A potential swing-vote Democratic senator told reporters that he believes President Donald Trumps legal team performed well on Saturday in presenting their arguments for why the president shouldnt be impeached during the Senate trial.
“A good job. I thought they did a good job. They gave us a lot to think about, and I think it gives us more reasons why the one thing that stuck in my mind is they said that there wasnt a witness that theyve had so far that had direct contact with the president,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Saturday, reported the Washington Examiner. “So, I think that it reaffirms why I would love to hear from [Mick] Mulvaney and [John] Bolton.”
Manchin was referring to former national security adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, whom Democrats have sought to call in the Senate impeachment trial. Bolton has signaled that he would be willing to testify in the trial.
Manchins reaction to Trumps legal defense appears to break with his Democratic caucus. It isnt the first time hes split with them on a major issue, as he joined Republicans to confirm both Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
When he was asked if Trumps legal team could possibly convince him to vote to acquit, Manchin told reporters: “I just think that we have to let this play out and see what [Trumps legal team] is doing. Theyre doing a good job of basically talking about and making me think about things that have been said.”
The arguments have again confirmed “that we need to see the redacted documents. We need to see people that have firsthand information,” Manchin said. “I said all along I would be very impartial, and you have to be. We have to have an open mind about … innocence and guilt based on the facts you see and the rebuttal that you hear,” he added.
Another potential swing-vote Democrat in a Trump-leaning state, Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), said he believes the House Democratic managers have made a “compelling case” and said he would try to remain impartial. “Im hoping to hear the facts and the rebuttal from the president. So I think thats only appropriate,” Jones told The Hill.
Jones, like Manchin, is viewed by Republicans as one of two Democrats who might acquit the president during the trial.
Regardless of whether or not any Democrats join Republicans, Trumps acquittal is almost certain. The Senate requires a 67-vote supermajority to remove a president, which has never been done before in U.S. history. It means around 20 Republicans would have to join DemocrRead More – Source