Republicans with a demand to bring witnesses to the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, but instead ended up with a “fumble in the end zone.”
“Look, the reason that they went for witnesses is they counted the votes, they saw that McConnell said he was going to vote to acquit so they threw a Hail Mary and it backfired, it caused a fumble in the end zone,” Dershowitz told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
The Senate voted 57-43 Saturday to acquit Trump of an impeachment charge. Before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that he would vote to acquit Trump.
The vote only came after five Republican senators voted Saturday to allow witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial. Both sides reportedly agreed to have key testimony read into the record after the emergence of a statement from a Republican Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler that suggested Trump may have approved of the Capitol riot.
“It totally backfired because Trump team said, ‘Alright, you all one witness, we’ll call 90. We’ll have depositions, this trial will never be over.’ And so they backed away and allowed for just a stipulation to go in on a hearsay statement. The result was the right result yesterday and it was a very, very good day for the Constitution,” Dershowitz said.
The lawyer said it was also “great for [Republican Kentucky Sen.] Mitch McConnell” because he taught Americans “a civics lesson” that said you don’t have to agree with somebody’s speech to support freedom of speech or to acknowledge that the Constitution places “limitations on the power of the Senate to put a former president on trial. McConnell accepted the Constitutional argument I’ve been making from the very beginning that Congress has no power to put on trial citizen Trump.”
Dershowitz said it was “not such a good day for Donald Trump because McConnell and others criticized him.”