Sullivan Statement on Witnesses in Senate Impeachment Trial
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) released the following statement today after joining a majority of the U.S. Senate in opposing a motion to pursue additional witnesses and evidence in the impeachment proceedings:
“Out of respect to my constituents and constitutional oath, I have refrained from commenting on the Senate impeachment trial until both sides have fully presented their case. That has now taken place.
“After reading hundreds of pages of briefs, speeches and the historical record, two weeks of impeachment trial proceedings with both sides being treated equally, 28,000 pages of evidence, 17 witnesses, 192 video clips, including statements from numerous individuals beyond the House witnesses, and close to two hundred questions from senators, it is time to vote to bring this stage of the proceedings to a close.
“I believe that my vote to not call for additional witnesses is in the best interest of our nation. The House Managers will claim that this was a vote against a fair trial. The irony of such a claim should not be lost on Alaskans.
“Throughout this trial, and in their briefs, the House Managers have claimed dozens of times that they have ‘overwhelming evidence’ on the current record to impeach the President; thereby undermining their own rationale for the need for more. In terms of fairness, it is well-documented that the House impeachment proceedings lacked the most basic due process and fairness procedures afforded Presidents Clinton and Nixon during their impeachment investigations. Additionally, the impeachment in the House was the most rushed and partisan in U.S. history.
“A Senate vote to pursue additional evidence and witnesses would turn the constitutional impeachment responsibilities of the House and Senate on their heads. It would require the Senate to do the House’s impeachment investigatory work, even when the House affirmatively declined to seek additional evidence last fall—such as subpoenaing John Bolton—because of Speaker Pelosi’s artificial deadline to impeach the President by Christmas.
“This precedent set by the House threatens to weaponize impeachment as a regular tool of partisan warfare. Partisan impeachments every few years are not what the Founding Fathers intended, and would harm our country for generations. A vote by the Senate to pursue additional evidence that the House consciously chose not to obtain would incentivize less thorough, and more frequent, partisan impeachments in the future—a danger that should concern all Alaskans, regardless of political party."
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