House impeachment manager speaks out about Trump acquittal

U.S. Virgin Islands Rep. Stacey Plaskett discusses Saturday's verdict and where the country and our two political parties go from here.
5:15 | 02/15/21

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Transcript for House impeachment manager speaks out about Trump acquittal
We turn to the aftermath of trump's senate acquittal and what is called the most bipartisan verdict ever in an impeachment trial. According to a new ABC news ipsos poll, more than half of Americans say the senate should have ved to convict former president trump, and bar him from holding future office. Two percentage points higher than last week. But also 83% of Republicans say the trial never should have happened in the first place. With 77% of Americans believing most senators voted on the basis of partisan politics. Let's bring in congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, representative from the U.S. Virgin Islands who made history, becoming the first nonvoting delegate to serve as an impeachment trial manager. Representative Plaskett, thank you for being with us. And the house management team didn't end up calling witnesses but you said this, quote, we didn't need more witnesses. We needed more senators with spines. So we know how you feel about Republicans who voted to acquit and I'm curious how you feel about the Republicans who voted to convict. They're facing serious backlash today. I think history will judge them all to have been true patriots, putting their duty to their oath as well as to the constitution above their seats of office, above partisanship. That at the end of the day is what I think Americans ask each of us to do when we come to Washington. Not just to represent them, but to speak on their behalf, for our constitution, and for our democratic republic. There was debate about whether or not to call witnesses, and I know you got some witness testimony that you wanted, and it got in there on the record and it was a back and forth and some still believe you all should have done so and it would have prolonged the process. But is there anything you can imagine right now that you could have presented that would have gotten a certain number of Republicans to vote for -- to convict president trump, or do you know that there was only so far you were going to be able to go, and some were never going to be convinced? I think some -- you know, I think even if we had the president say, on the record, even more than he already did, that I sent them there to destroy the democracy for my own gain, to retain power, and I would do it again, I think that some of them would still not have voted to convict him. Because as you saw, Mitch Mcconnell, and the speech that he gave after he voted to acquit the president, stated exactly what we said, and said that the overwhelming evidence pointed to the president being guilty of inciting a riot. Bringing insurrection to the floor of the capitol. Of trying to overthrow the government. And yet, he voted to acquit the president. So there really wasn't anything else. And I know that people are frustrated, and people are upset, and it's easy to say, well, maybe if you had had more witnesses, that would have happened, you know, just letting people know that first, technically, and in process-wise, having a witness would have meant not having someone come on the floor of the house, but having depositions, and having subpoenas to get those witnesses there. We're still fighting to get mcgahn's testimony from the first impeachment. We're still in court over that. We had overwhelming evidence, and, people of America, I'm so sorry, that it didn't go the way many of us wanted. It was heart breaking to us as well, but we know that history will show the truth of what was presented to those senators. And I want to go back to senator Mitch Mcconnell. As you point out, he did vote to acquit, but he did give that scathing speech, in which he held the president, the former president, morally responsible for the siege on the capitol and he went on to say this -- he didn't get away with anything yet. Do you believe that former president trump will face criminal charges? Well, it's our understanding that Fulton county, Georgia is looking into charges against the president for his involvement in trying to intimidate and pressure elected officials on their election. We know that he has -- faces charges in New York on matters that relate to his -- you know, while he was president, and then of course, there are charges that may be brought by the district of Columbia for the insurrection of the riot. Remember, this was not just capitol police officers who were involved in the protecting of. There were also metropolitan police officers, National Guard officers, so many others. Ani have to tell you, th officers fought from not just 1:00 in the afternoon until 2:00, they were fighting up until 5:00 against these individuals in hand to hand combat, some of them giving their lives for this. So, we're forever grateful for them, and, you know, there still needs to be a reckoning for what was done. Congresswoman Stacey

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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