Impeachment Managers Reflect on Mitch McConnell, Insist Trial Hurt Donald Trump

House impeachment managers Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) have insisted they still feel the Senate trial of Donald Trump hurt the former president, despite his acquittal.

Trump's second impeachment trial concluded with 57 senators voting against him, below the 67 which it would have taken to see him convicted, and 43 for his acquittal.

This has led to speculation resuming of a future run for president, though Lieu suggested the trial could stifle this should Trump hold such ambition.

"In most contexts, 57-43 is a blowout. This was not close," he said, speaking on MSNBC.

"History will record that Donald Trump incited insurrection, there's no question about that, and history also includes four years from now. I think this makes it really hard for Donald Trump to try to do anything politically anymore."

As well as this, Lieu also reflected on the stances of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over Trump's actions.

"Based on what Mitch McConnell has stated and other Senate Republicans, we proved our case. We showed Donald Trump incited insurrection. They just hung their vote on a willful misreading of the constitution," he said.

"We could have brought in Donald Trump and he could have testified that he ordered the code red and directed the violent attack and they would have still not convicted him because of their willful misreading of the constitution, thinking they had no jurisdiction over Donald Trump."

Regarding calling witnesses, which a vote allowed but did not happen, he said if some of these were unwilling they could have held up subpoenas "for years."

On McConnell, Lieu added: "What was remarkable about Senator McConnell's speech was not only that he sounded like a House impeachment manager for the first half and then contorted himself to explain why he voted to acquit, but also basically what he was saying is that he thinks Donald Trump should be in prison.

"He is essentially saying the criminal justice system is there to hold Donald Trump accountable. That is a remarkable statement coming from the Senate minority leader."

McConnell voted to acquit, though suggested Trump could still face consequences down the line—referring to the criminal justice system and civil litigation.

Rep. Swalwell also reflected on not calling witnesses in a recent interview, and said McConnell's indication he was going to acquit on the constitutionality point argued by Republicans was "deflating" for the House impeachment managers.

"We saw him [McConnell] as a lynchpin vote, because he had said he was open-minded," he said on The Mehdi Hasan Show.

Swalwell said this affirmed that in his opinion even if there was a "signed confession" from Trump, Republicans were not going to vote in the number needed to convict.

"We thought it would be futile to chase uncooperative witnesses in the courts over the next year," he said, in a similar point to Lieu's on the way witnesses could have moved to stall being called should they wish.

"The thought of waiting a year plus for the courts to hash out these subpoenas, we just didn't think that was going to convince people who had already said constitutionally they thought it was invalid."

On Trump and his future, he said: "We won 57 votes. The court of public opinion says that Donald Trump should never hold office again today. And I think we'll only be vindicated by history, because it's not like Donald Trump is going to look better with time. He's going to age like milk, he's not going to age like wine."

While Lieu and Swalwell questioned Trump's future position politically, the former president has said he intends to reveal new plans for his Make America Great Again movement.

"Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun," he said in a statement after his acquittal.

"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."

At present, he would still be able to run for office again—and has been tipped as a potential frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

Newsweek has contacted the lawmakers mentioned and the Office of the Former President for comment.

ted lieu leaving impeachment trial day two
House Impeachment Manager Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) departs after the second day of former US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial before the Senate on Capitol Hill February 10, 2021, in Washington, D.C. He has suggested Trump's impeachment trial will hurt his political future despite him having been acquitted. Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

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