Well, that woke us up fast!
On what most of expected to be the ignominious day Donald Trump was acquitted for the second time of impeachment charges, we are now in a holding pattern, as the House Managers have requested to subpoena and depose Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). Rep. Herrera Beutler spoke out last night about having witnessed an expletive-laden phone call between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump during the insurrection, in which Trump seemed to know all about what was going on at the Capitol.
The trial began two hours earlier than scheduled, and Lead Manager Jamie Raskin requested that in light of Rep. Herrera Beutler's statements, the Managers would like to subpoena her notes from the phone call and depose her. Commence Trump's attorney Michael Van Der Veen sh*tting himself into an aneurism, threatening to depose Vice President Kamala Harris (though this time he didn't attempt to pronounce her first name) among other embarrassing displays.
But the Senate voted, and five — FIVE — Republicans voted with the House Managers in favor of calling witnesses. There is some debate about whether we can count Sen. Lindsey Graham's vote as an actual YES, since apparently he changed his vote from Nay to Aye so that he could bring Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and Charles Manson and The Zodiac Killer up to testify that they were all in it together. I'm only partway kidding.
Anywho, here's Rep. Raskin's request for witnesses, which made the day go all topsy-turvy.
Needless to say, this is an additional critical piece of corroborating evidence, further confirming the charges before you, as well as the president's willful dereliction of duty and desertion of duty as commander in chief of the United States, his state of mind, and his further incitement of the insurrection on January 6th. For that reason, and because this is the proper time to do so under the resolution that the Senate adopted to set the rules for the trial, we would like the opportunity to subpoena Congresswoman Herrera regarding her communications with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and to subpoena her contemporaneous notes she made regarding what president Trump told Kevin McCarthy in the middle of the insurrection. We will be prepared to proceed by Zoom deposition of an hour or less, just as soon as Congresswoman Herrera Beutler is available, and then proceed to the next phase of the trial, including the introduction of that testimony shortly thereafter. Congresswoman Beutler further state that she hopes other witnesses to this part of the story, other patriots, as she put it, would come forward. And if that happens, we would seek the opportunity to take their depositions via Zoom, also for less than an hour, or to subpoena other relevant documents as well.
UPDATED 1:30 p.m. ET
As much as it pains me to report this,
NEW: Just hours after the Senate voted to have witnesses in the impeachment trial, House impeachment managers and former President Trump's lawyers agreed to enter GOP Rep. Herrera Beutler’s statement into evidence for the Senate trial record instead of calling her as a witness.
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) February 13, 2021
To many Democrats, this feels as if the House Managers are sitting down on the one-yard line. It may be so. However, and this may be a parallel truth, I cannot bring myself to question the strategic mind of Jamie Raskin, and be satisfied that he knows better than I do why this may have been the better thing to do of all his choices. The outcome was never going to change.