Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the Democrats need to “spend months and months unearthing all the evidence that can possibly be gotten to through a 9/11-style commission” on the Capitol Hill riots.
Partial transcript as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Coons, you just heard Congresswoman Dean right there on the necessity of a 9/11 Commission. You agree?
COONS: I do. George, this was a remarkable week. A powerful week. And I think the House managers, obviously Congresswoman Dean and Congressman Raskin and a very talented team put on an incredibly compelling and powerful case. But there’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear and a 9/11 Commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So there is more to learn. And you played a key role in working out the compromise accepted by the House managers on witnesses.
Walk us through the argument you made and what was going on in those couple of hours of confusion yesterday morning on the Senate floor.
COONS: Well, a number of senators promptly started talking to each other about what was the path forward with the unexpected request by the House managers for additional witnesses. And as lead manager Jamie Raskin recognized right after the trial, they could have had 500 more witnesses, it wasn’t going to change the outcome. Once Mitch McConnell made it clear he intended to acquit, even despite the compelling evidence, what the House managers needed wasn’t more witnesses or more evidence. What we all needed was more Republican courage.
I am grateful to Dr. Cassidy and the seven Republicans who joined with every Democrat in voting to convict President Trump. This was the most bipartisan verdict in American history, a strong rebuke to President Trump. But, frankly at the end of the day, the trial had reached its natural conclusion and I’m grateful for the terrific work the House managers did.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you wouldn’t — you don’t believe that a full trial, more witnesses, more documents giving a sense of what was going on inside the White House, would have better serve the cause of justice and accountability?
COONS: I do think that we need to spend months and months unearthing all the evidence that can possibly be gotten to through a 9/11-style commission. I, frankly, at that time did not think that spending months fighting over additional witnesses would have changed the outcome of this trial one bit. And the House managers agreed. Many senators were making that point that they had as many votes on the Republican side as were possible to get. Frankly, they got more than even I expected given if you look back a year, the impeachment trial of President Trump that happened a year ago, only one Republican voted to convict.
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