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Val Demings mocks Senators walking out: ‘Evidence is painful for them’

Demings doesn’t see Republicans walking out during testimony as a bad thing.

Republican Senators who reportedly are walking out of the U.S. Senate chambers or doing other things to avoid paying attention to the Democrats’ impeachment arguments don’t bother Orlando’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings, the House impeachment manager said Friday.

She suggested the Republicans are finding the evidence presented by her and other Democrats in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to be “painful for them,” leading them to get up and leave.

Demings made her comments when she was interviewed Friday morning on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe.” Host Mika Brzezinski asked what it would take to reach Republican Senators who appear to not be listening.

“I know that some of them are walking out of the room. But I kind of see it differently. I think when they are presented with either testimony, and we know we’ve seen one foreign service officer after another, testimony from those career, very dedicated foreign service officers, many of whom have direct knowledge, they were on the call, I think sometimes when the Senators walk out of the room I see it many times as an indication that evidence is overwhelming for them,” Demings said.

“That sitting there listening to things we’ve presented in a chronological way and order, I think it can be pretty painful for them,” Demings continued. “I don’t necessarily see them walking out of the room to maybe get some fresh air is necessarily a bad thing. There is no way on Earth that they can get around the fact, that they can get around this drug deal, if you will, as Ambassador [John] Bolton categorized it, that the President and those around him were cooking up to basically cheat in the 2020 election and extort Ukraine into interfering in our election.”

Demings is one of the seven House impeachment managers presenting the Democrats’ case against Trump at the Senate trial.

Unlike the rest of the speakers, Demings is not an attorney. She is the former chief of the Orlando Police Department, being the first woman to hold that job. She retired from the force in 2011 and narrowly lost a congressional race in 2012 before winning her House seat in 2014.

Originally from Jacksonville, Demings was one of seven children. Her father worked as a janitor, her mother was a maid. The two-term congresswoman — she ran for her second term unopposed — Demings had attended segregated schools and was the first in her family to graduate college.

Demings’ husband, Jerry Demings, became Orlando’s first black police chief in 1999 through 2002. He was elected Orange County Sheriff in 2008 — while Val was serving as Orlando Police Chief — and was elected in 2018 to be Mayor of Orange County, winning by 60% of the vote. The couple have three children.

“I think if anybody has been paying attention as we have presented our case over the last couple of days, and I know a lot of people have been paying attention, there’s no doubt that the evidence against the President is overwhelming. It’s clear, it’s convincing,” Demings said.

“I think under the leadership of [Democratic U.S. Rep.] Adam Schiff we’ve done a decent job trying to make it clear to the American people. I know the Senators are listening. We’ve had some long days but they are listening. They are taking notes.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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