Joe Manchin says Trump legal team did a 'good job': 'Making me think about things'

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    West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told reporters he thought Trump's legal team did a "good job" with its opening arguments.

    "A good job. I thought they did a good job. They gave us a lot to think about, and I think it gives us more reasons why the one thing that stuck in my mind is they said that there wasn't a witness that they've had so far that had direct contact with the president," he said Saturday. "So, I think that it reaffirms why I would love to hear from [Mick] Mulvaney and [John] Bolton."

    Senate Democrats have argued that former Trump national security adviser John Bolton and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney are among witnesses necessary to the impeachment trial that members of the Senate should vote to subpoena to testify.

    Republicans, however, have resisted taking action on witnesses, preferring to wait until the middle of the trial to vote on whether calling people to testify will be necessary.

    Manchin's reaction to Trump's legal defense appears to split with the rest of his caucus, and it is not the first time he has done this on a major issue. He previously parted ways with his fellow Democrats when he voted to confirm then-nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    When asked if the president's legal team could potentially convince him to vote against the articles of impeachment, he responded: "I just think that we have to let this play out and see what [Trump's legal team] is doing. They're doing a good job of basically talking about and making me think about things that have been said."

    "I think it really reaffirms that we need to see the redacted documents. We need to see people that have firsthand information," he said.

    "I said all along I would be very impartial, and you have to be. We have to have an open mind about how innocence and guilt based on the facts you see and the rebuttal that you hear," he added.

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