Politics

Democrats: Trump’s Acquittal Doesn’t Count

Leading Democrats have already said President Donald Trump's pending acquittal in his impeachment trial is not legitimate due to Friday's vote against admitting new witnesses.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Thursday Trump will "not be acquitted" if his trial doesn't have witnesses, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has repeatedly said Trump's acquittal will have "zero" value.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) said Friday, "You cannot have a true acquittal if you've not had a fair trial," echoing remarks she made in other interviews this week.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) said Friday he agreed with Pelosi, telling MSNBC's Morning Joe it would not be a "real acquittal," and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) told CNN's New Day Friday "it's not an exoneration."

"He may get an acquittal but he's not going to get an exoneration," House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.) told MSNBC on Sunday. Another impeachment manager, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.), said on CNN Friday "how can the American people conclude justice was done" without witnesses, and leading manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) said last week that Trump wouldn't benefit from an acquittal if it didn't appear fair.

Sen. Angus King (I., Maine), who caucuses with Senate Democrats, told Fox News on Thursday his acquittal would always have an "asterisk," and Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) said any acquittal would be "questioned" without witnesses.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) announced late Thursday and Friday, respectively, they would vote against any motions to subpoena additional witnesses and documents to the trial, which assured the defeat of the Democratic effort.

Murkowski, a moderate who voted down an Obamacare repeal effort in 2017 and against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, cited a "rushed and flawed" impeachment process by House Democrats in her decision.

Trump's acquittal is virtually guaranteed, with the only remaining suspense being how a few moderate Democrats and Republicans decide to vote.