WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says the impeachment case presented by House managers in this week’s trial in the U.S. Senate has been “quite eye-opening.”
Manchin telling reporters in a hastily called Friday late morning conference call that he has taken in lots of information presented on the two articles of impeachment.
“The extensive amounts and the repetitiveness we’ve seen from different points of view have given us a different perspective that we didn’t have, that I didn’t have,” Manchin said.
Manchin indicated Friday he favors additional witnesses being called after President Trump’s team delivers its opening statement and senators have an opportunity to ask questions. Manchin said witnesses will lend to a fair trial.
“In order to keep our country united and uphold the people’s faith and trust and the standing we have in the world as the superpower of the world, I think it’s extremely important that we have a fair trial,” Manchin said. “And a fair trial means having all of the pertinent information that’s available, that we know is out there, come forth and those people who have first-hand knowledge be able to speak up.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito said Friday she hasn’t made up her mind about witnesses.
“This case is based on the information and the facts the House presents. If the House didn’t call John Bolton when they had the opportunity, I don’t think it is the Senate’s prerogative to call John Bolton,” Capito said during an appearance on WAJR’s Talk of the Town with Dave & Sarah Friday.
Friday marked the third day of arguments by House impeachment managers making their case that the president should be removed from office for abusing his power and obstructing congress.
Last month, the House approved articles of impeachment stemming from a phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s leader, in which Trump requested an investigation into his political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden. The president also withheld aid to Ukraine, which required congressional intervention to overturn.
Members of the House also allege that during the chamber’s investigation, Trump prevented officials from testifying and blocked documents.
“I haven’t heard much new. What I heard coming out of the House investigation is pretty much what I’ve heard,” Capito stated.
And she’s heard it over and over during sessions lasting between 10 and 12 hours each day.
“Honestly it has been a lot of repetitiveness. They’ve played video clips, the same ones, seven, eight, nine times to make the same points,” Capito said.
Manchin called the trial “extremely serious.”
“I have never been a juror. I’ve never been called to jury duty. This is truly a unique opportunity,” Manchin said.
Both senators said they were looking forward to hear the Trump defense which is scheduled to begin Saturday.
“I haven’t heard the president being able to defend himself to knock down any of the details or the facts,” Capito said.
Manchin said the House has done its job and now it’s time for the Senate to do what it’s charged to do.
“So I’m going to make sure that we do everything humanly possible to make an informed decision. That means having witnesses that we know had first-hand knowledge,” Manchin said.
MetroNews Reporter Dave Wilson contributed to this story.