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Plaskett on Trump’s acquittal: ‘We didn’t need more witnesses, we needed more senators with spines’

Del. Stacey Plaskett on Sunday defended the Democratic House managers’ decision not to call witnesses in former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, saying a day after Trump’s acquittal that they “needed more senators with spines” in order to convict him.

“I know that people are feeling a lot of angst and believe that maybe if we had (a witness) the senators would have done what we wanted, but, listen, we didn’t need more witnesses, we needed more senators with spines,” Plaskett, who represents the US Virgin Islands’ at-large congressional district and served as one of nine impeachment managers, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

The Senate on Saturday acquitted Trump of the impeachment charge of inciting a deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6 in a vote that included seven Republicans siding with the chamber’s Democrats to say the former President was guilty. Trump’s second acquittal from the chamber came after a surprise Democratic request for witnesses earlier that day that threw the trial briefly into chaos.

The Senate voted 55 to 45 to consider witnesses — with five Republican joining Democrats — after the managers said they wanted to hear from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington Republican who had confirmed to CNN new details about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s phone call with Trump the day of the riot.

But following hours of negotiations between Senate leaders, the managers and Trump’s legal team, the congresswoman’s statement was entered into the trial record as evidence and no witnesses appeared at the trial, frustrating Democrats who wanted to depose Herrera Beutler and Republican Rep. John Katko of New York.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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