Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in on Trump impeachment trial; Biden administration eyes timeline for mass vaccinations Democrats blast Trump team videos: ‘False equivalency’ LIVE COVERAGE: Trial ends for day as Senate moves to vote MORE (D-Del.) on Sunday blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump conviction vote exposes GOP divide Pelosi rules out censure after Trump acquittal Raskin defends no witnesses deal: ‘I made the call’ MORE (R-Ky.) for former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden on Trump acquittal: ‘Substance of the charge is not in dispute’ North Carolina GOP condemns Burr for impeachment vote against Trump Toomey on Trump vote: ‘His betrayal of the Constitution’ required conviction MORE’s acquittal in his second Senate impeachment trial.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Coons echoed the assessment of Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinPelosi rules out censure after Trump acquittal Raskin defends no witnesses deal: ‘I made the call’ Liberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses MORE (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, on why the Senate did not vote to convict Trump.
“As lead manager Jamie Raskin recognized right after the trial, they could have had 500 more witnesses, it wasn’t going to change the outcome,” Coons told host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosLawmakers lay blame on Trump over riot as second impeachment trial looms GOP senator: Trump impeachment a ‘meaningless messaging partisan exercise’ Buttigieg says ‘time is of the essence’ on stimulus bill MORE. “Once Mitch McConnell made it clear he intended to acquit, even despite the compelling evidence, what the House managers needed wasn’t more witnesses or more evidence, what we all needed was more Republican courage.”
“I do think that we need to spend months and months unearthing all the evidence that can possibly be gotten to through a 9/11-style commission,” Coons added, supporting calls that have come from several House Democrats for such a panel.
“I frankly, at that time, did not think that spending months fighting over additional witnesses would have changed the outcome of this trial one bit,” Coons said.
Following the Senate’s vote to acquit Trump, Raskin told reporters that it was his decision to not call witnesses in the trial and said he believed it made no difference in the outcome due to Republicans like McConnell “hanging their hats” on claims that it was unconstitutional to impeach a former president.
Sen. Chris Coons echoes calls for a 9/11-style commission in wake of the impeachment trial: “There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear.” https://t.co/L6vzgDaa8k pic.twitter.com/6zHCURRPfa
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 14, 2021
Coons on Sunday also stated that he believed the necessary 67 votes would have been reached by the Senate if they had been made in secret.
“I’m fairly certain there would have been a vote to convict with a secret ballot,” Coon said, noting that McConnell appeared to blame Trump for the insurrectionist mob when addressing the Senate, despite voting to acquit just moments beforehand.
“Ultimately it’s in the hands of the American people. But I do think the Republican Party is deeply divided right now,” Coons continued. “And I’m grateful for the seven Republican senators and 10 Republican House members who stood up for the Constitution and stood up to President Trump.”