WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy
Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to lay out why he will vote to acquit
President Trump on both articles of impeachment.
Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:
“Later today I'll vote to acquit the president on the charges and
the two articles of impeachment. Now, a not guilty verdict, as every senator on
this floor has known for some time, was always what would happen in a
House-driven, partisan impeachment process.
“Less than a year ago, the Speaker of the House said that we
should not go through this process unless something was compelling, unless
something was overwhelming, unless something was bipartisan. I think the
speaker was exactly right then, and I hope all future speakers look at that
guidance as we think about this process of impeachment. In the first 180 years
of the Constitution, individual members talked about impeachment of presidents,
maybe of almost every president, but the Congress only seriously touched this
topic one time, one time in 180 years, Mr. President. In the last 46 years
presidential impeachment has been before the country three times and each case
has been less compelling than the one before it.
“We don't want partisan impeachment to become an exercise that
happens when one party, not the party of the president, happens to have a
majority of the votes in the House of Representatives. …
“In their haste to put this case together, the House sent the
Senate the two weakest articles of impeachment possible. Presidents since
Washington have been accused by some members of Congress of abuse of power.
Presidents since Washington have been accused by some members of Congress of
failure to cooperate with the Congress.
“The House managers argued against their own case. They repeatedly
contended that they'd made their case completely, they'd made their case
totally, they'd made their case incontrovertibly. But they wanted us to call
witnesses that they'd chosen not to call. They said they'd already been in
court nine months to get the president's former White House counsel to testify
and weren't done yet. But somehow, they thought the Senate could get that
person and others in a matter of days.
“These arguments have been and should have been rejected by the Senate.
Today, the articles of impeachment should be and will be rejected by the
Senate. Based on the speaker's March comments, these articles should have never
been sent to the Senate. They were not compelling, they were not overwhelming,
they were not bipartisan, and most importantly, Mr. President, they were not
necessary. One of the lessons we send today is to this House, and to future
Houses of Representatives, do your job. Take it seriously. Don't make it political.”