had already lost the November election.

New information that unfolded even as the trial went forward also did not move the needle. The presentation featured 11th hour claims about what Trump told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even as the riot was underway. Trump’s lawyers stipulated to the information, and it was allowed into the record.

Democrats also played jarring footage of Vice President Mike Pence being rushed out of the room where he was being secured as the mob was taking the building. The noted repeatedly that Trump never called Pence to check on his safety, and noted that Trump sent out a tweet pressuring Pence and saying he lacked ‘courage’ even after the riot was underway. (Video footage they played repeatedly showed members of the MAGA mob shouting to ‘hang’ Pence.)

For Democrats, it was an improvement over the first impeachment, when a single Republican, Mitt Romney of Utah, voted for an impeachment charge over Trump’s effort to pressure the government of Ukraine for dirt on his political opponent, Joe Biden.

That trial, held when the Senate was under GOP control, famously called no witnesses about the Ukraine affair, even with former national security advisor John Bolton finally ready to talk.

It call in a week-long trial that culminated with an angry attack by President Trump’s lawyer Michael van der Veen, who called impeachment a ‘complete charade from beginning to end.’ Channeling Trump, he said the entire spectacle ‘was nothing but the pursuit of a longstanding political vendetta against Mr. Trump by the opposition party.’ 

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S STATEMENT AFTER BEING ACQUITTED BY THE SENATE

I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth.

My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.

Our cherished Constitutional Republic was founded on the impartial rule of law, the indispensable safeguard for our liberties, our rights and our freedoms.

It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree. I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.

This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago.

I also want to convey my gratitude to the millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding, God-and-Country loving citizens who have bravely supported these important principles in these very difficult and challenging times.

Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!

We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future.

Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

We remain one People, one family, and one glorious nation under God, and it’s our responsibility to preserve this magnificent inheritance for our children and for generations of Americans to come.

May God bless all of you, and may God forever bless the United States of America.

 

Deal to avoid witness testimony 

But Democrats on Saturday appeared to walk away from an opportunity to extend the trial further. After prevailing on a vote to allow witnesses, they reached a deal with Republicans and Trump’s team to allow for a stipulation regarding new evidence about Trump’s McCarthy call.

They gave up the chance to try to pry away new damaging information on Trump’s conduct, in a forum where they weren’t likely to prevail anyway, and with the 100-day agenda of President Joe Biden potentially at risk.

The quick conclusion to a trial that only began Tuesday came despite last minute drama Saturday that raised the potential it could go in an entirely different direction – turning into an extended fact-finding endeavor that could stretch an additional two weeks. 

Following the jolt of tension, Democrats got the evidence, which provides a window into Trump’s conduct while the Capitol riot was underway – although it was not expected to change the vote breakdown in a meaningful way or take the trial in a new direction. 

 

Drama as Raskin calls for the chance to hear from witnesses 

House Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland stunned senators Saturday morning when he spoke on the need for hearing from Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Washington state, on what she says McCarthy told her about the call even as the MAGA mob was rampaging through the Capitol.  

It was the second major development of the day, after Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell revealed he would vote to acquit the former president, while sharing his procedural reasons. 

Herrera Beutler says Trump told McCarthy: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’

Democratic managers could use the statement to argue that Trump inflamed the riot rather than trying to stop it.

But Raskin’s request threatened to blow up the trial schedule, potentially dragging it out for weeks, especially after Trump’s legal team threatened to call more than 300 witnesses.

That evidently was an outcome neither side was willing to stomach, for different reasons.

After a break, both Trump’s lawyer and Raskin agreed to a ‘stipulation’ of the evidence, which Raskin then read into the trial record. 

Trump lawyer Bruce Castor said Trump through his lawyers was prepared to stipulate that Rep. Herrera Beutler, were she to testify under oath, it would be consistent with her Feb. 12th statement, which Raskin then read.

The agreement then allowed the trial to move on past the witness phase – meaning none will be called. 

It was a swift conclusion to the matter only hours after House managers moved to call Rep. Herrera Beutler for testimony about her stunning claims about what Trump said his supporters were ransacking the Capitol.

With the evidence in the record and in hand – and with neither side demanding more witnesses – Raskin immediately pounced on the new information, saying Trump took actions that ‘further incited the insurgents to be more inflamed and to take even more extreme selective and focused action against Vice President Mike Pence.’

Raskin read Trump’s quote from Herrera Beutler’s notes to McCarthy aloud again. ‘Think about that for a second. This uncontradicted statement that has just been stipulated as part of the evidentiary record. The president said, ‘Well, I guess these people’ – meaning the mobsters, the insurrectionists – ‘are more upset about the election than you.’ That conduct is obviously part of the constitutional offense that he was impeached for, namely incitement to insurrection, that is continuing incitement to the insurrection,’ he said.

He said it provided ‘further decisive evidence of his intent to incite the insurrection in the first place.’  

Another manager, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, repeated the quote in his own arguments afterward. He said Trump ‘was essentially saying: You got what you deserve.’

‘His sole focus was stealing the election for himself,’ said Cicilline. 

Cicilline said two things during closing remarks that got the attention of Trump’s attorney and Sen. Mike Lee, who had previously objected to how the Rhode Island Democrat contextualized the phone call between Trump and Tuberville, which came through on Lee’s phone.

‘According to the facts revealed last night, the vice president’s team does not agree with the president’s counsel’s assessment either, the report says and I quote “Pence’s team does not agree with the Trump lawyer’s assessment that Trump was concerned about Pence’s safety,”‘ Cicilline said on the Senate floor.

He was citing a tweet from Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey.

‘Trump didn’t call that day or for five days after that. No one else on Trump’s team called when Pence was evacuated to one room and another, the screaming mob nearby,’ Cicilline said, again quoting Dawsey.

Van der Veen jumped up to point out Democrats weren’t allowed to include new evidence during closing arguments.

‘New evidence is not permitted in closing arguments – references to new evidence will be stricken,’ Leahy, who is chairing the proceedings, later said.

Cicilline again walked the chamber through the timeline of when Trump might have known Pence was in danger and included the new information that the president’s call to Tuberville on Lee’s phone came after Trump had tweeted negatively about the vice president.

Republican senators voting to convict former President Trump of incitement of insurrection

Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.)

Bill Cassidy (La.)

Mitt Romney (Utah)

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Susan Collins (Maine)

Ben Sasse (Neb.)

Pat Toomey (Pa.)

 

‘Remember, by this phone call the vice president has just been evacuated on live television for his own safety and Donald Trump, after that, tweeted an attack on him, which the insurgents read on a bullhorn,’ Cicilline said. ‘And a few minutes after Donald Trump’s tweet, he didn’t reach out to check on the vice president’s safety, he called [Tuberville] to ask about delaying the certification.’

‘The call got interrupted, Sen. Tuberville has since explained, I quote, “I looked at the phone, it said the White House on it, I said hello, the president said a few words, I said Mr. President they’re taking the vice president out, they want me to get off the phone and I’ve got to go,”‘ Cicilline said.

Lee, again, objected to what Cicilline said, after the impeachment manager had finished his presentation.

‘Mr. President moments ago, House manager Cicilline…,’ Lee got up and said.

Leahy interrupted him and told Lee, ‘debate is not in order.’

‘Debate is not in order? This is not debate, he said something that’s not true,’ Lee complained.

When Lee previously objected it was because the Utah senator never divulged the contents of the call. Tuberville has not confirmed news reports that said Trump pressured him on the phone to object to more states’ Electoral College vote counts.

Lee pulled his objection after the Senate spent several minutes doing a quorum call, further delaying Saturday’s proceedings.

 

Trump team’s defense 

Trump’s lawyer Michael van der Veen ended the ex-president’s defense at Saturday’s Senate impeachment trial with an incendiary laundry list of grievances, even accusing Democrats of inspiring the mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6.

‘Many of the people who infiltrated the Capitol took pictures of themselves and posted them on social media,’ van der Veen pointed out. ‘To some, it seems, they thought it was all a game. They apparently believe that violent mobs, destruction of property, rioting, assaulting police and vandalizing historic treasures was somehow now acceptable in the United States.’

‘Where might they have gotten that idea?’ the Trump lawyer mused. ‘I would suggest to you that it was not from Mr. Trump.’

While House impeachment managers had spent hours this week trying to pin the blame on Trump, van der Veen ended the trial by arguing it was their party, their allies and the media that was really responsible for the insurrection.

‘I submit to you that it was month after month of political leaders and media personalities, bloodthirsty for ratings, glorifying civil unrest and condemning the reasonable law enforcement measures that are required to quell violent mobs,’ van der Veen said.  

 

 Clash over witness bombshell

The earlier vote on witnesses before a deal was made prevailed on a procedural vote – with five Republicans voting to hear from the Republican lawmakers.

Among them were four Republican senators who had voted that the trial itself was constitutional – Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, as well as Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump loyalist who changed his vote to back the move. 

For hours Saturday move threw the trial’s schedule into doubt, with some lawmakers having earlier predicted it would wrap up Saturday. 

For a time, it reframed what had appeared to be the culmination of the impeachment trial, with the schedule and lawmakers plans to go home thrown into chaos and Joe Biden’s legislative agenda being caught up in the confusion. Trump advisor Jason Miller soon brandished a list of 301 witnesses ‘so far’ that the president’s team threatened to call, and a list that includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager, said on the Senate floor Saturday he wanted to depose Rep.  Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) as well as her contemporaneous notes about what she knows.

He said there was overwhelming evidence of Trump’s ‘dereliction of duty.’ Rep. Herrera Beutler says McCarthy told her about the contents of her tense phone conversation with Trump on Jan. 6.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland moved to be able to depose Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler after she reiterated comments about what she says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told her about his conversation with President Donald Trump

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland moved to be able to depose Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler after she reiterated comments about what she says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told her about his conversation with President Donald Trump

Raskin said the deposition could take place on Zoom and would take only an hour.

His request drew an immediate explosive response from Trump impeachment lawyer Michael van der Veen. 

‘If they want to have witnesses, I’m going to need at least 100 depositions. Not just one,’ he fumed – threatening to drag out the trial that senators were forced to view in silence for nearly a week.   

Then he raised the stakes even further.  

Rep. Raskin put the witness question to a vote after Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler issued a statement about her conversation with Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Raskin put the witness question to a vote after Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler issued a statement about her conversation with Rep. Kevin McCarthy

The move to subpoena witnesses and documents got 5 Republican votes

The move to subpoena witnesses and documents got 5 Republican votes

Michael van der Veen, attorney for former President Donald Trump, bristled at the Democratic request for witnesses. 'Do not handcuff me by limiting the numbers of witnesses that I can have. I need to do a thorough investigation that they did not do,' he said

Michael van der Veen, attorney for former President Donald Trump, bristled at the Democratic request for witnesses. ‘Do not handcuff me by limiting the numbers of witnesses that I can have. I need to do a thorough investigation that they did not do,’ he said

House impeachment manager Delegate Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., center, walks through the Capitol Rotunda to the Senate on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 in Washington

House impeachment manager Delegate Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., center, walks through the Capitol Rotunda to the Senate on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 in Washington

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted for Raskin's witness motion, then got in a clash with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted for Raskin’s witness motion, then got in a clash with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin

‘Nancy Pelosi’s deposition needs to be taken. Vice President Harris’ deposition, absolutely, needs to be taken. None of these depositions should be done by zoom. We didn’t’ do this hearing by Zoom,’ said Van der Veen. ‘These depositions should be done in person in my office in Philadelphia. That’s where they should be done!’ 

‘That’s where they should be done. I need to do the 911-style investigation that Nancy Pelosi called for,’ he said.

His Philadelphia comment brought audible laughter inside the chamber. 

‘I don’t know why you’re laughing,’ said van der Veen, whose Philadelphia firm touts numerous awards he has won to victims of automobile accidents. He said that’s how depositions are done in civil proceedings.  

‘I haven’t laughed at any of you. And there’s nothing laughable here,’ he scolded senators. ‘Now is the time to end this,’ he argued. 

After a series of angry statements by the Trump lawyer, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, presiding, cautioned senators to refrain from statements ‘non-conducive to civil discourse.’

‘Do not handcuff me by limiting the numbers of witnesses that I can have. I need to do a thorough investigation that they did not do,’ Van der Veen fumed. 

Raskin responded to information that emerged Friday night about Herrera Beutler’s claims.

She said it reinforced ‘the President’s willful dereliction of duty and desertion of duty as commander in chief of the United States, his state of mind and his further incitement of the insurrection on January 6.’

‘For that reason, and because this is the proper time to do so under the resolution of that the Senate adopted to set the rules for the trial, we would like the opportunity to subpoena Congresswoman Herrera regarding her communications with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. It’s is a subpoena for contemporaneous notes that she made regarding what President Trump told Kevin McCarthy in the middle of the insurrection,’ he said.

He said the deposition would be an hour ‘or less’ just as soon as the lawmaker is available, and that managers would then proceed to the next phase of the trial, including the introduction of that testimony shortly thereafter.

But he raised the possibility of more witnesses for the prosecution. 

‘Congresswoman Beutler further states that she hopes other witnesses to this part of the story, other patriots as she put it would come forward and if that happens, we would seek the opportunity to take their depositions via zoom also for less than an hour or two subpoena other relevant documents as well,’ said Raskin.

But not all senators were entirely sure what they were voting about, with Sen. Todd Young of Alaska asking in mid vote what was the substance. 

After the drama on the floor, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson complained about the sudden turn – after being spotted having an angry clash with Sen. Mitt Romney inside the chamber. 

‘It’s not healing it’s not, it’s not unifying it’s just like opening up a wound and just rubbing salt in it and I thought we were going come to a conclusion here today and it was rip the wound back open, let’s – let’s rub more salt in it,’ he complained.

He also claimed the public hearing he organized as chairman on claims of election irregularities being pushed by President Trump was done to ‘defuse’ the situation.

As senators worked to reassemble a way forward, Graham tweeted that it was better to go to a final vote but ‘if the body wants witnesses, I am going to insist we have multiple witnesses.’ He said it was best to start with Pelosi to see ‘as to whether or not there was credible evidence of pre-planned violence before President Trump spoke?’ He said it was ‘incredibly relevant’ to the incitement charge.

Sparks flew several more times throughout closing arguments after both sides agreed to move on without witnesses.   

Cicilline said two things during his turn that got the attention of Trump’s attorney and Sen. Mike Lee, who had previously objected to how the Rhode Island Democrat contextualized the phone call between Trump and Tuberville, which came through on Lee’s phone. 

‘According to the facts revealed last night, the vice president’s team does not agree with the president’s counsel’s assessment either, the report says and I quote “Pence’s team does not agree with the Trump lawyer’s assessment that Trump was concerned about Pence’s safety,”‘ Cicilline said on the Senate floor.  

He was citing a tweet from Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey. 

‘Trump didn’t call that day or for five days after that. No one else on Trump’s team called when Pence was evacuated to one room and another, the screaming mob nearby,’ Cicilline said, again quoting Dawsey. 

van der Veen jumped up to point out Democrats weren’t allowed to include new evidence during closing arguments.

‘New evidence is not permitted in closing arguments – references to new evidence will be stricken,’ Leahy, who is chairing the proceedings, later said. 

Cicilline again walked the chamber through the timeline of when Trump might have known Pence was in danger and included the new information that the president’s call to Tuberville on Lee’s phone came after Trump had tweeted negatively about the vice president.  

‘Remember, by this phone call the vice president has just been evacuated on live television for his own safety and Donald Trump, after that, tweeted an attack on him, which the insurgents read on a bullhorn,’ Cicilline said. ‘And a few minutes after Donald Trump’s tweet, he didn’t reach out to check on the vice president’s safety, he called [Tuberville] to ask about delaying the certification.’

‘The call got interrupted, Sen. Tuberville has since explained, I quote, “I looked at the phone, it said the White House on it, I said hello, the president said a few words, I said Mr. President they’re taking the vice president out, they want me to get off the phone and I’ve got to go,”‘ Cicilline said. 

Lee, again, objected to what Cicilline said, after the impeachment manager had finished his presentation.  

‘Mr. President moments ago, House manager Cicilline,’ Lee got up and said. 

Leahy told him that ‘debate is not in order.’  

‘Debate is not in order? This is not debate, he said something that’s not true,’ Lee complained. 

Lee pulled his objection after the Senate spent several minutes doing a quorum call, further delaying the proceeding.   

First thing Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told fellow Republicans that he planned to vote to acquit Trump on charges incitement of insurrection – a signal that the House-led effort to convict the former president would fail.  

‘While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we therefore lack jurisdiction,’ McConnell said in the letter.  

Although he had denounced Trump’s actions in an emotional Senate floor speech immediately after the Jan. 6 MAGA riot in the Capitol, McConnell also did not act to hasten the impeachment trial while Trump was still in office.

He voted along with 44 other Republicans that the post-presidency impeachment was unconstitutional – a position that did not prevail.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the US Capitol for the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump, on February 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. He told colleagues he will vote to acquit Trump

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the US Capitol for the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump, on February 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. He told colleagues he will vote to acquit Trump

The drama unfolded after it was revealed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told colleagues he plans to vote to acquit Trump

The drama unfolded after it was revealed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told colleagues he plans to vote to acquit Trump

House Democratic managers brought up numerous Trump administration officials who quit following the riot – among them McConnell’s wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

McConnell’s decision makes it likely that only a handful of Republicans cross over to join Democrats voting to convict. With two-thirds of the Senate required, this raises the likelihood that Trump would be impeached and acquitted twice.  

There was a last minute wrinkle Friday night, however.

CNN reported Friday that Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy engaged in an expletive-laced shouting match during the riot, with the California Republican begging the president to rein in his supporters. 

‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,’ Trump said, according to lawmakers who were briefed on the call by McCarthy. 

 GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted for Trump’s impeachment and who spoke on the record about what McCarthy told her, pleaded with ‘patriots’ to go public with their own accounts.  

‘To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time,’ she said.

'To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time,' Jaime Herrera Beutler said.

‘To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time,’ Jaime Herrera Beutler said.

F-word call: Kevin McCarthy pleaded with Donald Trump to call off his mob on January 6, and when Trump said 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,' responded: 'Who the f**k do you think you're speaking to?'

F-word call: Kevin McCarthy pleaded with Donald Trump to call off his mob on January 6, and when Trump said 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,' responded: 'Who the f**k do you think you're speaking to?'

F-word call: Kevin McCarthy pleaded with Donald Trump to call off his mob on January 6, and when Trump said ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,’ responded: ‘Who the f**k do you think you’re speaking to?’

‘When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol,’ Herrera Beutler recounted. 

‘McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’

Other sources told CNN that McCarthy replied to Trump: ‘Who the f**k do you think you are talking to?’ and that McCarthy had phoned Trump because the MAGA mob were smashing the windows in his office.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse called for the suspension of the trial in order to depose GOP Senator Tommy Tuberville and McCarthy about their conversations with the former president during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat and one of the 100 jurors in the trial, issued the call in a tweet late on Friday, one day before the trial was expected to conclude in an acquittal.

‘Tomorrow just got a lot more interesting,’ Whitehouse wrote, referring to reports that McCarthy lambasted Trump in an expletive-laden diatribe telling him to call off his mob of loyalists, and following Tuberville’s admission that he told Trump that Vice President Mike Pence was being evacuated from the Senate.



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