Rumors swirled on Twitter following the agreement, saying the Biden administration might have impacted the decision. The White House responded by saying they had nothing to do with the decision.
A senior Biden administration official tells CNN's @JohnJHarwood, “we were not involved” in the Democratic House Impeachment Managers decision to pull the plug on witnesses.— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) February 13, 2021
The United States Senate on Saturday voted 55 to 45 to subpoena witnesses in former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. Following the vote, the Senate went into a recess, at which time a deal was struck in private. Impeachment managers and Trump's defense team agreed to forgo witnesses and instead enter Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's (R-WA) statement into evidence.
News broke Friday night of Beutler recounting an alleged conversation she had with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Herrera Beutler claims McCarthy recounted a conversation he had with President Trump during the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol. McCarthy allegedly told Trump to "call off" the riots but Trump declined, saying those causing the riots were not his supporters. The president allegedly believed the rioters were members of Antifa.
House impeachment lead Jamie Raskin (D-MD) read Herrera Beutler's statement on the Senate floor before it was entered into evidence as stipulated hearsay.
Below is her statement:
In my January 12 statement in support of the article of impeachment, I referenced a conversation House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy relayed to me that he'd had with President Trump while the January 6 attack was ongoing. Here are the details:
When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol. McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."
Since I publicly announced my decision to vote for impeachment, I have shared these details in countless conversations with constituents and colleagues, and multiple times through the media and other public forms.
I told it to the Daily News of Longview on January 17. I've shared it with local county Republican executive board members, as well as other constituents who ask me to explain my vote. I shared it with thousands of residents on my telephone town hall on February 8. (See blow).
To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time.
Democrats likely backtracked on their calls for Herrera Beutler's deposition when Trump's defense team promised to bring forward more than 300 witnesses.
The final vote on impeachment on the article of "inciting an insurrection" could come as early as Saturday.