The night before the House impeachment managers and former President Donald Trump's defense team are set to make their closing arguments before the Senate in Trump's impeachment trial, CNN is reporting potentially damning new details about the call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) during the Capitol Riots of January 6.
It was previously established by McCarthy himself that, as the mob of pro-Trump extremists infiltrated the Capitol in the deadly failed insurrection, McCarthy called Trump and shouted for then-President Trump to call off the riots.
House impeachment managers argued during the trial that this call was evidence that even Republicans knew Trump was the only one who could call off the riots—because he was the only one who could've incited them in the first place.
That argument is only growing stronger in light of reporting from CNN's Jamie Gangel, Kevin Liptak, Michael Warren, and Marshall Cohen.
With Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington—along with other unnamed Republican House members—confirming, Trump allegedly showed no intention of calling off the rioters.
As McCarthy told Trump that his supporters were infiltrating the Capitol, Trump said:
"Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."
According to CNN, McCarthy had been "forthcoming" and open about the former President's words on the call with other Republican representatives.
The reporting confirms another component of the House impeachment managers' argument: Trump was gleeful that the riots had upended the long-awaited joint congressional session to nationally certify now-President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.
One of the unnamed Republicans representatives told CNN:
"He is not a blameless observer, he was rooting for them. On January 13, Kevin McCarthy said on the floor of the House that the President bears responsibility and he does."
The descriptions track with the timeline of the events that day, in which Trump remained relatively inactive on Twitter, and didn't instruct rioters to go home until hours after the attack began.
After four hours of closing arguments, the impeachment was expected to conclude without witnesses, but these new details have many now calling for McCarthy to testify about the call.
With breaking news, I don’t know how you don’t call witnesses. https://t.co/1I010mDqcJ— Dan Rather (@Dan Rather) 1613175393.0
Kevin McCarthy HAS to testify under oath. Holy cow! #ImpeachmentTrial https://t.co/pYqiCSveqf— Democratic Coalition (@Democratic Coalition) 1613177340.0
MAKE KEVIN MCCARTHY TESTIFY UNDER OATH https://t.co/x1cd2BqMJZ— Judd Legum (@Judd Legum) 1613176259.0
It would be good to hear from Kevin McCarthy as a witness during this impeachment trial https://t.co/HgMJt1E8JB— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1613174116.0
Witnesses to be called. https://t.co/EXkzBdlaVC— Vicki Veltri (@Vicki Veltri) 1613179158.0
On the day of the House's impeachment last month, McCarthy admitted that Trump bore responsibility for the riots, but did not vote to impeach. He later backtracked and claimed that "we all have some responsibility here."
Just under two weeks later, McCarthy met with Trump at the former President's Mar-a-Lago resort where they claimed to have a good-spirited productive conversation about the future of the Republican party.
In light of these details, McCarthy's continued fealty to Trump was only more absurd.
It seems like Trump thought he was talking to someone who wouldn’t dream of holding him accountable for his actions… https://t.co/IAfMcEQqys— Jon Favreau (@Jon Favreau) 1613174071.0
Kevin McCarthy offended that Trump questioned his commitment to election theft https://t.co/fwPlizKqNZ— Dan Pfeiffer (@Dan Pfeiffer) 1613174470.0
Before Trump’s presidency, McCarthy joked that Putin owned him — and now we learn that McCarthy yelled at Trump as… https://t.co/AmncvCdoyd— Greg Greene (@Greg Greene) 1613175172.0
It's unclear if the bombshell report will motivate House impeachment managers to now call for witnesses—a decision which would introduce hours' worth of debate, a Senate vote, and potentially lengthen the trial by days or weeks.
UPDATE: After bombshell reporting on the contents of the call between Trump and McCarthy. The House Managers called on Senators to vote in favor of allowing witnesses. The Senate passed that resolution 55-45, with Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voting in favor.