Three House impeachment managers, the first women to hold the position, told NBC News on Thursday that the public will view President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as “rigged” if the Senate votes to acquit.
Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and Val Demings, D-Fla., told NBC’s Kasie Hunt that an acquittal won’t exonerate the president, and spoke of the need for witnesses.
"It seems to me, if there's not a full, fair trial with witnesses, he may get an acquittal, but he's not going to get an exoneration," Lofgren said, after she was asked if the White House would present an acquittal as a victory. "It's going to be seen for what it is, just a rubber stamp to get him off the hook."
"And so that's yet unknown, whether we’ll have a full trial, but clearly, he engaged in serious misconduct that upended the Constitutional order, really threatens our freedom,” Lofgren added. "Because it's the Constitution that has protected our freedom as Americans for over two centuries. That's what the stakes really are.”
Garcia said it’s "important that we emphasize that he's been impeached. That is done. He can't erase it. He will always be an impeached president."
"If they don't convict and they don't decide to remove then the public will see that it was rigged, that it wasn't fair," she continued. "Because everyday Americans know what a fair trial is. And that includes witnesses, it includes testimony, it includes both sides having a fair shot at presenting their case. And if they don't see that, then they'll say, well, yeah, he got off, but it's because it was rigged. You know, it was a done deal. And I think that will also last forever, and it might hurt him in anything he does in the future."
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