Hit enter after type your search item
Wzy Word

HERE ARE THE WORLD'S NEWS

Senate Votes on Articles of Impeachment Against Trump | NBC News (Live Stream Recording)

/
/
/
667 Views
img

TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL THE PRESIDING OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED

UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL BE IN A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES EACH THE SENATOR FROM IOWA MR GRASSLEY: I ASK PERMISSION TO SPEAK FOR ONE MINUTE IN MORNING BUSINESS THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION

MR GRASSLEY: LAST NIGHT, IN THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, PRESIDENT TRUMP CALLED ON CONGRESS TO PUT BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES ON HIS DESK AND THAT HE WOULD SIGN IT HERE ARE THE FACTS THE HOUSE IS CONTROLLED BY DEMOCRATS THE SENATE REQUIRES BIPARTISANSHIP TO GET ANY LEGISLATING DONE

THERE ARE ONLY A COUPLE MONTHS LEFT BEFORE THE CAMPAIGN SEASON WILL LIKELY IMPEDE ANYTHING FROM BEING ACCOMPLISHED IN THIS CONGRESS, SO THE TIME TO ACT IS RIGHT NOW I'M CALLING ON MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE TO GET OFF THE SIDELINES AND WORK WITH ME AND SENATOR WYDEN AS PRESIDENT TRUMP ALREADY IS TO HEED THE CALL TO ACTION THAT HE GAVE US LAST NIGHT AND PASS THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING REDUCTION ACT IT'S THE ONLY SIGNIFICANT BIPARTISAN BILL IN TOWN PRESIDENT TRUMP, THE AARP, AND THE LIBERTARIAN KATO THINK TANK, TO NAME JUST A FEW PEOPLE INVOLVED, HAVE ALL ENDORSED THE BILL IF YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT FULFILLING PROMISES TO LOWER DRAWING COSTS, MY OFFICE DOOR IS OPEN, AS SENATOR WYDEN'S DOOR IS OPEN

IT'S TIME FOR THE SENATE TO ACT AND TO DELIVER FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE I YIELD THE FLOOR MR MERKLEY: MADAM PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM OREGON

MR MERKLEY: AS UNITED STATES SENATORS, OUR DECISIONS BUILD THE FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS I WANT THOSE GENERATIONS TO KNOW THAT I STOOD HERE ON THE FLOOR OF THIS CHAMBER FIGHTING FOR EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW I STOOD HERE TO DEFEND OUR SENATE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE A FAIR TRIAL WITH WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS I STOOD HERE TO SAY THAT WHEN OUR PRESIDENT INVITES AND PRESSURES A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT TO SMEAR A POLITICAL OPPONENT AND CORRUPT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, HE MUST BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE

AS A NUMBER OF MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES HAVE CONFESSED, THE HOUSE MANAGERS HAVE PROVEN THEIR CASE PRESIDENT TRUMP DID SANCTION A CORRUPT CONSPIRACY TO SMEAR A POLITICAL OPPONENT, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN PRESIDENT TRUMP ASSIGNED RUDY GIULIANI, HIS PERSONAL LAWYER, TO ACCOMPLISH THAT GOAL BY ARRANGING SHAM INVESTIGATIONS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE PRESIDENT TRUMP ADVANCED THIS CORRUPT SCHEME BY INSTRUCTING THE THREE AMIGOS, AMBASSADOR VOLKER, SECRETARY OF ENERGY RICK PERRY, AND AMBASSADOR GORDON SONDLAND, TO WORK WITH RUDY TO THIS GOAL PRESIDENT TRUMP DID USE THE RESOURCES OF AMERICA, INCLUDING AN OVAL OFFICE MEETING AND SECURITY ASSISTANCE, TO PRESSURE UKRAINE, WHICH WAS AT WAR WITH RUSSIA, TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CORRUPT CONSPIRACY

THE FACTS ARE CLEAR BUT DO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ACTS RISE TO THE LEVEL THE FRAMERS ENVISIONED FOR REMOVAL OF A PRESIDENT OR ARE THEY, AS SOME COLLEAGUES IN THIS CHAMBER HAVE SAID, SIMPLY INAPPROPRIATE BUT NOT IMPEACHABLE? WITH RESPECT TO THOSE COLLEAGUES, INAPPROPRIATE IS LYING TO THE PUBLIC INAPPROPRIATE IS SHUNNING OUR ALLIES OR FAILING TO PUT YOUR PERSONAL ASSETS INTO A BLIND TRUST OR ENCOURAGING FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS TO PATRONIZE YOUR PROPERTIES THAT'S SOMETHING YOU MIGHT CALL INAPPROPRIATE BUT THAT WORD DOES NOT BEGIN TO ENCOMPASS PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ACTIONS IN THIS CASE

A CORRUPT CONSPIRACY COMPRISING A FUNDAMENTAL ASSAULT ON OUR CONSTITUTION THIS CONSPIRACY IS FAR WORSE THAN WATERGATE WATERGATE WAS ABOUT A BREAK-IN TO SPY ON THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE BAD, YES WRONG, DEFINITELY

BUT WATERGATE DIDN'T INVOLVE SOLICITING FOREIGN INTERFERENCE TO DESTROY THE INTEGRITY OF AN ELECTION IT DIDN'T INVOLVE AN EFFORT TO SMEAR A POLITICAL OPPONENT WATERGATE DID NOT INVOLVE AN ACROSS THE BOARD BLOCKADE OF ACCESS BY CONGRESS TO WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS IF YOU BELIEVE THAT CONGRESS WAS RIGHT TO CONCLUDE THAT PRESIDENT NIXON'S ABUSE OF POWER MERITED EXPULSION FROM OFFICE, YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CONCLUDE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CORRUPT CONSPIRACY MERITS HIS EXPULSION FROM OFFICE PRESIDENT TRUMP SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE THIS VERY DAY BY ACTION IN THIS VERY CHAMBER, BUT HE WILL NOT BE REMOVED BECAUSE THIS SENATE HAS FAILED TO CONDUCT A FULL AND FAIR TRIAL TO REVEAL THE EXTENSIVE DIMENSIONS OF HIS CONSPIRACY AND BECAUSE THE SIRENS — A SIREN'S CALL TO PARTY LOYALTY OVER COUNTRY HAS INFECTED THIS CHAMBER

EVERY AMERICAN UNDERSTANDS WHAT CONSTITUTES A FULL AND FAIR TRIAL A FULL AND FAIR TRIAL HAS WITNESSES A FULL AND FAIR TRIAL HAS DOCUMENTS A FULL AND FAIR TRIAL DOES NOT BEGIN WITH THE JURY FOREMAN DECLARING THAT HE IS WORKING HAND IN GLOVE WITH THE DEFENDANT WHEN DISCUSSING WHY THE SENATE TRIES IMPEACHMENTS, ALEXANDER HAMILTON STATED WHERE ELSE THAN IN THE SENATE COULD HAVE BEEN FOUND A TRIBUNAL SUFFICIENTLY DIGNIFIED OR SUFFICIENTLY INDEPENDENT FOR THAT DAUNTING RESPONSIBILITY? EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD FEEL THE SADNESS, THE DARKNESS, THE TRAGEDY OF THIS MOMENT IN WHICH THIS SENATE IS NEITHER SUFFICIENTLY DIGNIFIED NOR SUFFICIENTLY INDEPENDENT FOR THAT RESPONSIBILITY

THE SENATE TRIAL BECAME A COVER-UP WHEN THE MAJORITY VOTED ON JANUARY 22 AND AGAIN ON JANUARY 31 TO BLOCK ALL ACCESS TO WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS IF THIS — IF THIS COVER-UP GOES FORWARD, IT WILL BE THE LATEST IN A SET OF CORRUPT FIRSTS THIS SENATE HAS ACHIEVED UNDER REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP IT HAS BEEN THE FIRST SENATE TO IGNORE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO DEBATE AND VOTE ON A SUPREME COURT NOMINEE IN 2016 IT BECAME THE FIRST SENATE TO COMPLETE THE THEFT OF A SUPREME COURT SEAT FROM ONE ADMINISTRATION, GIVING IT TO ANOTHER IN 2017 AND NOW IT BECOMES THE FIRST SENATE IN AMERICAN HISTORY TO REPLACE AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WITH A COVER-UP

PRESIDENT TRUMP MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER THIS — WITH A COVER-UP IN LIEU OF A TRIAL, THERE IS NO EXONERATION NO MATTER HOW BADLY PRESIDENT TRUMP MIGHT WANT IT NO MATTER HOW BOLDLY HE MIGHT CLAIM IT, THERE IS NO EXONERATION FROM A COVER-UP IF THIS SENATE FAILS TO CONVICT PRESIDENT TRUMP WHEN WE VOTE LATER TODAY, WE DESTROY OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO SERVE AS A CHECK AGAINST THE ABUSES OF A RUNAWAY PRESIDENT IT'S A DEVASTATING BLOW TO THE CHECKS AND BALANCES WHICH HAVE STOOD AT THE HEART OF OUR CONSTITUTION

OUR TRIPARTATE SYSTEM IS LIKE A THREE-LEGGED STOOL IN WHICH EACH LEG WORKS IN BALANCE WITH THE OTHERS IF ONE LEG IS CRACKED OR WEAKENED, WELL, THAT STOOL TOPLESS OVER IF THE SENATE'S RESPONSIBILITY IS GUTTED AND THE LIMITS ON PRESIDENTIAL POWER UNDERMINEED, THEN — UNDERMINED, THEN THERE IS LASTING DAMAGE TO THE CHECKS AND BALANCES OUR FOUNDERS SO CAREFULLY CRAFTED LET'S ALSO BE CLEAR, THE SITUATION THAT WE FIND OURSELVES IN TODAY, IT DIDN'T SPRING OUT OF NOWHERE WITH RESPECT TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE, THE ROAD TO THIS MOMENT HAS BEEN PAVED BY DECISIONS MADE IN THE SUPREME COURT UNDERMINING WE THE PEOPLE REPUBLIC WHILE JUSTICE ROBERTS HAS LED THE COURT

DECISIONS LIKE CITIZENS UNITED IN 2010 WHICH CORRUPTED OUR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS WITH A FLOOD OF DARK MONEY, EQUIVALENT OF A STADIUM SOUND SYSTEM DROWNING OUT THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE DECISIONS LIKE SHELBY COUNTY IN 2013 THAT GUTTED THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT, OPENING THE DOOR TO VOTER SUPPRESSION AND VOTER INTIMIDATION IF YOU BELIEVE IN OUR REPUBLIC, YOU BELIEVE IN VOTER EMPOWERMENT, NOT VOTER SUPPRESSION DECISIONS LIKE RUCHO VERSUS COMMON CAUSE IN 2019 GIVEN A GREEN LIGHT TO EXTREME PARTISAN GERRYMANDERING IN WHICH POLITICIANS CHOOSE THEIR VOTERS RATHER THAN VOTERS CHOOSING THEIR POLITICIANS ONE BLOW AFTER ANOTHER GIVING MORE POWER TO THE POWERFUL AND UNDERMINING THE VISION THAT GOVERNMENT OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE

BLOW AFTER BLOW MAKING OFFICIALS MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE RICH AND WEALTHY DONORS THAN THE PEOPLE THEY ARE ELECTED TO REPRESENT THESE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS HAVE ELEVATED GOVERNMENT BY AND FOR THE POWERFUL AND TRAMPLED GOVERNMENT BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE, PAVING THE PATH FOR THIS DARK MOMENT IN WHICH THE US SENATE CHOOSES TO DEFEND A CORRUPT PRESIDENT BY CONVERTING A TRIAL INTO A COVER-UP A TRIAL WITHOUT ACCESS TO WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS? THAT IS WHAT ONE EXPECTS OF A CORRUPTED COURT IN RUSSIA OR CHINA, NOT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

WE KNOW WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE, AND IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT HAVING A CONSTITUTION OR HOLDING ELECTIONS OUR DEMOCRACY IS NOT SET IN STONE IT IS NOT GUARANTEED BY ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE GOODWILL AND GOOD FAITH OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY KEEPING A DEMOCRACY TAKES COURAGE AND COMMITMENT AS THE SAYING GOES, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

IT'S AN INHERITANCE BEQUEATHED TO US BY THOSE WHO HAVE FOUGHT AND BLED AND DIED TO ENSURE THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THIS EARTH FIGHTING FOR THAT INHERITANCE DOESN'T ONLY HAPPEN ON THE BATTLEFIELD IT HAPPENS WHEN AMERICANS EVERYWHERE GO TO THE POLLS TO CAST A BALLOT IT HAPPENS WHEN ORDINARY CITIZENS DISTRAUGHT AT WHAT THEY'RE SEEING SPEAK UP, JOIN A MARCH, OR RUN FOR OFFICE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND IT HAPPENS HERE IN THIS CHAMBER, THIS SENATE CHAMBER WHEN SENATORS PUT ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES OF OUR COUNTRY OVER THE PRESSURES FROM THEIR PARTY

I URGE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES, BEFORE CASTING YOUR VOTE TODAY, ASK YOURSELF WILL YOU DEFEND THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS? WILL YOU DELIVER IMPARTIAL JUSTICE? WILL YOU PROTECT THE SEPARATION OF POWERS AT THE HEART OF OUR CONSTITUTION? WILL YOU UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW, AND THE INSPIRING WORDS CARVED ABOVE THE DOORS OF THE US SUPREME COURT, EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW I STAND HERE TODAY IN SUPPORT OF OUR CONSTITUTION WHICH HAS MADE OUR NATION THAT SHINING CITY ON A HILL I STAND HERE TODAY FOR EQUAL JUCHTS — JUSTICE UNDER LAW

I STAND HERE TODAY FOR A FULL AND FAIR TRIAL AS OUR CONSTITUTION DEMANDS I STAND HERE TODAY TO SAY THAT A PRESIDENT WHO HAS ABUSED THIS OFFICE BY SOLICITING A FOREIGN COUNTRY TO INTERVENE IN THE ELECTION OF 2020 AND BIAS THE OUTCOME, THAT INDIVIDUAL, THAT PRESIDENT BETRAYING THE TRUST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, UNDERMINING THE STRENGTH OF OUR CONSTITUTION, THAT PRESIDENT MUST BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE I YIELD THE FLOOR THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER MR

SCHUMER: MADAM PRESIDENT, WE'RE NOT IN A QUORUM CALL, I PRESUME THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WE ARE NOT MR SCHUMER: I'LL SPEAK LATER THIS AFTERNOON AT ABOUT 3:30 PRIOR TO THE VOTE ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT ABOUT IMPEACHMENT BUT THIS MORNING I'D LIKE TO BRIEFLY RESPOND TO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S THIRD STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS IT WAS A SAD MOMENT FOR DEMOCRACY

THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH LAST NIGHT WAS MUCH MORE LIKE A TRUMP RALLY THAN A SPEECH A TRUE LEADER WOULD GIVE IT WAS DEMAGOGIC IT WAS UNDIGNIFIED IT WAS HIGHLY PARTISAN AND IN TOO MANY PLACES JUST UNTRUTHFUL

INSTEAD OF A DIGNIFIED PRESIDENT, WE HAD SOME COMBINATION OF A PEP RALLY LEADER, A REALITY SHOW HOST, AND A CARNIVAL BARKER IT'S NOT WHAT PRESIDENTS ARE PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK CREDIT FOR INHERITING AN ECONOMY THAT HAS BEENING GROWING AT ABOUT THE SAME PACE IN THE LAST TEN YEARS THE BOTTOM LINE IS IN THE LAST THREE YEARS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, MORE JOBS WERE CREATED THAN UNDER THE THREE YEARS OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND YET, HE CAN'T RESIST DIGGING AT THE PAST PRESIDENT, EVEN THOUGH THE PAST PRESIDENT ON ON THAT ECONOMIC NUMBER IS BETTER THAN HIM

HE BOOSTED ABOUT HOW MANY MANUFACTURING JOBS HE CREATED MANUFACTURING JOBS HAVE GONE DOWN IN PART BECAUSE OF THE PRESIDENT'S TRADE POLICIES FOR FIVE MONTHS THIS YEAR, OR LATE LAST YEAR FIVE-MONTH LONG RECESSION LAST YEAR FARMERS HAVE STRUGGLED MIGHTILY FARM INCOME IS WAY DOWN

BANKRUPTCIES ARE THE HIGHEST THEY HAVE BEEN IN EIGHT YEARS CROP PRICES ARE DWINDLING AND MARKETS MAY NEVER RECOVER FROM THE DAMAGE OF THE PRESIDENT'S TRADE WAR AS SO MANY CONTRACTS FOR SOYBEANS AND OTHER GOODS HAVE GONE TO ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL AND THESE ARE NOT ONE-YEAR CONTRACTS THESE ARE LONG-TERM CONTRACTS PRESIDENT TRUMP TALKED AT LENGTH ABOUT HEALTH CARE CLAIMING AMAZINGLY AT ONE POINT HE WILL FIGHT TO PROTECT PATIENTS WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS THIS PRESIDENT JUST LIES

JUST LIES HE'S IN COURT RIGHT NOW TRYING TO UNDO THE PROTECTIONS FOR PREEXISTING CONDITIONS, AND AT THE SAME TIME HE SAYS HE WANTS TO DO IT, AND ALL THE REPUBLICANS GET UP AND CHEER HIS ADMINISTRATION IS WORKING AS HARD AS IT CAN TO TAKE DOWN PARTISAN LAW THAT GUARANTEES PROTECTIONS FOR PREEXISTING CONDITIONS THE CLAIM IS NOT PARTLY TRUE, IT'S NOT HALF TRUE, IT'S NOT MISLEADING IT IS FLAT OBJECTIVELY UNEQUIVOCALLY FALSE

THOSE ARE MY NOTES, FALSE LET'S CALL IT FOR WHAT IT IS, IT'S A LIE IN THREE YEARS PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS DONE EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE TO UNDERMINE AMERICANS' HEALTH CARE HE'S EVEN HOPING TO DRAG OUT THE RESOLUTION IN A LAWSUIT PASSED THE NEXT ELECTION IF PRESIDENT TRUMP WERE TRULY INTERESTED IN SHORING UP PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS HE'D DROP THIS LAWSUIT NOW

THEN HE'D BE DOING SOMETHING, NOT JUST TALKING AND HAVING HIS ACTIONS TOTALLY CONTRADICT HIS WORDS UNTIL THE PRESIDENT DROPS HIS LAWSUIT WHEN HE SAYS HE CARES ABOUT AMERICANS' HEALTH CARE, HE'S TALKING OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT BEING THE BLUE-COLLAR PRESIDENT, HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND BLUE-COLLAR FAMILIES IT'S TRUE WAGES WENT UP 3% IF YOU'RE MAKING $50,000 A YEAR, THAT'S A GOOD SALARY

THAT'S ABOUT, BY MY CALCULATION, $30 A WEEK WHEN YOU GET A MEDICAL BILL OF $4,000 AND YOUR DEDUCTIBLE IS $5,000, WHEN YOUR CAR HAS AN ACCIDENT AND IT'S GOING TO COST YOU $3,000, $4,000 TO FIX IT AND YOU DON'T HAVE THAT MONEY, THE $30 A WEEK DOESN'T MEAN MUCH WHEN ASKED HAVE AMERICANS MADE — WHEN ASKED IS IT EASIER FOR YOU TO PAY YOUR BILLS TODAY OR THE DAY TRUMP BECAME PRESIDENT, THEY SAY IT'S HARDER TO PAY THE BILLS TODAY THAT'S WHAT WORKING FAMILIES CARE ABOUT, GETTING THEIR COSTS DOWN, THEIR COLLEGE COSTS, THEIR EDUCATION COSTS, THEIR HEALTH CARE COSTS, THEIR AUTOMOBILE AND INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS NOT THESE VAUNTED WALL STREET STATISTICS THAT THE FINANCIAL LEADERS LOOK AT AND THINK OH, WE'RE GREAT

WELL, THEY'RE GREAT THEIR 3% INCREASE IN INCOME, AND IT'S BEEN GREATER, PUTS A LOT OF MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS WORKING PEOPLE DON'T FEEL ANY BETTER THEY FEEL WORSE BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP ALWAYS SIDES WITH THE SPECIAL INTERESTS WHEN IT COMES TO THINGS THAT AFFECT WORKING FAMILIES, LIKE HEALTH CARE, LIKE DRUG COSTS, LIKE COLLEGE AND IN SO MANY OTHER AREAS THE PRESIDENT'S CLAIMS WERE JUST NOT TRUE

HE CLAIMS HE'S GOTTEN TOUGH ON CHINA HE SOLD OUT TO CHINA A MONTH AGO EVERYONE KNOWS THAT BECAUSE HE HAD HURT THE FARMERS SO BADLY, THE BULK OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE CHINESE AGREEMENT WAS THEM TO PURCHASE SOME SOYBEANS WE DON'T EVEN KNOW IF THAT WILL HAPPEN, BUT IT DIDN'T GET AT THE REAL WAYS CHINA HURTS US

HE SPOKE ABOUT A DESIRE FOR A BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL WE SENATE DEMOCRATS PUT A $TRILLION BILL THROUGH YEARS AGO THE PRESIDENT HASN'T SHOWN ANY INTEREST IN DISCUSSING IT WHEN LEADER PELOSI AND I WENT TO VISIT HIM ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE, HE WALKED OUT SO THIS IS TYPICAL OF DONALD TRUMP

HERE IN HIS SPEECH HE BRAGS ABOUT ALL THESE THINGS HE WANTS TO DO OR IS DOING, BUT HIS ACTIONS BELIE HIS WORDS MAYBE THE BEST METAPHOR WAS HIS CLAIM TO BRING DEMOCRACY TO VENEZUELA THERE WAS A BIG POLICY THERE IT FLOPPED IF THE POLICY WAS WORKING, JUAN GUAIDO WOULDN'T BE IN THE BALCONY HERE

HE'D BE IN VENEZUELA HE'D BE SITTING IN THE PRESIDENT'S PALACE OR AT LEAST WAGING A FIGHT TO WIN HE'S HERE AND THE PRESIDENT BRAGS ABOUT HIS VENEZUELA POLICY GIVE US A BREAK

HE HASN'T BROUGHT AN END TO THE MADURO REGIME THE MADURO REGIME IS MORE POWERFUL TODAY AND MORE ENTRENCHED TODAY THAN IT WAS WHEN THE PRESIDENT BEGAN HIS ANTIMADURO SAME THING WITH NORTH KOREA, SAME THING WITH CHINA, SAME THING WITH RUSSIA, SAME THING WITH SYRIA THE MATTER OF FACT IS WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP GETS OVER AN HOUR TO SPEAK, THE NUMBER OF MISTRUTHS, MISCHARACTERIZATIONS, CONTRADICTIONS IS BREATH TAKING NO OTHER PRESIDENT COMES CLOSE

YOU KNOW, THE OLD EXPRESSION SAYS WATCH WHAT I DO, NOT WHAT I SAY WHAT THE PRESIDENT DOES WILL BE REVEALED MONDAY IN HIS BUDGET THAT'S WHAT HE WANTS TO DO IF PAST IS PROLOGUE, ALMOST EVERYTHING IN THAT BUDGET WILL CONTRADICT WHAT HE SAID IN HIS SPEECH IN THE PAST HE'S CUT MONEY FOR HEALTH CARE, CUT MONEY FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH, CUT MONEY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, CUT MONEY FOR EDUCATION, CUT MONEY TO HELP KIDS WITH COLLEGE, IN EVERY ONE OF THOSE THINGS

AND, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I HAVE FAITH IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THEY WILL NOT BE FOOLED THEY'RE USED TO IT THEY CAN TELL A LITTLE SHOW HERE, A NONREALITY SHOW WHEN THEY SEE ONE THEY KNOW IT'S A SHOW

IT'S DONE FOR THEIR AMUSEMENT, THEIR TITILLATION BUT IT DOESN'T IMPROVE AMERICA AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT HAPPY THE MIDDLE CLASS ARE WORKING TO STAY IN THE MIDDLE CLASS THOSE STRUGGLING TO GET THERE FIND IT HARDER

THEIR PATH IS SPEERP FAR MORE THAN THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH, THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET IS WHAT TRULY REVEALS HIS PRIORITIES THE BUDGET WILL BE THE TRUTH SERUM AND IN A FEW DAYS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL SEE HOW MANY OF THE PRESIDENT'S WORDS HERE ARE REALITY I EXPECT VERY FEW WILL BE

I YIELD THE FLOOR I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM TEXAS

A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT, IERD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MR CORNYN: MADAM PRESIDENT, I I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT FOLLOWING MY ORAL REMARKS THAT MORE EXTENSIVE WRITTEN REMARKS THAT I PREPARED APPEAR IN THE RECORD THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION

MR CORNYN: THANK YOU MADAM PRESIDENT, OVER THE LAST MONTHS OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN CONSUMED BY A SINGLE WORD, ONE THAT WE DON'T USE OFTEN IN OUR ORDINARY PARLANCE THAT WORD OF COURSE IS IMPEACHMENT IT'S FILLED OUR NEWS CHANNELS, TWITTER FEEDS, AND DINNER CONVERSATIONS

IT'S LED TO A WIDE-RANGING DEBATE ON EVERYTHING FROM THE CONSTITUTIONAL DOCTRINES, SEPARATION OF POWERS TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW, SOMETHING CONCEPTS WHICH ARE THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL BUILDING BLOCKS OF WHO WE ARE AS A NATION IT EVEN PROMPTED THOSE WHO TYPICALLY HAVE NO INTEREST IN POLITICS TO TUNE INTO C-SPAN OR THEIR FAVORITE CABLE NEWS CHANNEL THE IMPEACHMENT OF A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS SIMPLY THE GRAVEST UNDERTAKING WE CAN PURSUE IN THIS COUNTRY IT IS THE NUCLEAR OPTION IN OUR CONSTITUTION IT'S A CHOICE OF LAST RESORT

WHEN A PRESIDENT HAS COMMITTED A CRIME SO SERIOUS THAT CONGRESS MUST ACT RATHER THAN LEAVE THE CHOICE TO THE VOTERS IN THE ELECTION THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION GRANTED THIS AWESOME POWER TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND PLACED THEIR CONFIDENCE IN THE SENATE TO USE IT ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE THIS IS A RARE HISTORIC MOMENT FOR THE MEMBERS OF THIS CHAMBER FACED BY THE SENATE ONLY ON TWO PREVIOUS OCCASIONS DURING OUR CONSTITUTION'S 232-YEAR HISTORY ONLY TWO TIMES PREVIOUSLY WE SHOULD BE EXTRAORDINARILY VIGILANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE IMPEACHMENT POWER DOES NOT BECOME A REGULAR FEATURE OF OUR DIFFERENCES, AND IN THE PROCESS CHEAPEN THE VOTE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

SOON L MEMBERS OF THE SENATE WILL DETERMINE WHETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR HISTORY A PRESIDENT WILL BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE AND THEN DECIDE WHETHER HE WILL BE BARRED FROM THE BALLOT IN 2020 THE QUESTION ALL SENATORS HAVE TO ANSWER IS DID THE PRESIDENT COMMIT, IN THE WORDS OF THE CONSTITUTION, A HIGH CRIME AND MISDEMEANOR THAT WARRANTS HIS REMOVAL FROM OFFICE, OR SHOULD HE BE ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGES MADE BY THE HOUSE? I'VE DONE MY BEST TO LISTEN INTENTLY TO BOTH SIDES AS THEY PRESENTED THEIR CASES DURING THE TRIAL, AND I'M CONFIDENT IN SAYING THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP SHOULD BE ACQUITTED AND NOT REMOVED FROM OFFICE FIRST, THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE CONGRESS THE POWER TO IMPEACH AND REMOVE A PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE ONLY FOR TREASON, BRIBERY, AND OTHER HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS BUT THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT PASSED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FAILED TO MEET THAT STANDARD THE FIRST CHARGE, AS WE KNOW, IS ABUSE OF POWER

HOUSE DEMOCRATS ALLEGE THAT THE PRESIDENT WITHHELD MILITARY AID FROM UKRAINE IN EXCHANGE FOR INVESTIGATIONS OF JOE AND HUNTER BIDEN BUT THEY FAILED TO BRING FORWARD UNASSAILABLE EVIDENCE OF ANY CRIME AGAIN, THE CONSTITUTION TALKS ABOUT TREASON, BRIBERY, OR OTHER HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS CLEARLY A CRIMINAL STANDARD AND THUS FAILED TO MEET THEIR BURDEN OF PROOF

AND CERTAINLY THE HOUSE MANAGERS DID NOT MEET THE HIGH BURDEN REQUIRED TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE EFFECTIVELY NULLIFYING THE WILL OF TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS JUST MONTHS BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION WHAT'S MORE, THE HOUSE'S VAGUE CHARGE IN THE FIRST ARTICLE IS EQUIVALENT TO ACTS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED BY THE FRAMERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION THAT BRINGS US TO THE SECOND ARTICLE WE'RE CONSIDERING, OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS DURING THE HOUSE INQUIRY, DEMOCRATS WERE UPSET BECAUSE SOME OF THE PRESIDENT'S CLOSEST ADVISORS AND THEIR MOST SOUGHT AFTER WITNESSES DID NOT TESTIFY TO BE CLEAR, SOME OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH WITNESSES WERE AMONG THE 13 WITNESSES WHOSE TESTIMONY WE DID HEAR DURING THE SENATE TRIAL

BUT FOR THOSE WITNESSES FOR WHOM IT WAS CLEAR THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD CLAIM A PRIVILEGE, ALMOST CERTAINLY LEADING TO A LONG COURT BATTLE, THE HOUSE DECLINED TO ISSUE THE SUBPOENAS AND CERTAINLY DID NOT SEEK JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT RATHER THAN ADDRESSING THE PRIVILEGED CLAIMS IN COURT AS HAPPENED IN THE NIXON AND CLINTON IMPEACHMENTS, THE DEMOCRAT MANAGERS MOVED TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS FOR PROTECTING THE PRESIDENCY ITSELF FROM A PARTISAN ABUSE OF POWER BY THE HOUSE REMOVING THE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE FOR ASSERTING LONG-RECOGNIZED AND CONSTITUTIONALLY-GROUNDED PRIVILEGES THAT HAVE BEEN INVOKED BY BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTS WOULD BE — WOULD SET A VERY DANGEROUS PRECEDENT AND WOULD DO VIOLENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION'S SEPARATION OF POWERS DESIGN IN EFFECT, IT WOULD MAKE THE PRESIDENCY ITSELF SUBSERVIENT TO CONGRESS THE FATHER OF OUR CONSTITUTION JAMES MADISON WARNED AGAINST ALLOWING THE IMPEACHMENT POWER TO CREATE A PRESIDENTIAL TENURE AT THE PLEASURE OF THE SENATE

EVEN MORE CONCERNING, AT EVERY TURN THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS, THE HOUSE DEMOCRATS VIOLATED PRESIDENT TRUMP'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW ALL AMERICAN LAW IS BUILT ON A CONSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATION SECURING BASIC RIGHTS AND RULES OF FAIRNESS FOR A CITIZEN ACCUSED OF WRONGDOING IT'S UNDISPUTED THAT THE HOUSE EXCLUDED IF THE PRESIDENT'S LEGAL TEAM FROM BOTH THE CLOSED DOOR TESTIMONY AND ALMOST THE ENTIRETY OF THE HOUSE'S 78-DAY INQUIRY THEY CHANNELED PERSONAL POLICY AND POLITICAL GRIEVANCES AND ATTEMPTED TO USE THE MOST SOLEMN RESPONSIBILITY OF CONGRESS TO BRING DOWN A POLITICAL RIVAL IN A PARTISAN PROCESS IT'S NO SECRET THAT DEMOCRATS' CRUSADE TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT BEGAN MORE THAN THREE YEARS AGO ON THE VERY DAY THAT HE WAS INAUGURATED

ON JANUARY 20, 2017, "THE WASHINGTON POST" RAN A STORY WITH THE HEADLINE THE CAMPAIGN TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BEGUN AT FIRST SPEAKER PELOSI WISELY RESISTED LESS THAN A YEAR AGO SHE SAID, QUOTE, IMPEACHMENT IS SO DIVISIVE TO THE COUNTRY THAT UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING SO COMPELLING AND OVERWHELMING AND BIPARTISAN, I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD GO DOWN THAT PATH BECAUSE IT DIVIDES THE COUNTRY AND SHE WAS RIGHT BUT WHEN SHE COULDN'T HOLD BACK THE STAMPEDE OF HER CAUCUS, SHE DID A 180-DEGREE ABOUT FACE

SHE ENCOURAGED SENATE DEMOCRATS TO RUSH THROUGH AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY BEFORE AN ARBITRARY CHRISTMAS DEADLINE AND IN THE END THE ARTICLES PASSED WITH SUPPORT FROM ONLY A SINGLE PARTY NOT BIPARTISAN THE BIPARTISANSHIP THAT THE SPEAKER CLAIMED WAS NECESSARY WAS ACTUALLY OPPOSED TO THE IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT THAT IS, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS VOTED IN OPPOSITION TO THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

ONLY DEMOCRATS VOTED FOR THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT IN THE HOUSE ONCE THE ARTICLES FINALLY MADE IT TO THE SENATE AFTER A CONFUSING 28-DAY DELAY, SPEAKER PELOSI TRIED TO USE SENATOR SCHUMER, THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER HERE TRIED TO USE SPEAKER PELOSI'S PLAYBOOK HE STAINED A NUMBER OF POLITICAL VOTES EVERY MEMBER OF THE SENATE KNEW WOULD FAIL JUST SO HE COULD SECURE SOME PERCEIVED POLITICAL ADVANTAGE AGAINST REPUBLICAN SENATORS IN THE 2020 ELECTION WHAT SHOULD BE A SOLEMN CONSTITUTIONAL UNDERTAKING BECAME PARTISAN GUERRILLA WARFARE TO TAKE DOWN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND MAKE SENATOR SCHUMER THE NEXT MAJORITY LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE

ALL OF THIS WAS DONE ON THE EVE OF AN ELECTION AND JUST DAYS SHY OF THE FIRST PRIMARY IN IOWA WELL, TO SAY THAT TIMING WAS A COINCIDENCE WOULD BE LAUGHABLE THIS PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT PROCESS COULD NOT ONLY REMOVE THE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE, IT WOULD ALSO POTENTIALLY PREVENT HIS NAME FROM APPEARING ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER MADAM PRESIDENT, WE ARE ONLY NINE MONTHS AWAY FROM AN ELECTION NINE MONTHS AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE VOTING ON THE DIRECTION OF OUR COUNTRY

BUT OUR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES DON'T TRUST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO THEY'VE TAKEN MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS THIS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED IMPEACHMENT SETS A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP THIS IS ABOUT THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY AND WHAT PRECEDENT A CONVICTION AND REMOVAL WOULD SET FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND FOR OUR FUTURE

IF SUCCESSFUL, THIS WOULD GIVE A GREEN LIGHT TO FUTURE CONGRESSES TO WEAPONIZE IMPEACHMENT TO DEFEAT A POLITICAL OPPONENT FOR ANY ACTION, EVEN A FAILURE TO KOWTOW TO CONGRESS' WISHES IMPEACHMENT IS A POE FOUNDLY SERIOUS MATTER — PROFOUNDLY SERIOUS MATTER THAT MUST BE HANDLED AS SUCH IT CANNOT BECOME THE HAIL MARY PASS OF A PARTY TO REMOVE A PRESIDENT EFFECTIVELY NULLIFYING AN ELECTION AND INTERFERING IN THE NEXT I BELIEVE, I THINK WE SHOULD ALL BELIEVE THAT THE RESULTS OF THE NEXT ELECTION SHOULD BE DECIDED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, NOT BY CONGRESS

THE DECISION TO REMOVE A PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE REQUIRES UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE OF A HIGH CRIME THAT'S THE LANGUAGE CHOSEN BY THE FRAMERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION BUT DESPITE OUR COLLEAGUES' BEST ATTEMPTS, THE FACTS THEY PRESENTED SIMPLY DON'T ADD UP TO THAT STANDARD HOUSE MANAGERS FAILED TO MEET THEIR HEAVY BURDEN OF PROOF THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT COMMITTED A CRIME LET ALONE A HIGH CRIME THEREFORE, MADAM PRESIDENT, I WILL NOT VOTE TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT

I HOPE OUR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES WILL FINALLY ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THIS TRIAL JUST AS THEY HAVE NOT ACCEPTED THE RESULTS OF THE 2016 ELECTION AND I HOPE THEY WON'T TAKE THE ADVICE OF CONGRESSWOMAN WATERS, MAXINE WATERS IN THE HOUSE, AND OPEN A SECOND IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IT'S TIME FOR OUR COUNTRY TO COME TOGETHER TO HEAL THE WOUNDS THAT DIVIDE US AND TO GET THE PEOPLE'S WORK DONE IT'S NO DOUBT AS SPEAKER PELOSI OBSERVED IN MARCH OF 2019 THAT IMPEACHMENT IS A SOURCE OF DIVISION IN OUR COUNTRY, AND IT'S ALSO A PERIOD OF GREAT SADNESS IF THIS PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT WERE TO SUCCEED, MY GREATEST FAIR IT WOULD BECOME A ROUTINE PROCESS FOR EVERY PRESIDENT WHO SERVES WITH THE HOUSE MAJORITY OF THE OPPOSITE PARTY

AND WE WOULD FIND OURSELVES IN A RECURRING IMPEACHMENT NIGHTMARE EVERY TIME WE ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT OUR COUNTRY IS DEEPLY DIVIDED AND DAMAGED BY THIS PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT PROCESS IT'S TIME FOR US TO BRING IT TO A CLOSE AND LET THE WOUNDS FROM THIS UNNECESSARY AND MISGUIDED EPISODE HEAL MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR AND I WOULD NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL

QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI IS RECOGNIZED A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT FURTHER PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MR

HAWLEY: MADAM PRESIDENT, I COME HERE TODAY WITH THE BUSINESS OF IMPEACHMENT BEFORE THIS CHAMBER, AND IT SHOULD HARDLY BE NECESSARY AT THIS LATE JUNCTURE TO OUTLINE AGAIN THE TRAIN OF ABUSES AND DISORSES AND OUT– AND DISTORTIONS AND LIES THAT BROUGHT US TO TODAY'S IMPEACHMENT VOTE THE SECRET MEETINGS IN THE CAPITOL BASEMENT, THE CLOSED HEARINGS WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OR BASIC FAIRNESS, THE FAILURE OF THE HOUSE TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN RULES AND AUTHORIZE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY AND THEN THE BIPARTISAN VOTE AGAINST IMPEACHMENT, THE ATTEMPT TO MANIPULATE OR EVEN PREVENT A TRIAL HERE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, HOLDING THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT FOR 33 DAYS IN BRAZEN DEFIANCE OF THE CONSTITUTION'S MANDATES THE HOUSE DEMOCRATS HAVE GIVEN US THE FIRST PURELY PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT IN OUR HISTORY AND THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO REMOVE AN ELECTED PRESIDENT THAT DOES NOT EVEN ALLEGE UNLAWFUL CONDUCT, AND ANIMATING IT ALL HAS BEEN THE BITTER RESENTMENT OF A PROFESSIONAL POLITICAL CLASS THAT CANNOT ACCEPT THE VERDICT OF THE PEOPLE IN 2016, THAT CANNOT ACCEPT THE PEOPLE'S PRIORITIES AND THAT NOW SEEKS TO OVERTURN THE ELECTION AND ENTRENCH THEMSELVES IN POWER THAT'S HOW WE ARRIVED AT THIS MOMENT THAT'S HOW WE GOT HERE

AND THAT'S WHAT THIS IS REALLY ABOUT AND NOW, MADAM PRESIDENT, IT IS TIME TO BRING THIS FIASCO TO A CLOSE IT IS TIME TO END THE CYCLE OF RETRIBUTION AND PAYBACK AND BITTERNESS IT IS TIME TO END THE ABUSE OF OUR INSTITUTIONS AND IT IS TIME TO LET THE VERDICT OF THE PEOPLE STAND

AND SO I WILL VOTE TODAY TO ACQUIT THE PRESIDENT OF THESE CHARGES YOU KNOW, IT'S BEEN CLEAR FOR A LONG TIME THAT IMPEACHMENT IS NOT A PRIORITY OF THE PEOPLE IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE IT IS A PIPE DREAM OF POLITICIANS AND AS THE DEMOCRATS HAVE FORCED IT ON THIS COUNTRY OVER THESE MANY MONTHS, IT HAS SAPPED OUR ENERGY AND DIVERTED OUR ATTENTION FROM THE REAL ISSUES THAT PRESS UPON OUR COUNTRY, THE ISSUES THAT PEOPLE OF THIS NATION HAVE TRIED TO GET THIS TOWN TO CARE ABOUT FOR YEARS

I MEAN THE CRISIS OF SURGING SUICIDES AND DRUG ADDICTION THAT IS DRIVING LIFE EXPECTANCY DOWN IN MY STATE AND ACROSS THIS NATION I MEAN THE CRISIS AT THE BORDER WHERE THOSE DRUGS ARE POURING ACROSS, I MEAN THE CRISIS OF SKYROCKETING HEALTH CARE COSTS WHICH BURDEN FAMILIES, YOUNG AND OLD, WITH BILLS THEY CANNOT PAY I MEAN THE CRISIS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING WHICH ROBS PARENTS OF A SAFE PLACE TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN AND BUILD A LIFE I MEAN THE CRISIS OF TRAFFICKING AND EXPLOITATION WHICH ROBS OUR YOUNG GIRLS AND BOYS OF A FUTURE AND OUR SOCIETY OF THEIR INNOCENCE I MEAN THE CRISIS OF THE FAMILY FARM AND THE CRISIS OF EDUCATION COSTS FOR THOSE WHO GO TO COLLEGE AND THE LACK OF GOOD-PAYING JOBS FOR THOSE WHO DON'T

THE CRISIS OF CONNECTIVITY IN OUR HEARTLAND WHERE TOO MANY SCHOOLCHILDREN CAN'T ACCESS THE INTERNET EVEN TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK AT NIGHT I MEAN THE CRISIS OF UNFAIR TRADE AND LOST JOBS AND BROKEN HOMES, AND I COULD GO ON MY POINT, MADAM PRESIDENT, IS THIS, WHEN I LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE OF MY STATE, I DON'T HEAR ABOUT IMPEACHMENT NO, I HEAR ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF HOME AND NEIGHBORHOOD, OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY, ABOUT THE LOSS OF FAITH IN OUR GOVERNMENT AND ABOUT THE STRUGGLE TO FIND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE AND THIS TOWN OWES IT TO THESE AMERICANS, THE ONES WHO SENT US HERE, FINALLY TO LISTEN, FINALLY TO ACT, FINALLY TO DO SOMETHING THAT REALLY MATTERS TO THEM

WE MUST LEAVE THIS IMPEACHMENT CIRCUS BEHIND US AND ENSURE THAT OUR CONSTITUTION IS NEVER AGAIN ABUSED IN THIS WAY IT IS TIME TO TURN THE PAGE IT IS TIME TO TURN TO A NEW POLITICS OF THE PEOPLE, TO A POLITICS OF HOME, IT IS TIME TO TURN TO THE FUTURE, A FUTURE WHERE THIS TOWN FINALLY ACCEPTS THE PEOPLE'S JUDGMENT AND THE PEOPLE'S VERDICT, WHERE THIS TOWN FINALLY DELIVERS TO THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED THEM A FUTURE WHERE THE MIDDLE OF OUR SOCIETY GETS A FAIR SHAKE AND A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD A FUTURE WHERE MAYBE, MAYBE THIS TOWN WILL FINALLY LISTEN

WHEN I THINK OF ALL THE ENERGY AND ALL THE EFFORT THAT HAS BEEN EXPENDED ON THIS IMPEACHMENT CRUSADE OVER ALMOST THREE YEARS NOW, I WONDER WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN TODAY IS A SAD DAY, MADAM PRESIDENT, BUT IT DOES NOT HAVE TO REMAIN THAT WAY IMAGINE WHAT WE MIGHT ACHIEVE FOR THE GOOD OF THIS NATION IF WE TURNED OUR ENERGY AND OUR EFFORT TO THE WORK OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IMAGINE WHAT WE COULD DO TO KEEP FAMILIES IN THEIR HOMES, TO BRING NEW POSSIBILITY TO THE NATION'S HEARTLAND, TO CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN IN EVERY PART OF THIS SOCIETY IMAGINE WHAT WE COULD DO TO LIFT UP THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONG US WHO HAVE BEEN EXPLOITED AND TRAFFICKED AND GIVE THEM NEW HOPE AND NEW LIFE

IMAGINE WHAT WE COULD DO FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN FROM OUR RURAL TOWNS TO OUR INNER CITIES IMAGINE WHAT WE COULD DO TO GIVE THEM CONTROL OVER THEIR OWN DESTINIES MR PRESIDENT, WE CAN FIND THE COMMON GOOD WE CAN PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF THE POSSIBLE

WE CAN REBUILD THIS NATION IF WE WILL LISTEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO LET US BEGIN THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT I YIELD THE FLOOR A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE IS RECOGNIZED MR ALEXANDER: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT MADAM PRESIDENT, IN THIS IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDING I WORKED WITH SENATORS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAD THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR MORE DOCUMENTS AND WITNESSES, BUT THERE WAS NO NEED FOR MORE EVIDENCE TO PROVE SOMETHING THAT I BELIEVED HAD ALREADY BEEN PROVEN AND THAT DID NOT MEET THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION'S HIGH BAR FOR AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THERE WAS NO NEED FOR MORE EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT THE PRESIDENT ASKED UKRAINE TO INVESTIGATE JOE BIDEN AND HIS SON HUNTER

HE SAID THIS ON TELEVISION ON OCTOBER 3, 2019, AND HE SAID IT DURING HIS JULY 25, 2019, TELEPHONE CALL WITH THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE THERE WAS NO NEED FOR MORE EVIDENCE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE PRESIDENT WITHHELD UNITED STATES AID AT LEAST IN PART TO PRESSURE UKRAINE TO INVESTIGATE THE BIDENS THE HOUSE MANAGERS HAD PROVED THIS WITH WHAT THEY CALLED A, QUOTE, MOUNTAIN OF OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE ONE OF THE MANAGERS SAID IT WAS PROVED BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THERE WAS NO NEED TO CONSIDER FURTHER THE FRIVOLOUS SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT THAT WOULD REMOVE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND FUTURE PRESIDENTS, REMOVE FROM THIS PRESIDENT FOR ASSERTING HIS CONSTITUTIONAL PREROGATIVE TO PROTECT CONFIDENTIAL CONVERSATIONS WITH HIS CLOSE ADVISORS

IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE PRESIDENT TO ASK A FOREIGN LEADER TO INVESTIGATE HIS POLITICAL OPPONENT AND TO WITHHOLD UNITED STATES AID TO ENCOURAGE THIS INVESTIGATION WHEN ELECTED OFFICIALS INAPPROPRIATELY INTERFERE WITH SUCH INVESTIGATIONS, IT UNDERMINES THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW BUT, MADAM PRESIDENT, THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT GIVE THE SENATE THE POWER TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE AND BAN HIM FROM THIS YEAR'S BALLOT SIMPLY FOR ACTIONS THAT ARE INAPPROPRIATE THE QUESTION THEN IS NOT WHETHER THE PRESIDENT DID IT, BUT WHETHER THE UNITED STATES SENATE OR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD DECIDE WHAT TO DO ABOUT WHAT HE DID I BELIEVE THAT THE CONSTITUTION CLEARLY PROVIDES THAT THE PEOPLE SHOULD MAKE THAT DECISION IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THAT BEGIN ON MONDAY IN IOWA

THE SENATE HAS SPENT 11 LONG DAYS CONSIDERING THIS MOUNTAIN OF EVIDENCE THE ARGUMENTS OF THE HOUSE MANAGERS, THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS, THEIR ANSWERS TO SENATORS' QUESTIONS, AND THE HOUSE RECORD EVEN IF THE HOUSE CHARGES WERE TRUE, THEY DON'T MEET THE CONSTITUTION'S, QUOTE, TREASON, BRIBERY, OR OTHER HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, UNQUOTE, STANDARD FOR IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THE FRAMERS BELIEVED THAT THERE NEVER EVER SHOULD BE A PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT THAT IS WHY THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF THE SENATE TO CONVICT

YET NOT ONE HOUSE REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR THESE ARTICLES IF THIS SHALLOWED, HURRIED AND WHOLLY PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT WERE TO SUCCEED, IT WOULD RIP THE COUNTRY APART, POURING GASOLINE ON THE FIRE OF CULTURAL DIVISIONS THAT ALREADY EXIST IT WOULD CREATE A WEAPON OF PERPETUAL IMPEACHMENT TO BE USED AGAINST FUTURE PRESIDENTS WHENEVER THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS OF A DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTY OUR FOUNDING DOCUMENTS PROVIDE FOR DULY ELECTED PRESIDENTS WHO SERVE, QUOTE, WITH THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, UNQUOTE, NOT AT THE PLEASURE OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE

A YEAR AGO AT THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT A FRIEND OF 40 YEARS SITTING IN FRONT OF ME TURNED TO ME AND SAID, I'M VERY UNHAPPY WITH YOU FOR VOTING AGAINST THE PRESIDENT SHE WAS REFERRING TO MY VOTE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO SPEND MONEY THAT CONGRESS HADN'T APPROPRIATED TO BUILD A BORDER WALL I BELIEVED THEN AND NOW THAT THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION GIVES TO THE CONGRESS THE EXCLUSIVE POWER TO APPROPRIATE MONEY THIS SEPARATION OF POWERS CREATES CHECKS AND BALANCES IN OUR GOVERNMENT THAT PRESERVES OUR INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY BY NOT ALLOWING, IN THAT CASE, THE EXECUTIVE TO HAVE TOO MUCH POWER I REPLIED TO MY FRIEND, LOOK, I WAS NOT VOTING FOR OR AGAINST THE PRESIDENT

I WAS VOTING FOR THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION WELL, SHE WASN'T CONVINCED NOW THIS PAST SUNDAY, WALKING MY DOG RUFUS IN NASHVILLE, I WAS CONFRONTED BY A NEIGHBOR WHO SAID SHE WAS ANGRY AND CRUSHED BY MY VOTE AGAINST ALLOWING MORE WITNESSES IN THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL THE SENATE SHOULD REMOVE THE PRESIDENT FOR EXTORTION, SHE SAID I REPLIED TO HER, I WAS NOT VOTING FOR OR AGAINST THE PRESIDENT

I WAS VOTING FOR THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION WHICH, IN MY VIEW, DOES NOT GIVE THE SENATE THE POWER TO REMOVE A PRESIDENT FROM HIS OFFICE AND FROM THIS YEAR'S ELECTION BALLOT SIMPLY FOR ACTIONS THAT ARE INAPPROPRIATE THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION SAYS A PRESIDENT MAY BE CONVICTED ONLY FOR TREASON, BRIBERY, AND OTHER HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ACTIONS REGARDING UKRAINE ARE A FAR CRY FROM THAT PLUS, I SAID, UNLIKE THE NIXON IMPEACHMENT, WHEN ALMOST ALL REPUBLICANS VOTED TO INITIATE AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, NOT ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTED TO INITIATE THIS IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP THE TRUMP IMPEACHMENT, I SAID TO HER, WAS A COMPLETELY PARTISAN ACTION, AND THE FRAMERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, ESPECIALLY JAMES MADISON, BELIEVED WE SHOULD NEVER EVER HAVE A PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT

THAT WOULD UNDERMINE THE SEPARATION OF POWERS BY ALLOWING THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO IMMOBILIZE THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AS WELL AS THE SENATE BY A PERPETUAL PARTISAN SERIES OF IMPEACHMENTS WELL, SHE WAS NOT CONVINCED WHEN OUR COUNTRY WAS CREATED, THERE NEVER HAD BEEN ANYTHING QUITE LIKE IT A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC WITH A WRITTEN CONSTITUTION PERHAPS ITS GREATEST INNOVATION WAS THE SEPARATION OF POWERS AMONG THE PRESIDENCY, THE SUPREME COURT, AND THE CONGRESS

THE LATE JUSTICE SCALIA SAID OF THIS CHECKS AND BALANCES, QUO, EVERY TIN HORNED DICTATOR IN THE WORLD TODAY, EVERY PRESIDENT FOR LIFE HAS A BILL OF RIGHTS WHAT HAS MADE US FREE IS OUR CONSTITUTION WHAT HE MEANT WAS WHAT MAKES THE UNITED STATES DIFFERENT AND PROTECTS OUR INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY IS THE SEPARATION OF POWERS AND THE CHECKS AND BALANCES IN OUR CONSTITUTION THE GOAL OF OUR FOUNDERS WAS NOT TO HAVE A KING AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ON THE ONE HAND, OR NOT TO HAVE A BRITISH-STYLE PARLIAMENT ON THE OTHER, WHICH COULD REMOVE OUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OR PRIME MINISTER WITH A MAJORITY OR NO CONFIDENCE VOTE THE PRINCIPAL REASON OUR CONSTITUTION CREATED A UNITED STATES SENATE IS SO THAT ONE BODY OF CONGRESS CAN PAUSE AND RESIST THE EXCESSES OF THE EXECUTIVE OR POPULAR PASSIONS THAT CAN RUN THROUGH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN

THE LANGUAGE OF THE CONSTITUTION, OF COURSE, IS SUBJECT TO INTERPRETATION, BUT ON SOME THINGS ITS WORDS ARE CLEAR THE PRESIDENT CANNOT SPEND MONEY THAT CONGRESS DOESN'T APPROPRIATE, THAT'S CLEAR AND THE SENATE CAN'T REMOVE A PRESIDENT FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN TREASON, BRIBERY, HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, AND TWO-THIRDS OF US, THE SENATORS, MUST AGREE ON THAT THAT REQUIRES A BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS WE SENATORS TAKE AN OCTOBER TO BASE — AN OATH TO BASE OUR DECISIONS ON THE PROVISIONS OF OUR CONSTITUTION WHICH IS WHAT I HAVE ENDEAVORED TO DO DURING THIS IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDING

NOW, MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK CONSENT TO INCLUDE A FEW DOCUMENTS IN THE RECORD FOLLOWING MY REMARKS THEY INCLUDE AN EDITORIAL FEBRUARY 3 FROM "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL," AN EDITORIAL FROM THE NATIONAL REVIEW ALSO DATED FEBRUARY 3 AND AN OPINION EDITORIAL BY ROBERT DOORE, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE ON FEBRUARY 1, ARTICLE FROM THE KNOXVILLE NEW SENTINEL YESTERDAY AND A TRANSCRIPT FROM MY APPEARANCE ON MEET THE PRESS ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2020 THESE DOCUMENTS ILLUMINATE AND FURTHER EXPLAIN MY STATEMENT TODAY THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEBRASKA IS RECOGNIZED A SENATOR: WE ARE NOT IN A QUORUM CALL? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THAT IS CORRECT A SENATOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO INTRODUCE INTO THE SENATE RECORD AND INTO THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL RECORD AN OP-ED THAT I WROTE IN THE OMAHA WORLD HERALD THIS MORNING THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION

MR SASSE: THANK YOU MS HARRIS: MR PRESIDENT, WHEN THE FRAMERS WROTE THE CONSTITUTION, THEY DIDN'T THINK SOMEONE LIKE ME WOULD SERVE AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR

BUT THEY DID ENVISION SOMEONE LIKE DONALD TRUMP BEING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SOMEONE WHO THINKS HE IS ABOVE THE LAW AND THAT RULES DON'T APPLY TO HIM SO THEY MADE SURE OUR DEMOCRACY HAD THE TOOL OF IMPEACHMENT TO STOP THAT KIND OF ABUSE OF POWER THE HOUSE MANAGERS HAVE CLEARLY LAID OUT A COMPELLING CASE AND EVIDENCE OF DONALD TRUMP'S MISCONDUCT THEY HAVE SHOWN THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WITHHELD MILITARY AID AND A COVETED WHITE HOUSE MEETING FOR HIS POLITICAL GAIN

HE WANTED A FOREIGN COUNTRY TO ANNOUNCE — NOT ACTUALLY CONDUCT, ANNOUNCE AN INVESTIGATION INTO HIS POLITICAL RIVAL, AND THEN HE REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO HIS MISCONDUCT AND UNFORTUNATELY, A MAJORITY OF THE UNITED STATES SENATORS, EVEN THOSE WHO CONCEDE THAT WHAT DONALD TRUMP DID WAS WRONG, ARE NONETHELESS GOING TO REFUSE TO HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE THE SENATE TRIAL OF DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE DONALD TRUMP IS GOING TO GET AWAY WITH ABUSING HIS POSITION OF POWER FOR PERSONAL GAIN, ABUSING HIS POSITION OF POWER TO STOP CONGRESS FROM LOOKING INTO HIS MISCONDUCT AND FALSELY CLAIMING HE HAS BEEN EXONERATED HE'S GOING TO ESCAPE ACCOUNTABILITY BECAUSE A MAJORITY OF SENATORS HAVE DECIDED TO LET HIM

THEY VOTED REPEATEDLY TO BLOCK KEY EVIDENCE LIKE WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS THAT COULD HAVE SHED LIGHT ON THE FULL TRUTH, AND WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT STILL IN AMERICA, THERE ARE TWO SYSTEMS OF JUSTICE, ONE FOR THE POWERFUL AND ANOTHER FOR EVERYONE ELSE SO LET'S SPEAK THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT OUR TWO SYSTEMS OF JUSTICE ACTUALLY MEAN IN THE REAL WORLD IT MEANS THAT IN OUR COUNTRY, TOO MANY PEOPLE WALK INTO COURTHOUSES AND FACE SYSTEMIC BIAS TOO OFTEN, THEY LACK ADEQUATE LEGAL REPRESENTATION, WHETHER THEY ARE OVERWORKED, UNDERPAID, OR BOTH IT MEANS THAT A YOUNG MAN NAMED EMMETT TILL WAS FALSELY ACCUSED AND THEN MURDERED, BUT HIS MURDERER DIDN'T HAVE TO SPEND A DAY IN JAIL

IT MEANS THAT FOUR YOUNG BLACK MEN HAD THEIR LIVES TAKEN AND TURNED UPSIDE DOWN AFTER BEING FALSELY ACCUSED OF A CRIME IN GROVELAND, FLORIDA IT MEANS THAT RIGHT NOW, TOO MANY PEOPLE IN AMERICA ARE SITTING IN JAIL WITHOUT HAVING YET BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME BUT SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD BAIL AND IT MEANS THAT FUTURE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES WILL REMEMBER THAT THE UNITED STATES SENATE FAILED TO HOLD DONALD TRUMP ACCOUNTABLE, AND THEY WILL BE EMBOLDENED TO ABUSE THEIR POWER, KNOWING THERE WILL BE NO CONSEQUENCE DONALD TRUMP KNOWS ALL THIS BETTER THAN ANYBODY HE MAY NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE HAVE TWO SYSTEMS OF JUSTICE, BUT HE KNOWS THE INSTITUTIONS IN THIS COUNTRY, BE IT COURTS OR THE SENATE, ARE SET UP TO PROTECT POWERFUL PEOPLE LIKE HIM

HE TOLD US AS MUCH WHEN REGARDING THE SEXUAL ASSAULT OF WOMEN, HE SAID, QUOTE, WHEN YOU'RE A STAR, THEY LET YOU DO IT YOU CAN DO ANYTHING HE SAID THAT ARTICLE 2 OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION GIVES HIM AS PRESIDENT THE RIGHT TO DO WHATEVER HE WANTS TRUMP HAS SHOWN US THROUGH HIS WORDS AND ACTION THAT HE THINKS HE IS ABOVE THE LAW, AND WHEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SEE THE PRESIDENT ACTING AS THOUGH HE IS ABOVE THE LAW, IT UNDERSTANDEDLY LEAVES THEM FEELING UNTRUSTFUL OF OUR SYSTEM OF JUSTICE, DISTRUSTFUL OF OUR DEMOCRACY

WHEN THE UNITED STATES SENATE REFUSES TO HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE, IT REINFORCES THAT LOSS OF TRUST IN OUR SYSTEM NOW, I'M UNDER NO ILLUSION THAT THIS BODY IS POISED TO HOLD THIS PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE, BUT DESPITE THE CONDUCT OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE IN THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST CONTINUE TO STRIVE TOWARD THE MORE PERFECT UNION THAT OUR CONSTITUTION PROMISES, AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE ALL OF US IN EVERY STATE, EVERY TOWN, EVERYWHERE TO CONTINUE FIGHTING FOR THE BEST OF WHO WE ARE AS A COUNTRY WE EACH HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY IN FIGHTING FOR THOSE WORDS INSCRIBED ON THAT UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW FREDERICK DOUGLASS, WHO LIKE MANY I CONSIDER TO BE ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF OUR NATION, WROTE THAT, QUOTE, THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THE PROGRESS OF HUMAN LIBERTY , THAT ALL CONCESSIONS GET MADE TO HER AUGUST CLAIMS, HAVE BEEN BORNE OF EARNEST STRUGGLE THE IMPEACHMENT OF DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN ONE OF THOSE EARNEST STRUGGLES FOR LIBERTY

IN THIS FIGHT, LIKE SO MANY BEFORE IT, IT HAS BEEN A FIGHT AGAINST TYRANNY THIS STRUGGLE HAS NOT BEEN AN EASY ONE, AND IT HAS LEFT TOO MANY PEOPLE ACROSS OUR NATION FEELING CYNICAL FOR TOO MANY PEOPLE, THIS TRIAL CONFIRMED SOMETHING THEY HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN, THAT THE REAL TOWER IN THIS COUNTRY LIES NOT WITH THEM BUT WITH JUST A FEW PEOPLE WHO ADVANCE THEIR OWN INTERESTS AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS' NEEDS FOR MANY, THE INJUSTICE IN THIS TRIAL IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE WAY THAT OUR SYSTEM OF JUSTICE HAS WORKED OR, MORE ACCURATELY, FAILED TO WORK BUT HERE'S THE THING

FREDERICK DOUGLASS ALSO TOLD US THAT, QUOTE, IF THERE IS NO STRUGGLE, THERE IS NO PROGRESS HE WENT ON TO SAY POWER CONCEDES NOTHING WITHOUT A DEMAND AND HE SAID IT NEVER DID, AND IT NEVER WILL IN ORDER TO WRESTLE POWER AWAY FROM THE FEW PEOPLE AT THE VERY TOP WHO ABUSE THEIR POWER, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE AND THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE WE MUST GO INTO THE DARKNESS TO SHINE A LIGHT, AND WE CANNOT BE DETERRED, AND WE CANNOT BE OVERWHELMED, AND WE CANNOT EVER GIVE UP ON OUR COUNTRY

WE CANNOT EVER GIVE UP ON THE IDEAL THAT ARE THE FOUNDATIONS FOR OUR SYSTEM OF DEMOCRACY WE CAN NEVER GIVE UP ON THE MEANING OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE, AND IT IS PART OF OUR HISTORY, OUR PAST, CLEARLY OUR PRESIDENT, AND OUR FUTURE THAT IN ORDER TO MAKE THESE VALUES REAL, IN ORDER TO MAKE THE PROMISE OF OUR COUNTRY REAL, WE CAN NEVER TAKE IT FOR GRANTED THERE WILL BE MOMENTS IN TIME AND HISTORY WHERE WE EXPERIENCE INCREDIBLE DISAPPOINTMENT, BUT THE GREATEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF ALL WILL BE IF WE GIVE UP WE CANNOT EVER GIVE UP FIGHTING FOR WHO WE KNOW WE ARE, AND WE MUST ALWAYS SEE WHO WE CAN BE UNBURDENED BY WHERE WE HAVE BEEN THAT IS THE STRENGTH OF OUR NATION

SO AFTER THE SENATE VOTES TODAY, DONALD TRUMP WILL WANT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO FEEL CYNICAL HE WILL WANT US NOT TO CARE HE WILL WANT US TO THINK THAT HE IS ALL-POWERFUL, AND WE HAVE NO POWER, BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO LET HIM GET AWAY WITH THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS, BECAUSE THE TRUE POWER AND POTENTIAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESIDES NOT WITH THE PRESIDENT BUT WITH THE PEOPLE, ALL THE PEOPLE SO IN OUR LONG STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE, I WILL DO MY PART BY VOTING TO CONVICT THIS LAWLESS PRESIDENT AND REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE, AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO JOIN ME ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY

I YIELD THE FLOOR A SENATOR: MR PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE MS

HASSAN: MR PRESIDENT, CONSIDERING WHETHER TO CONVICT A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ON ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT IS A SOLEMN AND CONSEQUENTIAL DUTY, AND I DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY EVEN BEFORE WE HAD A COUNTRY, OUR FOUNDERS PUT FORWARD THE NOTION OF COUNTRY FIRST, PLEDGING IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE THEIR LIVES, FORTUNES, AND SACRED HONOR, A PLEDGE THEY MADE TO AN IDEA, IMAGINING AND HOPING FOR A COUNTRY WHERE NO ONE WAS ABOVE THE LAW, WHERE NO ONE HAD ABSOLUTE POWER MY DAD, A WORLD WAR II VETERAN, AND MY MOM RAISED ME TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS WHAT MADE OUR COUNTRY THE UNIQUE AND INDISPENSABLE DEMOCRACY THAT IT IS MY OBLIGATION THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS HAS BEEN TO LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE CASE THAT THE HOUSE MANAGERS PUT FORWARD AND THE DEFENSES ASSERTED BY THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS, AND THEN TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS FOR IMPEACHMENT, THE INTENT OF OUR FOUNDERS, AND THE FACTS

THAT'S WHAT I HAVE DONE OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS THE SENATE VERDICT STEMS FROM PRESENTATIONS ON BOTH SIDES AND ANSWERS TO THE ALMOST 200 QUESTIONS THAT SENATORS POSED TO THE HOUSE MANAGERS AND THE PRESIDENT'S ADVOCATES THE FACTS CLEARLY SHOW THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP ABUSED THE PUBLIC'S SACRED TRUST BY USING TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO EXTORT A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT INTO PROVIDING MISINFORMATION ABOUT A FEARED POLITICAL OPPONENT LET ME REPEAT THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES USED TAXPAYER MONEY THAT HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED, OBLIGATED AND CLEARED FOR DELIVERY AS CRITICAL MILITARY AID TO UKRAINE TO TRY TO FORCE THAT COUNTRY TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS

HE VIOLATED THE LAW AND THE PUBLIC TRUST, AND HE PUT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE LIVES OF UKRANIAN SOLDIERS ON THE FRONT LINES OF RUSSIAN AGGRESSION AT RISK ALTHOUGH THE COUNTRY WAS ALERTED TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD CROSSED A CRITICAL LINE BECAUSE OF REVELATIONS ABOUT HIS NOW INFAMOUS JULY 25 PHONE CALL, IT IS NOT THE PHONE CALL ALONE THAT LED TO THE PRESIDENT'S IMPEACHMENT INSTEAD THE PHONE CALL WAS A PIVOTAL POINT IN A SCHEME THAT HAD STARTED EARLIER SPEARHEADED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL LAWYER, RUDY GIULIANI MR GIULIANI HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE WAS DOING THE PRESIDENT'S PERSONAL AND POLITICAL BIDDING WHEN HE ENGAGED WITH THE UKRANIAN GOVERNMENT

AND AS THE NEWLY ELECTED ANTICORRUPTION UKRANIAN GOVERNMENT CAME INTO POWER, IN NEED OF RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT FROM THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENT TRUMP FORCED OFFICIALS FROM UKRAINE AND THE UNITED STATES TO NEGOTIATE THROUGH MR GIULIANI, CONFLATING HIS PERSONAL AND POLITICAL INTERESTS WITH THE NATIONAL SECURITY AND DIPLOMATIC INTERESTS OF OUR COUNTRY AND THEN AS PRESIDENT ZELENSKY RESISTED THE REQUEST THAT HE CONCOCT AND ANNOUNCE A FAKE INVESTIGATION INTO THE BIDENS, THE PRESIDENT AND MR GIULIANI INCREASED THE PRESSURE SUDDENLY AND WITHOUT EXPLANATION OR A LEGALLY REQUIRED NOTIFICATION TO CONGRESS, THE PRESIDENT ORDERED THAT PREVIOUSLY APPROVED AND CRITICALLY NEEDED MILITARY AID TO UKRAINE BE HELD UP

MR TRUMP AT FIRST THROUGH MR GIULIANI AND THEN DIRECTLY SOLICITED INTERFERENCE WITH AN AMERICAN ELECTION FROM A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, AND HE ORDERED OTHERS IN HIS ADMINISTRATION TO WORK WITH MR GIULIANI TO ENSURE THIS SCHEME'S SUCCESS MR

PRESIDENT, WHILE THERE IS STILL MORE EVIDENCE THAT THE SENATE SHOULD HAVE SUBPOENAED BOTH WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS THAT WOULD HAVE GIVEN US A MORE COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT HAPPENED, WE KNOW AS MUCH AS WE DO BECAUSE OF THE COURAGE AND STRENGTH OF AMERICAN PATRIOTS WHO PUT COUNTRY BEFORE SELF, PATRIOTS LIKE THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WHISTLE-BLOWER WHO WAS FOLLOWED BY ARMY LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALEXANDER VINDMAN AND FORMER US AMBASSADORS TO UKRAINE, MARIE YOVANOVITCH AND WILLIAM TAYLOR AS WELL AS CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION THESE AMERICANS WHO CAME FORWARD WERE DOING EXACTLY WHAT WE ALWAYS ASK OF CITIZENS IF YOU SEE SOMETHING WRONG, YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING IT IS A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF CITIZENSHIP TO ALERT EACH OTHER TO DANGER, TO ACT FOR THE GREATER GOOD, TO CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER AND OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT REGARD TO POLITICAL PARTY WHEN AMERICANS STEP FORWARD, SOMETIMES AT REAL RISK TO THEMSELVES, THEY RIGHTLY EXPECT THAT THEIR GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE THE INFORMATION THEY PROVIDE AND ACT TO MAKE THEM SAFER, TO PROTECT THEIR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS THAT'S THE UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT AND WHILE THE BRAVE WOMEN AND MEN WHO APPEARED BEFORE THE HOUSE DID THEIR JOBS, THE SENATE UNDER THIS MAJORITY HAS UNFORTUNATELY NOT

RATHER THAN GATHERING FULL RELEVANT TESTIMONY UNDER OATH AND WITH THE BENEFIT OF CROSS-EXAMINATION, THE SENATE MAJORITY HAS APPARENTLY DECIDED THAT DESPITE WHAT IT HAS HEARD, IT IS NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE, NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT HOW A PRESIDENT, HIS PERSONAL AGENT AND MEMBERS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION CORRUPTED OUR FOREIGN POLICY AND PUT OUR NATION'S SECURITY AT RISK NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT HOW THEY PLANNED TO USE THE POWER OF HIS OFFICE TO TILT THE SCALES OF THE NEXT ELECTION TO ENSURE THAT HE STAYS IN POWER NOD INTERESTED IN — NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT HOW THEY WORKED TO COVER IT UP INCREASINGLY OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE TEAM AND MORE AND MORE OF MY COLLEAGUES HERE IN THE SENATE HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED THE FACTS OF THE PRESIDENT'S SCHEME THEIR ARGUMENT HAS SHIFTED FROM HE DIDN'T DO IT TOED A RIGHT TO, TO WON'T DO IT AGAIN, OR EVEN IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER

I DISAGREE SO STRONGLY THE IDEA THAT IN OUR COUNTRY, ESTABLISHED BY THE VERY REJECTION OF A MONARCHY, THE PRESIDENT HAS ABSOLUTE POWER IS ABSURD, AS IS THE IDEA THAT THIS PRESIDENT, WHOSE CONDUCT IS ULTIMATELY THE CAUSE OF THIS ENTIRE PROCESS, WILL SUDDENLY STOP PRESIDENT TRUMP CONTINUES TO INVITE FOREIGN POWERS TO INTERFERE WITH OUR ELECTIONS, MAINTAINING TO THIS DAY THAT IT WAS, QUOTE, A PERFECT CALL MR PRESIDENT, OUR FOUNDERS KNEW THAT ALL PEOPLE, ALL LEADERS ARE FALLIBLE HUMAN BEINGS, AND THEY KNEW THAT OUR SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES COULD SURVIVE SOME LEVEL OF HUMAN FRAILTY IN EVEN AS IMPORTANT AS AN OFFICE AS THE PRESIDENCY

THE ONE THING THEY FEARED IT COULD NOT SURVIVE WAS A PRESIDENT WHO WOULD PUT SELF-INTEREST BEFORE THE INTEREST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OR WHO DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO AS CITIZEN AND CHIEF AND ONE WIELDING ENORMOUS POWER, PRESIDENTS MUST PUT COUNTRY FIRST SO OUR FOUNDERS KNEW THAT WE NEEDED A MECHANISM TO HOLD PRESIDENTS ACCOUNTABLE FOR BEHAVIOR THAT VIOLATED THAT BASIC UNDERSTANDING AND THAT WOULD THREATEN OUR DEMOCRACY, AND THEY PROVIDED A MECHANISM FOR REMOVAL OUTSIDE OF THE ELECTION PROCESS BECAUSE OF THE IMMENSE DAMAGE A PRESIDENT COULD DO IN THE TIME BETWEEN ELECTIONS, DAMAGE IN THE CASE OF THIS PRESIDENT'S CONTINUING BEHAVIOR TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND ELECTION INTEGRITY OUR FOUNDERS BELIEVED THAT THEY WERE ESTABLISHING A COUNTRY THAT WOULD BE UNIQUE IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANKIND, A COUNTRY THAT WOULD BE INDISPENSABLE BUILT ON THE RULE OF LAW, NOT THE WHIMS OF A RULER GENERATION AFTER GENERATION OF AMERICANS HAVE FOUGHT FOR THAT VISION BECAUSE OF WHAT IT HAS MEANT TO OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE SUCCESS

AND TO THE PROGRESS OF HUMANKIND WORLDWIDE THAT'S THE AMERICA THAT I HAVE SWORN AN OATH TO PROTECT I WILL VOTE IN FAVOR OF BOTH ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT'S CONDUCT REQUIRES IT, CONGRESS' RESPONSIBILITY AS A COEQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT REQUIRES IT, AND THE VERY FOUNDATION AND SECURITY OF OUR AMERICAN IDEA REQUIRES IT THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT, AND I YIELD THE FLOOR

MR JONES: MR PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA MR

JONES: THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT MR PRESIDENT, ON THE DAY I WAS SWORN IN AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR, I TOOK AN OATH TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION JUST LAST MONTH AT THE BEGINNING OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, I TOOK A SECOND OATH TO DO FAIR AND IMPARTIAL JUSTICE ACCORDING TO THE SAME CONSTITUTION I SWORE TO PROTECT

AS I TOOK THE OATH AND THROUGHOUT THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, I COULDN'T HELP BUT THINK OF MY FATHER AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, I LOST MY DAD OVER THE HOLIDAY RECESS WHILE SO MANY WERE ARGUING OVER WHETHER OR NOT THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SHOULD SEND ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT TO THE SENATE, I WAS STRUGGLING WITH WATCHING HIM SLIP AWAY WHILE ONLY OCCASIONALLY TRYING TO WEIGH IN WITH MY VOICE TO BE HEARD ABOUT THE NEED FOR WITNESSES IN THE UPCOMING IMPEACHMENT TRIAL MY DAD WAS A GREAT MAN, A LOVING HUSBAND, FATHER, GRANDFATHER, AND GREAT-GRANDFATHER WHO DID HIS BEST TO INSTILL IN ME THE VALUES OF RIGHT AND WRONG AS I GREW UP IN FAIRFIELD, ALABAMA HE WAS ALSO A FIERCE PATRIOT WHO LOVED THIS COUNTRY

ALTHOUGH FORTUNATELY HE WAS NEVER CALLED ON TO DO SO, I FIRMLY BELIEVE HE WOULD HAVE PLACED HIS COUNTRY EVEN ABOVE HIS FAMILY BECAUSE HE KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD FULLY WHAT AMERICA AND THE FREEDOMS AND LIBERTIES THAT COME WITH HER MEAN TO EVERYONE IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY AND SIGNIFICANTLY TO PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD I KNOW HE WOULD HAVE PUT HIS COUNTRY BEFORE ANY ALLEGIANCE TO ANY POLITICAL PARTY OR EVEN TO ANY PRESIDENT HE WAS ON THE YOUNGER SIDE OF THAT GREATEST GENERATION WHO JOINED THE NAVY AT AGE 17 TO SERVE OUR GREAT MILITARY THAT SERVICE AND LOVE OF COUNTRY SHAPED HIM INTO THE MAN OF PRINCIPLE THAT HE WAS, INSTILLING IN ME THOSE SAME PRINCIPLES AND THINK OF HIM, HIS PATRIOTISM, HIS PRINCIPLES AND HOW HE RAISED ME, I AM REMINDED OF ROBERT KENNEDY'S WORDS THAT WERE MENTIONED IN THIS TRIAL

FEW MEN ARE WILLING TO BRAVE THE DISAPPROVAL OF THEIR FELLOWS, THE CENSURE OF THEIR COLLEAGUES, THE WRATH OF THEIR SOCIETY MORAL COURAGE IS A RARE COMMODITY THAN BRAVERY IN BATTLE OR GREAT INTELLIGENCE YET IT IS THE ONE ESSENTIAL VITAL QUALITY FOR THOSE WHO SEEK TO CHANGE A WORLD THAT YIELDS MOST PAINFULLY TO CHANGE CANDIDLY TO MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, I FEAR THAT MORAL COURAGE, COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY IS A RARE COMMODITY THESE DAYS WE CAN WRITE ABOUT IT AND TALK ABOUT IT IN SPEECHES AND IN THE MEDIA, BUT IT IS HARDER TO PUT INTO ACTION WHEN POLITICAL CAREERS MAY BE ON THE LINE NOWHERE IS THE DILEMMA MORE DIFFICULT THAN IN AN IMPEACHMENT OF A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

VERY EARLY ON IN THIS PROCESS I IMPLORED MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS TO STAY OUT OF THEIR POLITICAL AND PARTISAN CORNERS MANY DID, BUT SO MANY DID NOT EVEN THE MEDIA CONTINUALLY VIEWED THIS ENTIRE PROCESS THROUGH PARTISAN POLITICAL EYES AND HOW IT MAY OR MAY NOT AFFECT AN ELECTION THAT IS UNFORTUNATE THE COUNTRY DESERVES BETTER, AND WE MUST FIND A WAY TO MOVE BEYOND SUCH PARTISAN DIVIDES

THE SOLEMN OATH THAT I HAVE TAKEN HAS BEEN MY GUIDE DURING WHAT HAS BEEN A DIFFICULT TIME FOR THE COUNTRY, MY STATE, AND FOR ME PERSONALLY I DID NOT RUN FOR THE SENATE HOPING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT, BUT I CANNOT AND WILL NOT SHRINK FROM MY DUTY TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AND TO DO IMPARTIAL JUSTICE IN KEEPING WITH MY OATH AS SENATOR AND MY OATH TO DO IMPARTIAL JUSTICE, I RESOLVE THAT THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS I WOULD KEEP AN OPEN MIND TO CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE WITHOUT REGARD TO POLITICAL AFFILIATION AND TO HEAR ALL OF THE EVIDENCE BEFORE MAKING A FINAL DECISION ON WHETHER, ON EITHER CHARGE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT I BELIEVE THAT MY VOTES LATER TODAY WILL REFLECT THAT COMMITMENT WITH THE EYES OF HISTORY UPON US, I'M ACUTELY AWARE OF THE PRECEDENTS THAT THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WILL SET FOR FUTURE PRESIDENCIES AND CONGRESSES

UNFORTUNATELY, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THOSE PRECEDENTS ARE GOOD ONES I AM PARTICULARLY CONCERNED THAT WE HAVE NOW SET A PRECEDENT THAT THE SENATE DOES NOT HAVE TO GO FORWARD WITH WITNESSES OR REVIEW DOCUMENTS EVEN WHEN THOSE WITNESSES HAVE FIRSTHAND INFORMATION AND THE DOCUMENTS WOULD ALLOW US TO TEST NOT JUST THE CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES, BUT ALSO TEST THE WORDS OF COUNSEL OF BOTH PARTIES IT IS MY FIRM BELIEF THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE MORE IN SHORT, WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS WOULD PROVIDE THE SENATE AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH A MORE COMPLETE PICTURE OF THE TRUTH, AND I BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE NOTHING LESS THAT'S NOT TO SAY, HOWEVER, THAT THERE IS NOT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE IN WHICH TO RENDER A JUDGMENT

THERE IS AS A TRIAL LAWYER, I ONCE EXPLAINED THIS PROCESS TO A JURY IS LIKE PUTTING TOGETHER THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE WHEN YOU OPEN THE BOX AND SPREAD ALL THE PIECES ON THE TABLE, IT'S JUST AN INCOHERENT JUMBLE BUT ONE BY ONE YOU HOLD THOSE PIECES UP AND YOU HOLD THEM NEXT TO EACH OTHER AND SEE WHAT FITS AND WHAT DOESN'T AND EVEN IF, AS WAS OFTEN THE CASE IN MY HOUSE GROWING UP, YOU'RE MISSING A FEW PIECES, EVEN IMPORTANT ONES, YOU MORE OFTEN THAN NOT SEE THE PICTURE

AS I'VE SAID MANY TIMES, I BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE TO SEE A COMPLETED PUZZLE, A PICTURE WITH ALL OF THE PIECES, PIECES IN THE FORM OF DOCUMENTS AND WITNESSES WITH RELEVANT FIRSTHAND INFORMATION WHICH WOULD HAVE PROVIDED VALUABLE CONTEXT, CORROBORATION OR CONTRADICTION TO THAT WHICH WE HAVE HEARD BUT EVEN WITH MISSING PIECES, OUR COMMON SENSE AND LIFE'S EXPERIENCES ALLOW US TO SEE THE PICTURE AS IT COMES INTO FULL VIEW THROUGHOUT THE TRIAL ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE CONTINUED TO STAND OUT FOR ME IT WAS THE PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT THAT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, WE HAVE ARTICLE 2, AND I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT THAT SEEMS TO CAPTURE THIS PRESIDENT'S BELIEF ABOUT THE PRESIDENCY, THAT HE HAS UNBRIDLED POWER, UNCHECKED BY CONGRESS OR THE JUDICIARY OR ANYONE ELSE

THAT VIEW DANGEROUS AS IT IS EXPLAINS THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS TOWARDS UKRAINE AND CONGRESS SOME OF WHAT WE'VE SEEN AND HEARD IS UNFORTUNATELY A PICTURE OF A PRESIDENT WHO ABUSED THE GREAT POWER OF HIS OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN, A PICTURE OF A PRESIDENT WHO HAS PLACED HIS PERSONAL INTEREST WELL ABOVE THE INTEREST OF THE NATION, AND IN SO DOING THREATENED OUR NATIONAL SECURITY THE SECURITY OF OUR EUROPEAN ALLIES AND THE SECURITY OF UKRAINE THE EVIDENCE CLEARLY PROVES THAT THE PRESIDENT USED THE WEIGHT OF HIS OFFICE AND THE WEIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO SEEK TO COERCE A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTION FOR HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL BENEFIT HIS ACTIONS WERE MORE THAN SIMPLY INAPPROPRIATE

THEY WERE AN ABUSE OF POWER WHEN I WAS A LAWYER FOR THE ALABAMA JUDICIAL INQUIRY COMMISSION, THERE WAS A SAYING THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE INQUIRY COMMISSION AND ONE OF ALABAMA'S GREAT JUDGES USED TO SAY, RANDAL COLE, HE USED TO SAY ABOUT JUDGES WHO STRAYED FROM THE CANNONS OF ETHICS, THAT THE JUDGE LEFT HIS POST SADLY, PRESIDENT TRUMP LEFT HIS POST WITH REGARD TO THE WITHHOLDING OF MILITARY AID TO UKRAINE AND A WHITE HOUSE VISIT FOR THE NEW UKRANIAN PRESIDENT AND IN SO DOING, HE TOOK THE GREAT POWERS OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH HIM IMPEACHMENT IS THE ONLY CHECK ON SUCH PRESIDENTIAL WRONGDOING

THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS, GAVE ME MORE PAUSE I'VE STRUGGLED TO UNDERSTAND THE HOUSE'S STRATEGY AND THEIR FAILURE TO FULLY PURSUE DOCUMENTS AND WITNESSES AND WISHED THAT THEY HAD DONE MORE HOWEVER, AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE EVIDENCE DEVELOPED IN THE HEARINGS, THE PUBLIC DISCLOSURES, THE LEGAL PRECEDENCE IN THE TRIAL, I BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT DELIBERATELY AND UNCONSTITUTIONALLY OBSTRUCTED CONGRESS BY REFUSING TO COOPERATE WITH THE INVESTIGATION INTO ANY WAY — INVESTIGATION IN ANY WAY WHILE I'M SENSITIVE TO PROTECTING THE PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES AFFORDED TO THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ADVISORS, I BELIEVE IT'S CRITICAL TO OUR CONSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE THAT WE ALSO PROTECT THE AUTHORITIES OF THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES

HERE IT WAS CLEAR FROM THE OUTSET THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER OF ACCOMMODATING CONGRESS WHEN HE BROUGHT BOTH — FOUGHT BOTH WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS BEING PRODUCED AND HE ENGAGED IN CONDUCT TO SMEAR THE REPUTATION, OF THE CIVIL SERVANTS WHO DID COME FORWARD AND PROVIDE TESTIMONY THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS DEMONSTRATE A BELIEF THAT HE IS ABOVE THE LAW, THAT CONGRESS HAS NO POWER WHATSOEVER IN QUESTIONING OR EXAMINING HIS ACTIONS AND THAT ALL WHO DO SO DO SO AT THEIR PERIL THAT BELIEF UNPRECEDENTED IN HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY SIMPLY MUST NOT BE PERMITTED TO STAND TO DO OTHERWISE RISKS GUARANTEEING THAT NO FUTURE WHISTLE-BLOWER OR WITNESS WILL EVER COME FORWARD AND NO FUTURE PRESIDENT, REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT, WILL BE SUBJECT TO CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT AS MANDATED BY THE CONSTITUTION, EVEN WHEN THE PRESIDENT HAS SO CLEARLY ABUSED HIS OFFICE AND VIOLATED THE PUBLIC TRUST

ACCORDINGLY, I WILL VOTE TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT ON BOTH ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT IN DOING SO I AM MINDFUL THAT IN A DEMOCRACY, THERE IS NOTHING MORE SACRED THAN THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND RESPECTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE BUT I'M ALSO MINDFUL THAT WHEN OUR FOUNDERS WROTE THE CONSTITUTION, THEY ENVISIONED A TIME OR AT LEAST A POSSIBILITY THAT OUR DEMOCRACY WOULD BE MORE DAMAGED IF WE FAILED TO IMPEACH AND REMOVE A PRESIDENT SUCH AS THE MOMENT IN HISTORY THAT WE FACE TODAY THE GRAVITY OF THIS MOMENT, THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CHARGES, AND THE IMPLICATION FOR FUTURE PRESIDENTS AND CONGRESSES ALL CONTRIBUTED TO THE DIFFICULTY WITH WHICH I'VE ARRIVED AT MY DECISION I AM MINDFUL, MR

PRESIDENT, THAT I AM STANDING AT A DESK THAT ONCE WAS USED BY JOHN F KENNEDY WHO FAMOUSLY WROTE "PROFILES IN COURAGE" AND THERE WILL BE SO MANY WHO WILL SIMPLY LOOK AT WHAT I'M DOING TODAY AND SAY IT IS A PROFILE IN COURAGE IT IS NOT IT IS SIMPLY A MATTER OF RIGHT AND WRONG WE'RE DOING — WHERE DOING RIGHT IS NOT A COURAGEOUS ACT

IT IS SIMPLY FOLLOWING YOUR OATH MR PRESIDENT, THIS HAS BEEN A DIVISIVE TIME FOR OUR COUNTRY, BUT I THINK IT HAS NONETHELESS BEEN AN IMPORTANT CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS FOR US TO FOLLOW AS THIS CHAPTER OF HISTORY DRAWS TO A CLOSE, ONE THING IS CLEAR TO ME AS I'VE SAID BEFORE, OUR COUNTRY DESERVES BETTER THAN THIS

THEY DESERVE BETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT THEY DESERVE BETTER FROM THE CONGRESS WE MUST FIND A WAY TO COME TOGETHER TO SET ASIDE PARTISAN DIFFERENCES AND TO FOCUS ON WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON AS AMERICANS WHILE SO MUCH IS GOING ON IN OUR FAVOR THESE DAYS, WE STILL FACE GREAT CHALLENGES, BOTH DOM MOSTICALLY AND ENTER — DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY BUT IT REMAINS MY OFFICIAL BELIEF THAT UNITED WE CAN CONQUER THEM AND REMAIN THE GREATEST HOPE FOR THE PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD MR

PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT MY FULL STATEMENT BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MR JONES: THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT

I YIELD THE FLOOR THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND MR REED: THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT

MR PRESIDENT, TODAY THE UNITED STATES SENATE IS CALLED UPON TO UPHOLD OUR OATH OF OFFICE AND OUR DUTY TO THE CONSTITUTION BECAUSE PRESIDENT TRUMP FAILED TO DO THAT HIMSELF AFTER LISTENING CLOSELY TO THE IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS AND THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE TEAM, WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE THAT WAS PRESENTED TO US, AND BEING DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE RELEVANT DOCUMENTS AND HEAR FROM FIRSTHAND WITNESSES, I WILL VOTE TO FIND PRESIDENT TRUMP GUILTY ON BOTH ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT I TAKE NO PLEASURE IN VOTING TO IMPEACH A PRESIDENT AND REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE I AGREE WITH THOSE WHO SAY IMPEACHMENT SHOULD BE RARE AND AMERICAN VOTERS SHOULD DECIDE OUR ELECTIONS

THAT IS WHY IT'S SO GALLING PRESIDENT TRUMP BLATANTLY SOLICITED FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND HE DID IT AS HE GEARED UP FOR REELECTION THE EVIDENCE SHOWS PRESIDENT TRUMP DELIBERATELY AND ILLICITLY SOUGHT FOREIGN HELP HE ATTEMPTED TO UNDERMINE OUR DEMOCRACY USING US TAXPAYER MONEY IN THE FORM OF U

S MILITARY AID TO THE UKRAINE AS LEVERAGE FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL BENEFIT THE PRESIDENT'S AIDES WHO HEARD PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CALL SEEKING A FAVOR FROM THE UKRANIAN PRESIDENT IMMEDIATELY SENSED IT WAS WRONG SO WHEN THEY ALERTED THE WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS, THE RECORD OF THE CALL WAS IMMEDIATELY PLACED ON A HIGHLY CLASSIFIED COMPUTER SYSTEM AND DESPITE THE PRESIDENT'S CLAIMING THAT THE VERSION OF THE CALL THAT WAS PUBLICLY RELEASED IS AN EXACT WORD-FOR-WORD TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONVERSATION, WE KNOW FROM TESTIMONY THAT THERE ARE KEY OMISSIONS IN THE DOCUMENT WE ALL READ

COMPOUNDING THE PRESIDENT'S MISCONDUCT, HE THEN ENGAGED IN AN EXTENDED COVER-UP THAT APPEARS TO BE ONGOING TO THIS DAY THERE IS A LOT TO UNRAVEL HERE AND I WILL PROVIDE A MORE DETAILED LEGAL EXPLANATION IN THE NEAR FUTURE BUT FOR NOW, LET ME BRIEFLY EXPLAIN MY DECISION AND OUTLINE MY THOUGHTS ON THE SENATE'S IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AND THE DISTURBING PRECEDENCE I FEAR WILL BE SET WHEN THE MAJORITY CHOOSES TO SIDE WITH THE PRESIDENT OVER THE CONSTITUTION'S CHECKS AND BALANCES THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTED TO IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT FOR ABUSE OF POWER AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS

BASED ON THE UNCONTESTED EVIDENCE, I CONCUR IT IS CLEAR THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP AND OTHERS SUCH AS MR GIULIANI WHO IS SERVING AS THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYER ATTEMPTED TO COERCE THE NEWLY-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINE TO ANNOUNCE TWO SHAM INVESTIGATIONS, INCLUDING ONE THAT SOUGHT TO DIRECTLY DAMAGE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S RIVAL IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS SERVED HIS PERSONAL AND POLITICAL NEEDS, NOT THOSE OF OUR COUNTRY HIS EFFORTS TO WITHDRAW MILITARY AID AND WITHHOLD MILITARY AID TO UKRAINE FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL BENEFIT UNDERMINED OUR NATIONAL SECURITY

THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT CHARGES THE PRESIDENT WITH OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS FOR BLOCKING TESTIMONY AND REFUSING TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTS IN RESPONSE TO HOUSE SUBPOENAS IN THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY AGAIN, THE HOUSE MANAGERS PRODUCED OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE OF THE PRESIDENT'S OBSTRUCTION AND HIS EFFORTS TO COVER-UP HIS MALFEASANCE THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL OFFERED A NUMBER OF UNPERSUASIVE ARGUMENTS AGAINST THIS ARTICLE WHICH FAILED TO OVERCOME THE FOLLOWING: FIRST, THAT THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH HAS SOLE POWER OVER IMPEACHMENT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION THAT COULDN'T BE MORE CLEAR SECOND, PAST PRESIDENTS OF PRIOR ADMINISTRATIONS AND COURT RULES AND THIRD, THE BLATANT OCTOBER 8 LETTER EXPRESSING A COMPLETE REJECTION OF THE HOUSE'S IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS

THE CONSTITUTION GRANTS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH SIGNIFICANT POWER, BUT AS EVERY STUDENT IN AMERICA LEARNS, OUR SYSTEM IS ONE OF CHECKS AND BALANCES SO THAT NO BRANCH IS UNENTIRELY UNFETTERED FROM OVERSIGHT AND THE LAW PRESIDENT TRUMP COULD HAVE AND WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE THIS SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES IS WRONG IN PRESIDENT TRUMP'S OWN WORDS, HE EXPRESSED THE MISGUIDED IMPERIAL BELIEF IN THE SUPREMACY OF HIS UNCHECKED POWER STATING, AND I QUOTE, I HAVE AN ARTICLE 2 WHERE I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHATEVER I WANT AS PRESIDENT COUPLE THIS STATEMENT WITH HIS JANUARY 2016 BOAST THAT, QUOTE, I COULD STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF FIFTH AVENUE AND SHOOT SOMEBODY AND I WOULDN'T LOSE VOTES THAT PAINTS A CHILLING PICTURE OF SOMEONE WHO CLEARLY BELIEVES INCORRECTLY THAT HE IS ABOVE THE LAW

THE PRESIDENT'S ATTORNEYS HAVE USED THIS LINE OF FAULTY REASONING AND ONE NOTABLY PREPOSTEROUS EFFORT THE PRESIDENT COULD AVOID IMPEACHMENT FOR INAPPROPRIATE ACTION MOTIVATED ENTIRELY BY HIS OWN POLITICAL AND PERSONAL INTEREST THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE ALSO FAILED TO SUFFICIENTLY DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PRESIDENT'S BLANKET DEFIANCE OF SUBPOENAS AND DOCUMENT REQUESTS OVERCOME THE PRECEDENCE ESTABLISHED IN PRIOR IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AND THE RECORD OF CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IN THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT, THERE WAS AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE AS WELL AS SWORN DEPOSITIONS AND TESTIMONY BY THE PRESIDENT AND HIS CLOSEST ADVISORS IN THE CASE OF THE UNITED STATES V

NIXON, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MYERS AND OTHERS, THE HOUSE MANAGERS POINT OUT THAT THE COURTS UPHELD CONGRESS' POWER TO INVESTIGATE IS AS BROAD AS ITS POWER TO LEGISLATE AND LIES AT THE HEART OF CONGRESS' CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE WHILE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S IMPEACHMENT LAWYERS CLAIM THE HOUSE SHOULD TAKE THE PRESIDENT TO COURT OVER THESE PREVIOUSLY-SETTLED ISSUES, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYERS AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ARE SIMULTANEOUSLY ARGUING IN THE COURTS THAT THE JUDICIAL BRANCH CANNOT EVEN RULE ON SUCH MATTERS AS PRESIDENT TRUMP STAKED OUT NEW EXPANSIVE AND AGGRESSIVE POSITIONS ABOUT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE, IMMUNITY AND THE LIMITS OF CONGRESS' OVERSIGHT AUTHORITY, REPUBLICAN LEADERS WENT ALONG WITH IT I'VE HEARD A VARIETY OF EXPLANATIONS FOR WHY MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES VOTED AGAINST WITNESSES BUT NO ONE HAS OFFERED THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION

MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES DID NOT WANT TO HEAR NEW EVIDENCE BECAUSE THEY HAVE A HUNCH IT WOULD BE REALLY, REALLY BAD FOR THIS PRESIDENT IT WOULD FURTHER EXPOSE THE DEPTH OF HIS WRONGDOING AND IT WOULD MAKE IT HARDER FOR THEM TO VOTE TO ACQUIT MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE DID NOT ASK TO BE PUT IN THIS POSITION PRESIDENT TRUMP'S MISCONDUCT FORCED IT UPON THEM BUT IN THE PARTISAN RUSH TO SPARE PRESIDENT TRUMP FROM HAVING HIS STAFF AND FORMER STAFF PUBLICLY TESTIFY AGAINST HIM UNDER OATH, A BAR HAS BEEN LOWERED

A CONSTITUTIONAL GUARDRAIL HAS BEEN REMOVED THE SENATE HAS BEEN VOLUNTARILY WEAKENED AND OUR OVERSIGHT POWER SEVERELY DIMINISHED THIS SHORT-TERM MANEUVER TO SHIELD PRESIDENT TRUMP FROM THE TRUTH IS A SEVERE BLOW AGAINST GOOD GOVERNMENT THAT WILL DO LASTING DAMAGE TO THIS INSTITUTION AND OUR DEMOCRACY I HOPE ONE DAY THE DAMAGE CAN BE REPAIRED THE ARC OF HISTORY IS INDEED LONG AND IT DOES BEND TOWARDS JUSTICE BUT NOT TODAY

TODAY THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO RELEVANT AVAILABLE EVIDENCE AND FIRSTHAND WITNESSES WE'VE BEEN PROHIBITED FROM CONSIDERING NEW MATERIAL INFORMATION THAT BECAME AVAILABLE AFTER THE HOUSE'S IMPEACHMENT VOTE THE CONSTITUTION IS OUR NATIONAL COMPASS BUT AT THIS CRITICAL MOMENT, CLOUDED BY THE FOG OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S MISCONDUCT, THE SENATE MAJORITY HAS LOST ITS WAY NO LONGER GUIDED BY THE CONSTITUTION

IN ORDER TO REGAIN OUR MORAL BEARINGS, STAY TRUE TO OUR CORE VALUES, AND NAVIGATE A BETTER PATH FORWARD, WE MUST HOLD PRESIDENT TRUMP ACCOUNTABLE THE PRESIDENT WAS WRONG TO INVITE FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR DEMOCRACY HE WAS WRONG TO TRY AND STONEWALL THE INVESTIGATION AND HE IS WRONG IF HE TRIES — AND HE THINKS HE'S ABOVE THE LAW AND WITH THAT, MR

PRESIDENT, I WOULD YIELD THE FLOOR A SENATOR: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS MS DUCKWORTH: I ASK THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE LIFTED

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WE'RE NOT IN A QUORUM CALL THE SENATOR IS RECOGNIZED MS DUCKWORTH: THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT

FROM THE FIRST WORDS OF THE CONSTITUTION, THE WEIGHT THAT LIES ON EVERY AMERICAN'S SHOULDERS HAS BEEN CLEAR WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONES THAT DREAMED UP THIS WILD EXPERIMENT WE CALL AMERICA, AND WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONES CHARGED WITH ENSURING ITS SURVIVAL THAT'S THE TENSION, THE PUSH AND THE PULL BEHIND OUR DEMOCRACY, BECAUSE WHILE THERE IS NO GREATER PRIVILEGE THAN LIVING IN A COUNTRY WHOSE CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES OUR RIGHTS, THERE'S NO GREATER BURDEN THAN KNOWING THAT OUR ACTIONS COULD SAP THAT VERY SAME CONSTITUTION OF ITS POWER THAT OUR INACTION RISKS ALLOWING IT TO WITHER LIKE ANY OTHER PIECE OF PARCHMENT FROM SOME BYGONE ERA FOR THE PAST FEW WEEKS, IT'S BEEN MY SWORN DUTY AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR TO SIT AS AN IMPARTIAL JUROR IN THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF DONALD J

TRUMP WHILE I WISH THE PRESIDENT HADN'T PUT OUR NATION IN THIS POSITION, AFTER LISTENING CLOSELY WITH AN OPEN MIND TO BOTH SIDES, IT IS NOW MY DUTY AS AN AMERICAN TO VOTE ON WHETHER TO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE OTHER THAN SENDING OUR TROOPS INTO HARM'S WAY, I CANNOT THINK OF A MORE SERIOUS, MORE SOMBER VOTE TO TAKE IN THIS CHAMBER BUT AS SOBERING AS IT IS, THE RIGHT PATH FORWARD IS CLEAR THROUGHOUT THIS TRIAL, WE HAVE SEEN UNPRECEDENTED OBSTRUCTION FROM THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, OBSTRUCTION SO FLAGRANT IT MAKES NIXON IN THE THICK OF WATERGATE LOOK LIKE THE MODEL OF TRANSPARENCY

YET THE FACTS UNCOVERED PROVED THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER TRUMP ABUSED HIS POWER WHEN HE SECRETLY WITHHELD SECURITY AID AT A WHITE HOUSE MEETING TO TRY TO FORCE UKRAINE TO ANNOUNCE INVESTIGATIONS INTO A POLITICAL RIVAL TO HELP HIM SWING NOVEMBER'S ELECTION PUTTING HIS POLITICAL SELF-INTEREST AHEAD OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY HE SMEARED THE NAME OF AN AMERICAN AMBASSADOR, EVEN SEEMINGLY RISKING HER SAFETY BECAUSE SHE WAS SIMPLY TOO PRINCIPLED TO FURTHER HIS CORRUPTION SHE WAS TOO CLEAN TO HELP HIM STRONG-ARM UKRAINE TO DO THAT FAVOR HE DEMANDED

WHEN THE REPORTS FIRST EMERGED ABOUT WHAT HE HAD DONE, HE DENIED IT THEN HIS EXPLANATION CHANGED TO, WELL, MAYBE I DID DO IT, BUT IT WAS ONLY BECAUSE I WAS TRYING TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION EXCEPT THAT IF THAT WERE TRUE, THERE WOULD BE SOME DOCUMENTARY RECORD TO PROVE THAT, AND WE'VE SEEN ABSOLUTELY NONE, EVEN AFTER I ASKED FOR IT DURING THE QUESTIONING PERIOD AND NOW HIS DEFENSE TEAM HAS GONE SO FAR AS TO CLAIM THAT, WELL, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF HE DID DO IT BECAUSE HE'S THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESIDENT CAN DO ANYTHING HE WANTS IF IT WILL HELP HIM GET REELECTED BREATHTAKING

TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, WHEN HE GOT CAUGHT, HE LIED THEN WHEN THAT LIE WAS FOUND OUT, HE LIED AGAIN, THEN AGAIN, THEN AGAIN AND ALONG THE WAY, HIS OWN DEFENSE COUNSEL COULD NOT PAPIER-MACHE TOGETHER EVEN THE MOST BASIC ARGUMENT TO ACTUALLY EXONERATE HIM THE BEST CASE THEY COULD MUSTER BOILED DOWN TO WHEN THE PRESIDENT DOES IT, IT'S NOT ILLEGAL NIXON ALREADY TRIED THAT DEFENSE

IT DID NOT WORK THEN, AND IT DOES NOT WORK NOW BECAUSE HERE'S THE THING IN AMERICA, WE BELIEVE NOT IN RULERS BUT IN THE RULE OF LAW AND ALTHOUGH WE HAVE SEEN OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS THE TRUTH HAS NEVER CHANGED, IT'S WHAT NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIALS AND DECADES-LONG DIPLOMATS TESTIFIED TO UNDER OATH IT TOOK FOREIGN POLICY EXPERTS AND TRUMP ADMINISTRATION STAFFERS AND, YES, AN AMERICAN WARRIOR WITH A PURPLE HEART WHO HAVE RAISED THEIR RIGHT HANDS AND TOLD US TIME AFTER TIME SINCE THE HOUSE HEARINGS BEGAN

EVEN SOME OF OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES HAVE ADMITTED THAT TRUMP CROSSED THE LINE SOME SENATORS AS RECENTLY AS THIS WEEKEND BUT MANY MORE SAID MONTHS AGO THAT IF TRUMP DID DO WHAT HE'S ACCUSED OF, THEN IT WOULD INDEED BE WRONG WELL, NOW IT'S OBVIOUS THAT THOSE ALLEGATIONS WERE TRUE AND IT'S PRETTY CLEAR TRUMP'S DEFENSE TEAM KNOWS THAT ALSO, BECAUSE IF THEY ACTUALLY BELIEVE TRUMP DID NOTHING WRONG, THEN HIS CALL WAS PERFECT, THEN WHY WOULD THEY FIGHT SO HARD TO BLOCK THE WITNESSES AND THE DOCUMENTS THAT COULD EXONERATE HIM FROM COMING TO LIGHT? THE ONLY REASON THEY WOULD HAVE DONE SO IS IF THEY KNEW THAT HE WAS GUILTY, AND TODAY THE ONLY REASON FOR ANYONE TO VOTE TO ACQUIT TRUMP IS IF YOU'RE OKAY WITH HIM TRYING TO COVER IT UP NOW, I KNOW THAT SOME FOLKS HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT WE SHOULD ACQUIT HIM, THAT WE SHOULD IGNORE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY AND LEAVE HIM IN OFFICE BECAUSE WE ARE IN AN ELECTION YEAR, AND THAT THE VOTERS SHOULD DECIDE HIS FATE

THAT'S AN ARGUMENT THAT RINGS HOLLOW BECAUSE THIS TRIAL WAS ABOUT TRUMP TRYING TO CHEAT IN THE NEXT ELECTION AND ROB THE VOTERS OF THEIR ABILITY TO DECIDE, SO ANY ACTION OTHER THAN VOTING TO REMOVE HIM WOULD GIVE HIM THE LICENSE AND THE POWER TO KEEP TAMPERING WITH THAT RACE, TO KEEP TRYING TO TURN THAT ELECTION INTO AS MUCH OF A SHAM AS AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WITHOUT WITNESSES YOU KNOW, I SPENT 23 YEARS IN THE MILITARY, AND ONE OF THE MOST CRITICAL LESSONS ANYONE WHO SERVES LEARNS IS THE DAMAGE THAT CAN BE DONE WHEN TROOPS DON'T OPPOSE ILLEGAL ORDERS WHEN FEALTY BECOMES BLIND AND IGNORANCE BECOMES INTENTIONAL AND JUST AS IT'S THE DUTY OF MILITARY OFFICERS TO OPPOSE UNLAWFUL ORDERS, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PUBLIC SERVANTS TO HOLD THOSE — THOSE IN POWER ACCOUNTABLE FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY — FORMER N

SC OFFICIAL FIONA HILL UNDERSTOOD THAT TESTIFYING BEFORE CONGRESS BECAUSE SHE KNEW THAT POLITICS MUST NEVER ECLIPSE NATIONAL SECURITY AMBASSADOR BILL TAYLOR UNDERSTOOD THAT AS WELL

THE VETERAN WHO SERVED IN EVERY ADMINISTRATION SINCE REAGAN'S ANSWERED THE QUESTION AT THE HEART OF THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, SAYING UNDER OATH THAT, YES, THERE WAS A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF A QUID PRO QUO EXACTLY THE SORT OF ABUSE OF POWER NO PRESIDENT SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH AND LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALEXANDER VINDMAN, THE PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT WHO DEDICATED DECADES OF HIS LIFE TO OUR ARMED FORCES, HE UNDERSTOOD THE LESSONS OF THE PAST, TOO, SAYING THAT HERE IN AMERICA, RIGHT MATTERS MY COLLEAGUES IN THIS CHAMBER WHO HAVE ATTACKED LIEUTENANT COLONEL VINDMAN, WHO HAVE PROVIDED A PLATFORM FOR OTHERS TO TEAR HIM DOWN, JUST DOING WHAT HE BELIEVES IS RIGHT, SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES WE SHOULD ALL BE AWARE OF THE EXAMPLE WE SET AND ALWAYS SEEK TO ELEVATE THE NATIONAL DISCOURSE

WE SHOULD ALL BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT OUR OWN CONDUCT BOTH IN TERMS OF RESPECTING THE RULE OF LAW AND THE SACRIFICES OUR TROOPS MAKE TO KEEP US SAFE BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, OUR CONSTITUTION IS REALLY JUST A SET OF RULES ON SOME PIECES OF PAPER IT IS ONLY AS STRONG AS OUR WILL TO UPHOLD ITS IDEALS AND HOLD UP THE SCALES OF JUSTICE SO TODAY I AM ASKING EACH OF US TO MUSTER UP JUST AN OUNCE OF THE COURAGE SHOWN BY FIONA HILL, AMBASSADOR TAYLOR, AND LIEUTENANT COLONEL VINDMAN WHEN OUR NAMES ARE CALLED FROM THE DAIS IN A FEW HOURS, EACH OF US WILL EITHER PASS OR FAIL THE MOST ELEMENTARY, YET MOST IMPORTANT TEST ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL WILL EVER TAKE — WHETHER TO PUT COUNTRY OVER PARTY OR PARTY OVER COUNTRY

IT MAY BE A POLITICALLY DIFFICULT VOTE FOR SOME OF US, BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE A MORALLY DIFFICULT VOTE FOR ANY OF US, BECAUSE WHILE I KNOW THAT VOTING TO ACQUIT WOULD MAKE THE LIVES OF SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES SIMPLER COME ELECTION DAY, I ALSO KNOW THAT AMERICA WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN BORN IF THE HEROES OF CENTURIES PAST MADE DECISIONS BASED ON POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER TO KEEP BOWING DOWN TO KING GEORGE THE THIRD THAN TO PUSH 342 CHESTS OF TEA INTO THE BOSTON HARBOR IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER TO KEEP PAYING TAXES TO THE CROWN THAN TO WAGE A REVOLUTION BUT THOSE PATRIOTS KNEW THE IMPORTANCE OF REJECTING WHAT'S EASY IF IT'S IN CONFLICT WITH WHAT IS RIGHT THEY KNEW THAT THE COURAGE OF JUST A FEW COULD CHANGE HISTORY

SO WHEN IT'S TIME TO VOTE THIS AFTERNOON, WE CANNOT THINK OF POLITICAL CONVENIENCE IF WE SAY ABUSE OF POWER DOESN'T WARRANT REMOVAL FROM OFFICE TODAY, WE WOULD BE PAVING THE WAY FOR FUTURE PRESIDENTS TO DO EVEN WORSE TOMORROW, TO KEEP BREAKING THE LAW, TO KEEP ENDANGERING OUR COUNTRY ONE PERFECT CALL, ONE FAVOR, ONE HIGH CRIME AND MISDEMEANOR AT A TIME TIME AND AGAIN THESE PAST FEW MONTHS, WE HAVE HEARD ONE STORY ABOUT OUR FOUNDERS PERHAPS MORE THAN ANY OTHER THE TIME THAT BENJAMIN FRANKLIN WALKED OUT OF INDEPENDENCE HALL AFTER THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION AND SOMEONE ASKED WHAT HAVE WE GOT, A REPUBLIC OR A MONARCHY, WE ALL KNOW WHAT HE SAID A REPUBLIC, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT

KEEPING IT MAY VERY WELCOME DOWN TO THE 100 OF US IN THIS VERY CHAMBER WE ARE THE ONES THE CONSTITUTION VESTS WITH THE POWER TO HOLD THE PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE, AND SO THROUGH OUR ACTIONS WE ARE THE ONES THAT VEST THE CONSTITUTION WITH ITS POWER SO AT THIS MOMENT, LET'S NOT JUST THINK OF TODAY, BUT OF TOMORROW, TOO, AND IN THIS MOMENT, LET'S REMEMBER THAT HERE, RIGHT MATTERS, TRUTH MATTERS THE TRUTH IS THAT DONALD TRUMP IS GUILTY OF THESE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT I WILL VOTE TO DO THE RIGHT THING, AND I HOPE MY COLLEAGUES WILL AS WELL, FOR THE SAKE OF TOMORROW AND THE TOMORROW AFTER THAT, WE MUST

I YIELD THE FLOOR AND SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: MR BLUNT: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI

MR BLUNT: I MOVE TO SUSPEND THE QUORUM CALL THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MR BLUNT: MR

PRESIDENT, LATER TODAY I'LL VOTE TO ACQUIT THE PRESIDENT ON THE CHANCE OF THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT — ON THE CHARGES OF THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT 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 IMPEACHMENT IS FUNDAMENTALLY A POLITICAL PROCESS THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE MEET NO STANDARDS FOR A REGULAR JURY

THE JURY CAN OVERRIDE THE JUDGE TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATE IS NECESSARY TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT WE REALLY HAVE NO BETTER TERM IN THE CONSTITUTION I SUPPOSE TO USE THAN TRIAL, BUT IN ANY CLASSIC SENSE, THIS ISN'T A TRIAL IN ANY CLASSIC SENSE, A PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT ISN'T ANY KIND OF A REAL INDICTMENT AND MAYBE FIRST AND FOREMOST, MR

PRESIDENT, THE HOUSE HAS TO DO ITS JOB PART OF THAT JOB WOULD BE TO CREATE A CASE THAT WOULD PRODUCE A BIPARTISAN VOTE ON THE ARTICLES IN THE HOUSE AND IF YOU HAVEN'T MET THAT STANDARD, GOING BACK TO THE SPEAKER'S STANDARD, YOU SHOULD WORK ON THE CASE SOME MORE AND THEN WONDER IF YOU CAN'T MEET THE STANDARD, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE PROCESS YOU'RE GOING THROUGH PART OF THAT JOB IS TO DO EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO HAVE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT THAT ARE COMPELLING AND COMPLETE THE HOUSE HAS TIME AVAILABLE TO IT TO CONSIDER IMPEACHMENT AS THEY GO ABOUT THEIR ESSENTIAL WORK

THEY CAN CONTINUE TO DO THE WORK OF THE CONGRESS THEY HAVE WEEKS, MONTHS, IF THEY CHOOSE TO HAVE, MAYBE EVEN YEARS, TO PUT A CASE TOGETHER THEY CAN CALL WITNESSES THEY CAN GO TO COURT TO SEEK TESTIMONY THEY CAN DETERMINE IF THIS IS AN IMPEACHMENT QUESTION OR JUST AN OVERSIGHT QUESTION

THE HOUSE, MR PRESIDENT, CAN DO LOTS OF THINGS BUT ONCE THE SENATE GETS THE ARTICLES OF PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT, THEY BECOME FOR THE SENATE AN ABSOLUTE PRIORITY BOTH OUR RULES AND REALITY MEAN WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ELSE REALISTICALLY UNTIL WE'RE DONE DEALING WITH THE CASE THE HOUSE SENT OVER THAT WAS FUNDAMENTALLY WHAT WAS SO WRONG WITH THE HOUSE SENDING OVER A CASE THAT THEY SAID NEEDED MORE WORK

IF IT NEEDED MORE WORK, IT SHOULD HAVE HAD MORE WORK NOW, MR PRESIDENT, YOU CAN BE FOR STRONG REVIEW OF THE EXECUTIVE, YOU CAN BE FOR STRONG CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT AND STILL SUPPORT THE IDEA OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE THE PRESIDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO UNFETTERED ADVICE AND TO KNOW ALL THE OPTIONS IN FACT, I THINK WHEN YOU PIERCE THAT RIGHT, YOU BEGIN TO HAVE ADVISORS WHO MAY NOT WANT TO GIVE ALL THE OPTIONS TO THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE IT MIGHT APPEAR THEY WERE FOR ALL THE OPTIONS

BUT THE PRESIDENT'S ADVISORS NEED TO SEE THAT THE PRESIDENT UNDERSTANDS ALL THE OPTIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE DECISION THE PRESIDENT, BY THE WAY — ANOTHER TOPIC THAT CAME UP HERE SEVERAL TIMES — THE PRESIDENT DETERMINES EXECUTIVE POLICY THE STAFF, THE ASSISTANTS, WHOEVER ELSE WORKS IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH DOESN'T DETERMINE EXECUTIVE POLICY THE PRESIDENT DETERMINES EXECUTIVE POLICY THE STAFF CAN PUT ALL THE NOTES IN FRONT OF THE PRESIDENT THEY WANT TO, BUT IT'S THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION WHAT THE POLICY OF THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD BE

AND SHARING THAT DECISION WITH THE CONGRESS, SHARING HOW HE GOT TO THAT POINT — OR LATER, SHE GOT TO THAT POINT — IS A NEGOTIATION BALANCE THE CONGRESS SAYS, NO THE PRESIDENT SAYS NO I NEED TO HAVE SOME ABILITY TO GET ADVICE THAT ISN'T ALL AVAILABLE TO THE CONGRESS SO THIS IS BALANCED OUT

AND IF THAT CAN'T HAPPEN, IF THAT BALANCE CAN'T BE ACHIEVED, THE JUDICIARY DECIDES WHAT THE DECISION SHOULD BE THE JUDICIARY DECIDES YOU MUST TALK TO THE CONGRESS ABOUT THIS THAT'S THE KIND OF IDEA THAT OCCURRED THE IDEA REPEATEDLY ADVANCED BY THE HOUSE MANAGERS THAT THE SENATE, BY MAJORITY VOTE, CAN DECIDE THESE QUESTIONS IS BOTH OUTRAGEOUS, MR PRESIDENT, AND DANGEROUS

THE IDEA THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BALANCE ITSELF IS FRANKLY THE MIRACLE OF THE CONSTITUTION NOBODY HAD EVER PROPOSED, UNTIL PHILADELPHIA IN 1787, ONE, THAT THE BASIS FOR GOVERNMENT WAS THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, BUT, TWO, YOU COULD HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT WAS SO FINELY BALANCED THAT IT WOULD OPERATE AND MAINTAIN ITSELF OVER TIME THE HOUSE MANAGERS WOULD REALLY UPEND THAT BALANCE BY BEING UNWILLING TO TAKE TIME, THE HOUSE HAD TO PURSUE THE CONSTITUTIONAL SOLUTION, THEY'VE DECIDED THAT WE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION TO HAVE THAT SOLUTION TO CHARGE THAT THE PRESIDENT'S ASSERTION OF ARTICLE 2 RIGHTS THAT GO BACK TO WASHINGTON IS ONE OF THE ACTUAL ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT IS — THAT IS DANGEROUS THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH CANNOT ALSO BE THE JUDICIAL BRANCH

THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH CAN'T ALSO DECIDE, HERE'S THE BALANCE — THE CAP-AND-DIVIDEND AND LEGISLATIVE ARE IN A — THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE ARE IN A FIGHT ABOUT WHAT SHOULD BE EXPOSED AND WHAT SHOULDN'T YOU CAN'T HAVE THE THREE BALANCES OF POWER IN OUR GOVERNMENT IF ONE OF THE BRANCHES CAN DECIDE WHAT THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH SHOULD DECIDE 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 COMPLETE, 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 SPENT — 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 I WOULD YIELD BACK AND NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL

QUORUM CALL: MR LEE: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM UTAH MR LEE: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO SUSPEND THE QUORUM CALL

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MR LEE: MR PRESIDENT, I'VE LONG MAINTAINED THAT MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE MOST SERIOUS VEXING PROBLEMS WITHIN OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN BE TRACED TO A DEVIATION FROM THE TWIN CORE STRUCTURAL PROTECTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION THERE ARE TWO OF THESE PROTECTIONS — ONE THAT OPERATES ALONG A VERTICAL AXIS, THE OTHER, A HORIZONTAL

THE VERTICAL PROTECTION WE CALL FEDERALISM, WHICH STATES A VERY SIMPLE FACT THAT IN THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, MOST POWER IS TO BE RESERVED TO THE STATES, RESPECTIVELY, OR TO THE PEOPLE, OR IT'S EXERCISED AT THE STATE OR LOCAL LEVEL IT IS ONLY THOSE POWERS INNUMERATED IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT ARE MADE FEDERAL, THOSE THINGS THAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS APPROPRIATELY DEEMED NATIONAL OR THAT WE HAVE OTHERWISE RENDERED NATIONAL THROUGH A SUBSEQUENT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AS WAS THE CASE WHEN JAMES MADISON WROTE FEDERALIST NUMBER 45, THE POWERS RESERVED TO THE STATES ARE NUMEROUS AND INDEFINITE WHILE THOSE THAT ARE GIVEN TO THE CONGRESS TO BE EXERCISED FEDERALLY ARE FEW AND DEFINED FEW AND DEFINED POWERS WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

NUMEROUS AND INDEFINITE RESERVED TO THE STATES THE HORIZONTAL PROTECTION OPERATES WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ITSELF, AND IT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT WE'VE GOT THREE COEQUAL INDEPENDENT BRANCHES WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ONE THAT MAKES THE LAWS, ONE THAT EXECUTES THE LAWS, AND ONE THAT INTERPRETS THE LAWS — WHERE PEOPLE CAN'T COME TO AN AGREEMENT AND HAVE AN ACTIVE, LIVE DISPUTE AS TO THE MEANING OF A PARTICULAR LAW IN A PARTICULAR CASE OR CONTROVERSY SADLY, WE HAVE DRIFTED STEADILY, AGGRESSIVELY FROM BOTH OF THESE PRINCIPLES OVER THE LAST 80 YEARS FOR ROUGHLY THE FIRST 150 YEARS OF THE FOUNDING OF OUR REPUBLIC AND OF THE OPERATION OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE, WE ADHERED PRETTY CLOSELY TO THEM, BUT OVER THE LAST 80 YEARS OR SO, WE HAVE DRIFTED STEADILY

AND THIS HAS BEEN A BIPARTISAN PROBLEM IT'S ONE THAT WAS CREATED UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE IN FACT, OF SENATES, OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND WHITE HOUSES OF EVERY CONCEIVABLE COMBINATION WE HAVE ESSENTIALLY TAKEN POWER AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN TWO STEPS FIRST, BY MOVING POWER FROM THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL AND TAKING IT TO WASHINGTON, IN VIOLATION OF THE VERTICAL PROTECTION WE CALL FEDERALISM

AND THEN A SECOND TIME, MOVING IT AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE'S ELECTED LAWMAKERS IN WASHINGTON TO UNELECTED, UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRATS PLACED WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT BUT WHO ARE NEITHER ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE NOR ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYONE WHO IS ELECTABLE AND THUS THEY CONSTITUTE ESSENTIALLY A FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT WITHIN OUR SYSTEM, ONE THAT IS NOT SANCTIONED OR CONTEMPLATED BY THE CONSTITUTION AND DOESN'T REALLY FIT ALL THAT WELL WITHIN ITS FRAMEWORK THIS HAS MADE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BIGGER AND MORE POWERFUL IT HAS OCCURRED IN A WAY THAT HAS MADE PEOPLE LESS POWERFUL

IT'S MADE GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL, IN PARTICULAR THIS GOVERNMENT, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, LESS RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE IT HAS BEEN FUNDAMENTALLY CONTRARY TO THE WAY OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT OPERATES WHAT ONE MIGHT ASK DOES ANY OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH IMPEACHMENT? WELL, IN MY OPINION, EVERYTHING, OR AT LEAST A LOT YOU SEE, THIS DISTANCE THAT WE HAVE CREATED IN THESE TWO STEPS, BY MOVING POWER FROM THE PEOPLE TO WASHINGTON, WITHIN WASHINGTON, HANDING IT OVER FROM ELECTED LAWMAKERS TO UNELECTED, UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRATS HAS CREATED AN UNDERSTANDABLE AMOUNT OF ANXIETY AMONG THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOT ALL OF THEM NECESSARILY RECOGNIZE IT IN THE SAME WAY THAT I DO OR DESCRIBE IT WITH THE SAME WORDS, BUT THEY KNOW SOMETHING'S NOT RIGHT

THEY KNOW THAT WHEN THEIR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REQUIRES THEM TO WORK MANY MONTHS OUT OF EVERY YEAR JUST TO PAY THEIR FEDERAL TAXES, ONLY TO BE TOLD LATER IT'S NOT NEARLY ENOUGH AND HASN'T BEEN ENOUGH FOR A LONG TIME SINCE WE HAVE ACCUMULATED $22 TRILLION, $23 TRILLION IN DEBT, AND WHEN THEY COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALSO IMPOSES SOME $2 TRILLION IN REGULATORY COMPLIANCE COSTS ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THAT THIS HARMS THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS IT MAKES EVERYTHING WE BUY MORE EXPENSIVE IT RESULTS IN DIMINISHED WAGES, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT ON SOME LEVEL, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FEEL THIS THEY EXPERIENCE THIS

THEY UNDERSTAND IT IT CREATES ANXIETY IT WAS THAT VERY ANXIETY THAT CAUSED PEOPLE TO WANT TO ELECT A DIFFERENT KIND OF LEADER IN 2016, AND THEY DID IT WAS THIS SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CAUSED THEM TO ELECT DONALD J TRUMP AS THE 45th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND I'M GLAD THAT THEY DID, BECAUSE HE PROMISED TO CHANGE THE WAY WE DO THINGS HERE, AND HE HAS DONE THAT

BUT AS SOMEONE WHO HAS FOCUSED INTENTLY ON THE NEED TO RECONNECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH THEIR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, DONALD TRUMP PRESENTS SOMETHING OF A SERIOUS THREAT TO THOSE WHO HAVE OCCUPIED THESE POSITIONS OF POWER THESE INDIVIDUALS, WHILE HARDWORKING, WELL INTENTIONED, WELL EDUCATED, AND HIGHLY SPECIALIZED, OCCUPY THESE POSITIONS OF POWER WITHIN WHAT WE LOOSELY REFER TO AS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, BUT IT IS, IN REALITY, AN UNELECTED, UNACCOUNTABLE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT HE HAS BUCKED THEM ON MANY, MANY LEVELS AND HAS INFURIATED THEM AS HE'S DONE SO, EVEN AS HE IS IMPLEMENTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'S WISHES, TO CLOSE THAT GAP BETWEEN THE PEOPLE AND THE GOVERNMENT THAT IS SUPPOSED TO SERVE THEM HE HAS BUCKED THEM ON SO MANY LEVELS, DECLINING TO DEFER TO THE OPINIONS OF SELF-PROCLAIMED GOVERNMENT EXPERTS WHO CLAIM THAT THEY KNOW BETTER THAN ANY OF US ON A NUMBER OF LEVELS HE PUSHED BACK ON THEM, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN IT COMES TO THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT OR FISA AS IT'S SOMETIMES DESCRIBED

WHEN HE INSISTED THAT FISA HAD BEEN ABUSED IN EFFORTS TO UNDERMINE HIS CANDIDACY AND TO INFRINGE THE RIGHTS AND PRIVACY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO WHEN HE TOOK THAT POSITION, WASHINGTON BUREAUCRATS PREDICTABLY MOCKED HIM, BUT HE TURNED OUT TO BE RIGHT HE CALLED OUT THE FOLLY OF ENGAGING IN ENDLESS NATION-BUILDING EXERCISES AS PART OF A TWO-DECADE-LONG WAR EFFORT THAT HAS CAUGHT THIS COUNTRY DEARLY IN TERMS OF AMERICAN BLOOD AND TREASURE WASHINGTON BUREAUCRATS MOCKED HIM AGAIN, BUT HE TURNED OUT TO BE RIGHT HE RAISED QUESTIONS WITH HOW U

S FOREIGN AID IS USED AND SOMETIMES MISUSED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, SOMETIMES TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND THE VERY INTERESTS THAT SUCH AID WAS CREATED TO ALLEVIATE WASHINGTON BUREAUCRATS MOCKED HIM, BUT HE TURNED OUT TO BE RIGHT PRESIDENT TRUMP ASKED UKRAINE TO INVESTIGATE A UKRAINIAN ENERGY COMPANY, BURISMA HE MOMENTARILY PAUSED U

S AID TO UKRAINE WHILE SEEKING A COMMITMENT FROM THE THEN-NEWLY ELECTED UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY REGARDING THAT EFFORT HE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT HE COULD TRUST THIS RECENTLY ELECTED PRESIDENT ZELENSKY BEFORE SENDING HIM THE AID WITHIN A FEW WEEKS, HIS CONCERNS WERE SATISFIED, AND HE RELEASED THE AID PAUSING BRIEFLY BEFORE DOING SO ISN'T CRIMINAL

IT CERTAINLY ISN'T IMPEACHABLE IT'S NOT EVEN WRONG QUITE TO THE CONTRARY, THIS IS EXACTLY THE SORT OF THING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTED PRESIDENT TRUMP TO DO HE WOULD AND HAS DECIDED TO BRING A DIFFERENT PARADIGM TO WASHINGTON, ONE THAT ANALYZES THINGS FROM HOW THE AMERICAN CITIZENRY VIEWS THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT THIS HAS IN SOME RESPECTS, THEREFORE, BEEN A TRIAL OF THE WASHINGTON, D

C ESTABLISHMENT ITSELF, BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN THE WAY THAT THE HOUSE MANAGERS APPARENTLY INTENDED, AND WHILE THE HOUSE MANAGERS REPEATEDLY INVOKED CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES, INCLUDING SEPARATION OF POWERS, THEIR ARGUMENTS HAVE TENDED TO PROVE THE POINT OPPOSITE OF THE ONE THEY INTENDED YES, WE BADLY NEED TO RESTORE AND PROTECT BOTH FEDERALISM AND SEPARATION OF POWERS, AND IT IS MY VIEW THAT THE DEVIATION FROM ONE CONTRIBUTES TO THE DEVIATION FROM THE OTHER, BUT HERE IN ORDER TO DO THAT, WE'VE GOT TO RESPECT THE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT FOR WHAT THEY ARE, WHO LEADS THEM, HOW THEY OPERATE, AND WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE TO WHOM FOR THEM TO VIEW PRESIDENT TRUMP AS SOMEHOW SUBSERVIENT TO THE CAREER CIVIL SERVANT BUREAUCRATIC CLASS THAT HAS TENDED TO MANAGE AGENCIES WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, INDIVIDUALS WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE AND INDIVIDUALS WITHIN THE STATE DEPARTMENT, AMONG OTHERS, IS NOT ONLY MISCHARACTERIZING THIS PROBLEM, IT HELPS IDENTIFY THE PRECISE SOURCE OF THIS PROBLEM YOU SEE, MANY OF THESE PEOPLE, INCLUDING SOME OF THE WITNESSES THAT WE'VE HEARD FROM IN THIS TRIAL, HAVE MISTAKENLY TAKEN THE CONCLUSION THAT BECAUSE PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK A CONCLUSION DIFFERENT THAN THAT OFFERED BY THE SO-CALLED INTERAGENCY PROCESS, THAT THAT AMOUNTED TO A CONSTITUTIONALLY IMPEACHABLE ACT

IT DID NOT IT DID NOTHING OF THE SORT QUITE TO THE CONTRARY, WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF, IT MAKES CLEAR THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS THE POWER TO DO WHAT HE DID HERE THE VERY FIRST SECTION OF ARTICLE 2 OF THE CONSTITUTION, THIS IS THE PART OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT OUTLINES THE PRESIDENT'S AUTHORITY IT MAKES CLEAR THAT THE EXECUTIVE POWER OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT SHALL BE VESTED IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE EXACTLY TWO FEDERAL OFFICIALS WHO ARE ELECTED WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT ONE IS THE VICE PRESIDENT AND THE OTHER IS THE PRESIDENT THE VICE PRESIDENT'S DUTIES, I WOULD ADD, ARE RELATIVELY LIMITED CONSTITUTIONALLY SPEAKING, THE VICE PRESIDENT IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, AND THUS PERFORMS THAT IN A QUASI LEGISLATIVE ROLE, BUT VICE THE VICE PRESIDES EXECUTIVE BRANCH DUTIES ARE ENTIRELY BOUND UP WITH THOSE OF THE PRESIDENT THEY CONSIST OF AIDING AND ASSISTING THE PRESIDENT AS THE PRESIDENT MAY DEEM NECESSARY AND STANDING READY TO STEP INTO THE POSITION OF THE PRESIDENCY, SHOULD IT BECOME NECESSARY AS A RESULT OF DISABILITY, INCAPACITATION, OR DEATH

BARRING THAT, THE ENTIRE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AUTHORITY IS BOUND UP WITHIN THE PRESIDENCY ITSELF THE PRESIDENT IS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, JUST AS THE JUDGES WHO SIT ACROSS THE STREET THEMSELVES AMOUNT TO THE CAPSTONE OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH, JUST AS 100 SENATORS AND 435 REPRESENTATIVES ARE THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH THE PRESIDENT IS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AS SUCH, IT IS HIS PREROGATIVE WITHIN THE CONFINES OF WHAT — WHAT THE LAW ALLOWS AND AUTHORIZES AND OTHERWISE PROVIDES, TO DECIDE HOW TO EXECUTE THAT IT IS NOT ONLY NOT INCOMPATIBLE WITH THAT SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE, IT'S ENTIRELY CONSISTENT WITH IT, INDEED AUTHORIZED BY IT THAT A PRESIDENT SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY, LOOK, WE HAVE GOT A NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT IN UKRAINE

WE HAVE HAD LONG-STANDING ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION WITHIN UKRAINE THOSE ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN WELL-FOUNDED IN UKRAINE NO ONE DISPUTES THAT CORRUPTION IS RAMPANT IN UKRAINE A NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT COMES IN THIS PRESIDENT OR ANY PRESIDENT IN THE FUTURE DECIDES, HEY, WE'RE GIVING A LOT OF AID TO THIS COUNTRY

$391 MILLION FOR THE YEAR IN QUESTION I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT I UNDERSTAND HOW THAT PRESIDENT OPERATES I WANT TO ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST BEFORE TAKING A STEP FURTHER WITH THAT PRESIDENT AND SO I'M GOING TO TAKE MY TIME A LITTLE BIT, I'M GOING TO WAIT MAYBE A FEW WEEKS IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE ON A SURE FOOTING THERE HE DID THAT

THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT WHAT'S THE RESPONSE FROM THE HOUSE MANAGERS? WELL, IT GETS BACK TO THAT INTERAGENCY PROCESS AS IF PEOPLE WHO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DON'T KNOW OR HAVE REASON TO KNOW BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE DON'T STAND ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE, THEY'RE NOT ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE, THEY'RE NOT REALLY ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYONE WHO IS IN TURN ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE THE FACT THAT THESE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE INTERAGENCY PROCESS MIGHT DISAGREE WITH FOREIGN POLICY DECISION MADE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, OR THE FACT THAT THIS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES MIGHT TAKE A DIFFERENT APPROACH THAN HIS PREDECESSOR OR PREDECESSORS DOES NOT MAKE THIS PRESIDENT'S DECISIONS CRIMINAL IT CERTAINLY DOESN'T MAKE THEM IMPEACHABLE

IT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE THEM WRONG AND, MR PRESIDENT, IN THE EYES OF MANY, I BELIEVE MOST AMERICANS, THEY WANT THE PRESIDENT TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT HOW THE UNITED STATES SPENDS MONEY THEY WANT THE UNITED STATES TO STOP AND RECONSIDER FROM TIME TO TIME IN FACT, WE SPEND A LOT OF MONEY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ON COUNTRIES THAT ARE NOT THE UNITED STATES

WE WANT A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO BE ABLE TO EXERCISE A LITTLE BIT OF DISCRETION IN PUSHING PAUSE BEFORE THAT PRESIDENT KNOWS WHETHER HE CAN TRUST THE NEWLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT IN THE COUNTRY IN QUESTION AND SO TO SUGGEST HERE THAT OUR COMMITMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION, TO SUGGEST HERE AS THE HOUSE MANAGERS HAVE THAT OUR RESPECT FOR THE SEPARATION OF POWERS WITHIN THE CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK SOMEHOW DEMANDS THAT WE REMOVE THE DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS SIMPLY WRONG IT'S — IT'S ELEVATING TO A STATUS COMPLETELY FOREIGN TO OUR CONSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE AN ENTITY THAT THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT NAME IT ELEVATES A POLICY DISPUTE TO A QUESTION OF HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS

THOSE TWO ARE NOT THE SAME THING AT THE END OF THE DAY, THIS GOVERNMENT DOES, IN FACT, STAND ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE THIS GOVERNMENT IS OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE WE CANNOT REMOVE THE 45th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR DOING SOMETHING THAT THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION ALLOWS HIM TO DO WITHOUT DOING UNDO VIOLENCE TO THAT SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT TO WHICH EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US HAS SWORN AN OATH WE'VE SWORN TO UPHOLD AND PROTECT AND DEFEND THAT SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

THAT MEANS STANDING UP FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THOSE THEY HAVE ELECTED TO DO A JOB RECOGNIZED BY THE CONSTITUTION I WILL BE VOTING TO DEFEND THIS PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS I WILL BE VOTING AGAINST UNDOING THE VOTE TAKEN BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SOME THREE AND A HALF YEARS AGO I WILL BE VOTING FOR THE PRINCIPLE OF FREEDOM, FOR THE VERY PRINCIPLES THAT OUR CONSTITUTION WAS DESIGNED TO PROTECT I URGE ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES TO REJECT THESE DEEPLY FACTUALLY AND LEGALLY FLAWED ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, TO VOTE NOT GUILTY

THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT I YIELD THE FLOOR I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WILL THE SENATOR WITHHOLD? MR

LEE: YES A SENATOR: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA MR CRAMER: MR

PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO OFFICIALLY DECLARE THAT I WILL VOTE AGAINST BOTH ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT BROUGHT AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP BY THE VERY PARTISAN AND, QUITE FRANKLY, RIDICULOUS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES I KNOW MY POSITION HARDLY A SURPRISE, BUT IT'S ALMOST AS UNSURPRISING AS THE HOUSE IMPEACHING THE PRESIDENT TO BEGIN WITH SINCE THE MOMENT HE WAS SWORN INTO OFFICE, DEMOCRATS HAVE SCHEMED TO REMOVE DONALD TRUMP FROM OFFICE IT'S NOT MY OPINION I TAKE THEM AT THEIR WORD

THEIR FIXATION ON HIS REMOVAL WAS A CONCLUSION IN SEARCH OF A JUSTIFICATION, WHICH THEY MANUFACTURED FROM A PHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN WORLD LEADERS, LEAKED — LEAKED BY ONE OF THE MANY CAREER BUREAUCRATS WHO SEEMED TO HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT THEY WORK FOR THE ELECTED LEADERS IN THIS COUNTRY, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND MR PRESIDENT, THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT BEFORE THIS BODY TODAY, IN MY VIEW, ARE WITHOUT MERIT THEY ARE AN AFFRONT, IN FACT, TO THIS INSTITUTION AND TO OUR CONSTITUTION REPRESENTING THE VERY SAME PARTISAN DERANGEMENT THAT WORRIED FOUR FOUNDING FATHERS SO MUCH THAT THEY MADE THE THRESHOLD FOR IMPEACHMENT THIS HIGH

MR PRESIDENT, THE SENATE EXISTS EXACTLY FOR MOMENTS LIKE THIS I DIDN'T ARRIVE AT MY CONCLUSION FLIPPANTLY I DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF MY COLLEAGUES DID EITHER, INCLUDING MY COLLEAGUES WHO COME TO A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION DESPITE BEING SENT SUCH FRAUGHT ARTICLES BY THE HOUSE, THE SENATE DID FOLLOW ITS CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATION

DURING THE LONG DAYS OF THE TRIAL, WE HEARD SWORN TESTIMONY FROM 13 WITNESSES, READ 17 DEPOSITIONS, ASKED 180 QUESTIONS, VIEWED 193 VIDEO CLIPS AND POURED OVER 28,000 PAGES OF DOCUMENTS BUT EVEN MORE THAN THE HOUSE MANAGERS' SHALL WILL HE ARGUMENTS AND LACK OF EVIDENCE AGAINST AND DUE PROCESS FOR OUR PRESIDENT, IN THE OBVIOUS DERANGEMENT AT THE VERY ROOT OF EVERY INVESTIGATION BEGINNING WITH THE CORRUPT FBI CROSSFIRE HURRICANE COUNTER-INVESTIGATION DURING THE 2016 ELECTION CYCLE

THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT WE'LL VOTE ON IN A FEW HOURS SHOULD HAVE ENDED AT THEIR BEGINNING MR PRESIDENT, CAN WE AGREE THAT IF A SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE UNILATERALLY DECLARES AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY THAT REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF ONE MEMBER OF CONGRESS NOT THE OFFICIAL AUTHORIZATION OF THE ENTIRE CONGRESS, CAN WE AGREE THAT A VOTE TO BEGIN AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY THAT HAS ONLY PARTISAN SUPPORT AND BIPARTISAN OPPOSITION IS NOT WHAT THE FOUNDERS HAD IN MIND AND IN FACT IS WHAT THEY FIRMLY REJECTED AND CAUTIONS ABOUT CAN WE AGREE THAT IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES PASSED BY A MAJORITY OF ONE PARTY AND OPPOSED BY MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES ON THEIR FACE FAIL IF NOT THE LETTER OF THE LAW, CERTAINLY THE SPIRIT OF THE CONSTITUTION? YET EVEN UNDER THE CLOUD OF PURELY PARTISAN POLITICS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THE SENATE CONDUCTED A COMPLETE, COMPREHENSIVE TRIAL RESULTING, IN MY VIEW, IN A CRYSTAL-CLEAR CONCLUSION THE DEMOCRATIC-LED HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FAILED TO MEET THE MOST BASIC STANDARD OF PROOF AND HAS DRAMATICALLY LOWERED THE BAR FOR IMPEACHMENT TO UNACCEPTABLE LEVELS

MR PRESIDENT, IT IS DEEPLY CONCERNING AND I BELIEVE WE MUST COMMIT TO NEVER, EVER LETTING IT HAPPEN AGAIN TO THE PRESIDENT OF ANY POLITICAL PARTY AND THAT CAN START TODAY IN JUST A FEW HOURS, THE SENATE WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CAST A VOTE TO END THIS WHOLE ORDEAL, AND IN DOING SO CAN MAKE A STATEMENT THAT THE THRESHOLD FOR UNDOING THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN THE MOST RECENT ELECTION AND UNDOING THE WILL OF A MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION SHOULD BE MORE THAN ONE PARTY'S PETTY OBSESSION I HOPE NIGH COLLEAGUES JOIN ME IN VOTING AGAINST THESE CHARGES

BUT WHETHER HE IS ACQUITTED OR CONVICTED AND REMOVED, IT IS MY PRAYER, AS WE WERE ADMONISHED MANY TIMES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK BY OUR CHAPLAIN BLACK, THAT GOD'S WILL IS THE ONE THAT WILL BE DONE THEN WE CAN MOVE ON TO THE UNIFYING ISSUES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT US TO TACKLE — ISSUES LIKE INFRASTRUCTURE, EDUCATION, ENERGY SECURITY AND DOMINANCE, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND THE RISING COST OF HEALTH CARE, AMONG MANY OTHERS THESE, MR PRESIDENT, ARE ISSUES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CARE ABOUT THESE ARE ISSUES THAT NORTH DAKOTANS CARE ABOUT

THESE ARE THE ISSUES THAT THE PEOPLE HAVE SENT US HERE TO DEAL WITH LET'S DO IT TOGETHER LET'S START NOW I YIELD THE FLOOR I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MISSISSIPPI A SENATOR: ARE WE IN A QUORUM CALL? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WE ARE MRS

HYDE-SMITH: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT IT BE SUSPENDED THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MRS HYDE-SMITH: MR PRESIDENT, I WILL VOTE TO THE ACQUIT PRESIDENT DONALD J

TRUMP ON BOTH ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT PRESENTED BY HOUSE DEMOCRATS I HAVE LISTENED CAREFULLY TO THE ARGUMENTED PRESENTED BY THE HOUSE DEMOCRATIC MANAGERS AND THE WHITE HOUSE DEFENSE TEAM THOSE PROSECUTING THE PRESIDENT FAILED ON A LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS TO PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE REQUIRED TO UNDERTAKE THE VERY SERIOUS ACT OF REMOVING A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT FROM THIS OFFICE THIS TRIAL EXPOSED THAT PURE POLITICAL PARTISANSHIP FUELED A RECKLESS INVESTIGATION AND THE SUBSEQUENT IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT ON WEAK, VAGUE, AND NONCRIMINAL ACCUSATIONS THE DEMOCRATS' CASE, WHICH LACKED THE BASIC STANDARDS OF FAIRNESS AND DUE PROCESS, WAS FABRICATED TO FULFILL THEIR ONE LONG-HELD HOPE TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT TRUMP

WE SHOULD ALL BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE DANGEROUS PRECEDENT AND CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTING ANY PRESIDENT ON CHARGES ORIGINATING FROM STRICTLY PARTISAN REASONS THE FOUNDING FATHERS WARNED AGAINST ALLOWING IMPEACHMENT TO BECOME A POLITICAL WEAPON IN THIS CASE, HOUSE DEMOCRATS CROSSED THAT LINE REJECTING THE ABUSE OF POWER AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS ARTICLES BEFORE US WILLFFIRM OUR BELIEF IN THE IMPEACHMENT STANDARDS INTENDED BY THE FOUNDERS WITH MY VOTES TO ACQUIT PRESIDENT TRUMP, JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED

THE SENATE HAS FAITHFULLY EXECUTED ITS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES TO HEAR AND JUDGE THE CHARGES LEVELED AGAINST THE PRESIDENT I REMAIN HOPEFUL THAT WE CAN FINALLY SET ASIDE THIS FLAWED PARTISAN INVESTIGATION, PROSECUTION, AND PERSECUTION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP THE PEOPLE OF MISSISSIPPI AND IN GREAT NATION ARE MORE INTERESTED IN US GETTING BACK TO DOING THE WORK THEY SENT US HERE TO DO I YIELD MY TIME A SENATOR: MR

PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM IDAHO MR RISCH: MR PRESIDENT AND FELLOW SENATORS, I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE BUSINESS AT HAND

OBVIOUSLY IT'S THE VOTE THAT WE'RE GOING TO TAKE AT 4:00 THIS AFTERNOON LOOK, WE'RE SUBJECTED TO DAYS AND DAYS OF TRIAL HERE; MANY WITNESSES AND WITNESS STATEMENTS AND ALL THAT SORT OF THING IT'S INCUMBENT UPON US NOW AS JURORS TO REACH A CONCLUSION, AND I HAVE DONE SO I COME AT THIS WITH A LITTLE BIT OF A DIFFERENT VIEW THAN PROBABLY OTHERS I'VE TRIED MORE CASES PROBABLY THAN ANYONE ON THE FLOOR BOTH AS A PROSECUTOR AND IN PRIVATE PRACTICE

AND SO I WATCHED CAREFULLY AS THE CASE WAS PRESENTED TO US AND HOW THE CASE HAD BEEN PUT TOGETHER BY THE MANAGERS FROM THE HOUSE AND WHAT I LEARNED IN THE MANY YEARS OF TRIAL EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD, THAT THE ONLY WAY REALLY TO TRY A CASE AND TO REACH WHERE YOU WANT TO GET IS TO DO IT IN GOOD FAITH AND TO DO IT HONESTLY I HAD REAL TROUBLE RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING WHEN I SAW THAT THE LEAD MANAGER READ A TRANSCRIPT PURR PORTING TO BE THE — PURPORTING TO BE A TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRESIDENT'S PHONE CALL THAT'S BEEN IN ISSUE HERE, AND IT WAS FALSIFIED AND IT WAS FALSIFIED KNOWINGLY, WILLFULLY AND INTENTIONALLY RESULT WHEN THEY WALKED THROUGH THE DOOR AND WANTED TO PRESENT THEIR CASE, THERE WAS A STRIKE THERE ALREADY, AND I PUT IT IN THAT PERSPECTIVE

HOW THE CASE UNFOLDED AFTER THAT WAS STUNNING BECAUSE I'VE NEVER SEEN A CASE SUCCEED THE WAY THEY PUT THE CASE TOGETHER THEY PUT THE CASE TOGETHER BY TAKING EVERY FACT THAT THEY WANTED TO MAKE FLY AND PUT IT ONLY IN THE BEST LIGHT WITHOUT SHOWING THE OTHER SIDE BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, MORE IMPORTANTLY, INTENTIONALLY EXCLUDING EVIDENCE AND OF COURSE THIS WHOLE THING CENTERED AROUND WITNESS STATEMENTS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD SOMEHOW THREATENED OR PRESSURED THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE TO DO WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO THAT SIMPLY WASN'T THE CASE

THE TRANSCRIPT DIDN'T SAY THAT ADMITTEDLY THEY HAD A WITNESS THAT HAD GONE AROUND SAYING THAT, AND THEY CALLED EVERY PERSON HE TOLD TO TELL US THAT THAT WAS THE SITUATION THE PROBLEM WAS IT WAS HEARSAY AND THERE'S A GOOD REASON WHY THEY DON'T ALLOW HEARSAY IN A COURT OF LAW, AND THAT IS IT SIMPLY WASN'T TRUE WHEN THE PERSON WHO WAS SPREADING THAT RUMOR ACTUALLY TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT IT, THE PRESIDENT GOT ANGRY AND SAID THAT'S NOT TRUE, I WOULD NEVER DO THAT

THEY NEVER TOLD US THAT AND ONCE THE TAPE WAS SHOWN, THE HOUSE MANAGERS SPENT DAYS PUTTING TOGETHER THAT PROPOSITION FOR US, AND THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSELS DISMANTLED THAT IN ABOUT AN HOUR AND DID SO REALLY QUICKLY AND AS A RESULT OF THAT SIMPLY FROM A FACTUAL BASIS, IT IS MY OPINION THAT THE PROSECUTION IN THIS CASE DID NOT MEET ITS BURDEN MUCH HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT WITNESSES AND HOW THEY DID THIS AND WHAT HAVE YOU THE CONSTITUTION IS CRYSTAL CLEAR

IT GIVES THE HOUSE ABSOLUTE, TOTAL, 100% CONTROL OF IMPEACHMENT, THAT IS THE INVESTIGATION AND THE VOTE ON IT IT GIVES US THE SAME THING BUT ON THE TRIAL BASIS THE THING I THINK WAS SURPRISING TO ME IS THEY CAME OVER HERE AND TRIED TO TELL US HOW TO DO THEIR JOB I SUSPECT THEY IN THE HOUSE WOULD FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY ABOUT IT IF WE WENT OVER THERE AND TOLD THEM HOW THEY SHOULD IMPEACH THEY CAME OVER HERE AND TOLD US ABOUT HOW WE SHOULD DO WITNESSES AND ALL THAT SORT OF THING

THEY HAD EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO PREPARE THE CASE IT WAS TOTALLY IN THEIR HANDS THEY HAD AS MUCH TIME AS THEY WANTED TO, AND THEY SIMPLY DIDN'T DO IT SO IN THAT RESPECT, I ALSO FOUND THAT IT WAS SHORT BUT THE BOTTOM LINE FOR ME TOO WAS THERE'S A SECOND REASON ON WHICH I WOULD VOTE TO ACQUIT HERE, AND THAT IS THE STUNNING ATTACK THAT THIS WAS ON THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

THIS IS REALLY THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY WHEN A PURELY POLITICAL ATTACK WAS INSTIGATED BY REACHING TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND USING WHAT IS REALLY A SACRED ITEM IN THAT CONSTITUTION, A PROCESS THAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS GAVE US FOR GOOD REASON, AND THAT IS IMPEACHMENT IT WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS A POLITICAL BLUDGEON IT SIMPLY WASN'T WE HAD IF FRONT OF US "THE FEDERALIST" PAPERS AND WE HAD THE DEBATES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, AND REALLY THE ONE SILVER LINING THAT CAME OUT OF THIS WAS IT UNDERSCORED AGAIN FOR US THE GENIUS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS GIVING US THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, NOT JUST THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, BUT THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT THAT HAD DISTINGUISHED LANES IN WHICH THEY OPERATED AND MOST IMPORTANTLY INDICATING THAT THEY WERE SEPARATE BUT EQUAL AND THEY WANTED NOT A PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM LIKE THEY HAD LOOKED AT FROM BRITAIN, WHERE THE HEAD OF STATE THAT WAS A PRIME MINISTER THAT COULD BE REMOVED AND CHANGED, AS HAPPENS ALL AROUND THE WORLD TODAY

THEY GAVE US A UNIQUE SYSTEM WITH THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT SO THE FOUNDING FATHERS WERE VERY CLEAR THEY DEBATED THE QUESTION OF WHAT SHOULD IT TAKE TO GET RID OF THE HEAD OF STATE, AND THEY CONCLUDED THAT THE SECOND BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT COULDN'T BE A STRONG BRAGE OF GOVERNMENT IF INDEED — BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT IF INDEED THE PRESIDENT COULD BE REMOVED, AS THE PRIME MINISTER COULD BE REMOVED, SIMPLY BY CONGRESS GETTING UNHAPPY WITH HIS POLICIES OR DISAGREEING WITH HIM SO, AS A RESULT OF THAT, THEY DID GIVE US IMPEACHMENT, AND IT IS A UNIQUE PROCESS THEY WERE VERY CLEAR THAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE USED ONLY IN VERY EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES AND NOT JUST SIMPLY BECAUSE OF A POLITICAL DISAGREEMENT OR A POLICY DISAGREEMENT

AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED HERE "THE FEDERALIST" PAPERS AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEBATES ARE VERY, VERY CLEAR THAT IT IS NOT A BROAD SWATH OF REASONS TO IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT THAT IS GIVEN TO THE FIRST BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT BUT, INDEED, A VERY, VERY NATUREIO SWATH AND IT WAS INTERESTING THAT FROM THE BEGINNING, THEY PICKED THE TWO WORDS OF TREASON AND BRIBERY, AND TO THAT THEY THEN HAD A LONG DEBATE ABOUT WHAT IT WOULD BE IN ADDITION TO THAT AND THEY HAD SUCH WORDS AS MALFEE — MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE THEY REJECTED THAT AND SAID, NO, IT HAD TO BE HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS

THEY NARROWED THE LANE CONSIDERABLY AND MADE IT DIFFICULT TO REAL ESTATE MOVE THE SECOND BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AND ON TOP OF THAT, FOR FROSTING ON THE CAKE, THEY SAID IT HAS GOT TO BE TWO-THIRDS WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? THEY KNEW, THEY KNEW THAT HUMAN BEINGS, BEING THE WAY THEY ARE, THAT HUMAN BEINGS INVOLVED IN POLITICAL PROCESS AND POLITICAL PARTIES WOULD REACH TO GET RID OF A POLITICAL ENEMY USING EVERYTHING THEY COULD SO THEY WANTED TO SEE THAT THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN WITH IMPEACHMENT AND SO, AS A RESULT OF THAT, AS A RESULT OF THAT, THEY GAVE US THE TWO-THIRDS REQUIREMENT, AND THAT MEANT THAT NO PRESIDENT WAS GOING TO BE IMPEACHED WITHOUT A BIPARTISAN MOVEMENT THIS MOVEMENT HAS BEEN ENTIRELY PARTISAN

NO REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR THAT, TO IMPEACH HIM IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THIS AFTERNOON AT 4:00 WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A VOTE, AND IT'S GOING TO BE ALONG PARTY LINES AND AGAIN IT IS GOING TO BE POLITICAL SO WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE? THEY END OF THE DAY, WE HAVE A POLITICAL EXERCISE AND THAT POLITICAL EXERCISE IS GOING TO FAIL

AND ONCE AGAIN, ONCE AGAIN, GOD HAS BLESSED AMERICA AND THE REPUBLIC THAT BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SAID WE HAVE IF WE CAN KEEP IT IS GOING TO BE SUSTAINED MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM OHIO IS RECOGNIZED MR BROWN: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT

OVER THE PAST THREE WEEKS, WE HAVE HEARD FROM THE HOUSE MANAGERS AND THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL REGARDING THE FACTS OF THE CASE AGAINST PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP MUCH LIKE TRIALS IN LORRAINE AND LIMA AND LORDSTOWN, OHIO, OR IN MARIETTA, IN MASLUN AND MARION, FOE OWE, WE SEEN THE PROSECUTION, AND THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS PRESENT THEIR CASES ALL 100 OF US, EVERY ONE OF US, ARE THE JURY WE TOOK AN OATH TO BE IMPARTIAL JURORS WE ALL TOOK AN OATH TO BE IMPARTIAL JURORS, JUST LIKE JURIES IN OHIO AND ACROSS AMERICA

BUT TO SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES, THAT JUST APPEARED TO BE A JOKE THE GREAT JOURNALIST BILL MOIIERS SUMMED UP THE PAST THREE WEEKS WHAT WE'VE JUST SEEN IS THE DICTATOR OF THE SENATE MANIPULATING THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS TO SAVE THE DEMAGOGUE IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHOSE POLITICAL PARTY HAS BECOME THE GRAVEDIGGER OF DEMOCRACY LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN WHAT WE'VE JUST SEEN IS THE DICTATOR OF THE SENATE MANIPULATING THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS TO SAVE THE DEMAGOGUE IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHOSE POLITICAL PARTY HAS BECOME THE GRAVEDIGGER OF DEMOCRACY

EVEN BEFORE THIS TRIAL BEGAN, LEADER McCONNELL ADMITTED OUT LOUD THAT HE WAS COORDINATING THE TRIAL PROCESS WITH THE WHITE HOUSE THE LEADER OF THE SENATE WAS COORDINATING WITH THE WHITE HOUSE ON IMPEACHMENT I CHALLENGE HIM TO SHOW ME ONE TRIAL IN MY STATE OF OHIO OR HIS STATE OF KENTUCKY WHERE THE JURY COORDINATED WITH THE DEFENSE LAWYERS IN A FAIL TRIAL, THE DEFENSE AND PROSECUTION WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO INTRODUCE EVIDENCE, TO CALL WITNESSES, TO LISTEN TO TESTIMONY EVERY OTHER IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE IN THE SENATE FOR 250 YEARS HAD WITNESSES

SOME OF THEM HAD DOZENS WE HAD ZERO LEADER McCONNELL RUSHED THIS TRIAL THROUGH HE TURNED OFF CAMERAS IN THIS BODY SO THAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC COULDN'T SEE THE WHOLE PROCESS HE RESTRICTED REPORTER ACCESS

WE KNOW REPORTERS ROAM THE HALLS TO TALK TO MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE HE REINSTRUCTED ACCESS THERE HE TWISTED ARMS TO MAKE SURE EVERY REPUBLICAN WAS ABLE — VOTED WITH HIM TO BLOCK WITNESSES HE DIDN'T GET A COUPLE OF THEM, BUT HE HAD ENOUGH TO PROTECT HIMSELF THE PUBLIC ALREADY SEES THROUGH IT

THIS IS A SHAM TRIAL I'VE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING THAT I WOULD KEEP AN OPEN MIND IF THERE ARE WITNESSES WHO WOULD EXONERATE THE PRESIDENT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR FROM THEM OVER THE COURSE OF THIS TRIAL, WE HEARD MOUNTING, OVERWHELMING EVERYDAY THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DID EVERYTHING THAT NOT EVEN RICHARD NIXON EVER D HE EXTORTED A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER FOR ROOTING OUT CORRUPTION HE PUT HIS POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ABOVE OUR COLLECTIVE NATIONAL SECURITY

THE PRESIDENT SAID THIS IS JUST HEARSAY BUT HE AND THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, TOGETHER WITH 51 OF 53 REPUBLICAN SENATORS, BLOCKED EVERY SINGLE POTENTIAL WITNESS WE WANTED TO CALL WE KNEW THERE WERE WITNESSES THE PRESIDENT SAYS IT WAS HEARSAY WE KNEW THERE WERE WITNESSES THAT WERE IN THE ROOM WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP

WE DIDN'T GET TO HEAR FROM THEM WE DIDN'T HEAR FROM AMBASSADOR BOWL TON, MULVANEY, SECRETARY POMPEO THE REPUBLICAN LEADER DENIED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE CHANCE TO HEAR ALL OF THEM TESTIFY UNDER OATH WE'VE SEEN MORE INFORMATION COME TO LIGHT EACH DAY, WHICH BUILDS ON THE PATTERN OF FACTS LAID OUT IN GREAT DETAIL BY THE HOUSE MANAGERS WE'VE NOW HEARD TAPE RECORDINGS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TELLING ASSOCIATES TO GET RID OF U

S AMBASSADOR YOVANOVITCH, A PUBLIC SERVANT WHO DEVOTED HER LIFE TO FIGHTING CORRUPTION AND PROMOTING AMERICAN IDEALS AND POLICY THROUGHOUT HER CAREER AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT WITH HER REMOVAL FROM THE POST, IT APPEARS THE PRESIDENT THOUGHT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO COMPEL OUR ALLY, UKRAINE, TO INVESTIGATE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S POLITICAL OPPONENT REPORTS — REPORTERS HAVE NOW REVEALED THAT AMBASSADOR BOLTON — AGAIN, MADAM PRESIDENT, A FIRSTSHAND WITNESS — SHE OUTLINED THAT THE PRESIDENT — HE OUTLINED THAT THE PRESIDENT DID EXACTLY WHAT THE IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES ALLEGED; HE WITHHELD SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO AN ALLY AT WAR WITH RUSSIA IN EXCHANGE FOR A POLITICAL FAVOR THERE ARE E-MAILS SHOWING THE PRESIDENT'SUKRAINE'S

MAKE NO MISTAKE, THE FULL TRUTH IS GOING TO COME OUT THE PRESIDING OFFICER, MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OFFER OF OFFICER, THEY'RE ALL GOING TO BE EMBARRASSED BECAUSE THEY COVERED THIS UP IT WASN'T JUST THE PRESIDENT AND THE VICE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY POMPEO AND CHIEF OF STAFF MULVANEY IT WAS 51 REPUBLICAN UNITED STATES SENATORS, INCLUDING THE PRESIDING OFFICER, WHO IS A NEW MEMBER OF THIS BODY, WHO COVERED UP THIS EVIDENCE IT'LL COME OUT IN WEEK, IT'LL COME OUT THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR, THE YEAR AFTER THAT, FOR DECADES TO COME

WHEN THE FULL TRUTH COMES OUT, WE'LL BE JUDGED BY OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WITHOUT ADDITIONAL WITNESSES, WE MUST JUDGE BASED ON THE FACTS PRESENTED THE HOUSE MANAGERS MADE A CLEAR, COMPELLING CASE IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR WITH RUSSIA, THE PRESIDENT FROZE $400 MILLION IN SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE HE ASKED — HE WANTED AN INVESTIGATION INTO HIS 2020 POLITICAL OPPONENT

HE REFUSE A CRITICAL MEETING WITH PRESIDENT ZELENSKY IN THE OVAL OFFICE THESE ACTIONS DON'T PROMOTE OUR NATIONAL SECURITY OR THE RULE OF LAW THEY PROMOTE DONALD TRUMP PERSONALLY AND HIS CAMPAIGN WE KNOW THE PRESIDENT EXTORTED PRESIDENT ZELENSKY HE ASKED THE LEADER OF A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT TO HELP HIM

THAT'S THE DEFINITION OF AN ABUSE OF POWER THAT'S WHY WE HAVE NO CHOICE, NO CHOICE BUT TO CONVICT THIS PRESIDENT OF ABUSING HIS OFFICE ALL OF US KNOW THIS TO ACQUIT WOULD SET A CLEAR, DANGEROUS PRECEDENT YOU ABUSE YOUR OFFICE, IT'S OKAY

CONGRESS WILL LOOK THE OTHER WAY THIS TRIAL, THIS VOTE WE'RE ABOUT TO COST, THEY'RE ABOUT WAY MORE THAN JUST PRESIDENT TRUMP THEY'RE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IT WILL SEND A MESSAGE TO THIS PRESIDENT OR WHOMEVER WE ELECT IN NOVEMBER AND TO ALL FUTURE PRESIDENTS IT WILL BE HEARD AROUND THE WORLD, OUR VERDICT BY OUR ALLIES AND ENEMIES ALIKE, ESPECIALLY THE RUSSIANS

ARE WE GOING TO ROLL OUT THE WELCOME MAT TO OUR — ARE WE GOING TO GIVE A GREEN LIGHT TO OUR PRESIDENT TO BASE OUR NATIONAL SECURITY NOT ON THE SECURITY OF OUR ALIVE, BUT ON THE PRESIDENT'S PERSONAL POLITICAL CAMPAIGN? THESE ARE THE ISSUES AT STAKE WE DON'T HOLD THIS PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS ABUSE OF OFFICE, IF NO ONE IN HIS OWN PARTY, IF NO ONE ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE HAS THE BACKBONE TO STAND UP AND SAY, STOP, THERE IS NO QUESTION IT'LL GET WORSE HOW DO I KNOW THAT? I'VE HEARD IT IT FROM A NUMBER OF MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES WHEN PRIVATELY THEY'LL TELL ME, YES, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS IS GOING TO DO IF HE IS EXONERATED I WAS PARTICULAR APPALLED BY THE WORDS OF MR

DERSHOWITZ HE SAID IF A PRESIDENT DOES SOMETHING THAT HE BELIEVES WILL GET HIM ELECTED IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, THAT CAN'T BE THE QUID PRO QUO THAT RESULTS IN IMPEACHMENT IF THE PRESIDENT THINKS IT'S OKAY, HE THINKS IT'S GOING TO HELP HIS ELECTION AND HE THINKS HIS ELECTION IS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, THEN IT'S OKAY THE PRESIDENT CAN BREAK ANY LAW, CAN FUNNEL TAXPAYER MONEY TOWARDS HIS REELECTION, CAN TURN THE ARMOR OF THE STATE AGAINST HIS POLITICAL ENEMIES AND NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE THAT'S WHAT THIS COMES DOWN TO

REMEMBER THE WORDS OF RICHARD NIXON — WHEN THE PRESIDENT DOES IT THAT MEANS IT NOT ILLEGAL OUR COUNTRY REJECTED THAT DURING WATERGATE WE HAD A REPUBLICAN PARTY WITH PRINCIPLE IN THOSE DAYS AND SENATORS WITH BACKBONE

THEY TOLD THAT PRESIDENT TO RESIGN BECAUSE NOBODY IS ABOVE THE STATE, NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW IF WE HAVE A PRESIDENT THAT CAN TURN THE OFFICE OF THE PRESS AND THE ENTIRE EXECUTIVE BRANCH INTO ITS OWN POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OPERATION, GOD HELP US MY COLLEAGUES THINK I'M EXAGGERATING WE DON'T HAVE THE OPTION TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF SOME ARGUES MADE AND NOT OTHERS MR

DERSHOWITZ'S ARGUMENTS WILL STAND FOREVER THEY'LL BE USED AS PRECEDENT BY FUTURE ASPIRING AUTOCRATS IN THE WORDS OF HOUSE MANAGER SCHIFF, THAT WAY MADNESS LIES I KNOW SOME OF MY COLLEAGUE, AGREE THIS SETS A DANGEROUS PRESS DID NOT SOME OF YOU HAVE ADMITTED TO ME THAT YOU'RE TROUBLED BY THE PRESIDENT'S BEHAVIOR

YOU KNOW HE'S RECKLESS AND LIES AND KNOW WHAT DID HE WAS WRONG YOU'VE HEARD REPUBLICAN SENATOR AFTER SENATOR TELL ME THAT PRIVATELY IF YOU SAID IT TO ME, IF YOU SAID IT TO YOUR FAMILY, TO YOUR STAFF, IF YOU'VE JUST SAID IT TO YOURSELF, I IMPLORE YOU, WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO VOTE TO CONVICT WHAT ARE MY COLLEAGUES AFRAID OF? I THINK ABOUT THE WORD OF ADAM SCHIFF IN THIS CHAMBER IF YOU FIND THAT THE HOUSE HAS PROVED ITS CASE AND STILL VOTE TO ACQUIT, IF YOU STILL VOTE TO ACQUIT, YOUR NAME WILL BE TIED TO HIS WITH A CORD OF STEEL FOR ALL OF HISTORY

YOUR NAME WILL BE TIED TO HIS WITH A CORD OF STEEL FOR ALL OF HISTORY I ASK MY COLLEAGUES, WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? ONE OF OUR AMERICAN FUNDAMENTAL VALUES — WE HAVE NO KINGS, NO OLIGARCHS, NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY YOU GIVE TO MITCH McCONNELL'S SUPER PAC, EVERY ONE CAN AND SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE I HOPE MY COMPLETION REMEMBER THAT I — I HOPE MY COLLEAGUES REMEMBER THAT I HOPE THIS'LL CHOOSE COURAGE OVER FEAR, COUNTRY OVER PARTY, I HOPE THEY'LL JOIN ME IN HOLDING THIS PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WE ALL TOOK AN OATH TO SERVE

WE KNOW THAT AMERICANS ARE WATCHING THEY WILL NOT FORGET I WILL CLOSE WITH QUOTING AGAIN BILL MOYERS WHAT WE'VE JUST SEEN IS THE DICTATOR OF THE SENATE MANIPULATING THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS TO SAVE THE DEMAGOGUE IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHOSE POLITICAL PARTY HAS BECOME THE GRAVEDIGGER OF DEMOCRACY

MADAM PRESIDENT, I KNOW MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE KNOW BETTER I HOPE THEY VOTE WHAT THEY REALLY KNOW THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM HAWAII IS RECOGNIZED MS

HIRONO: MADAM PRESIDENT, WHEN THE FRAMERS DEBATED WHETHER TO INCLUDE THE POWER OF IMPEACHMENT IN THE CONSTITUTION, THEY ENVISIONED A MOMENT VERY MUCH LIKE THE ONE WE FACE NOW THEY WERE FEARFUL OF A CORRUPT PRESIDENT WHO WOULD ABUSE THE PRESIDENCY FOR HIS OR HER PERSONAL GAIN, PARTICULARLY ONE WHO WOULD ALLOW ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY TO INTERFERE IN THE AFFAIRS OF OUR UNITED STATES WITH THIS FEAR IN MIND, THE FRAMERS DIRECTED THE SENATE TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO ULTIMATELY REMOVE THAT PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE IN NORMAL TIMES, THE SENATE CONSCIOUS OF ITS ABILITY, WOULD MEET THIS MOMENT WITH APPROPRIATE SOBRIETY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO CONDUCT A FULL AND FAIR TRIAL THAT INCLUDES CALLING APPROPRIATE WITNESSES AND SUBPOENAING RELEVANT DOCUMENTS

NONE OF WHICH HAPPENED HERE IN NORMAL TIMES, THE SENATE WOULD HAVE WEIGHED THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY BOTH SIDES AND RENDERED IMPARTIAL JUSTICE AND IN NORMAL TIMES, HAVING BEEN PRESENTED WITH OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE OF IMPEACHABLE ACTS, THE SENATE WOULD HAVE EMBRACED ITS CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT AND REMOVE HIM OR HER FROM OFFICE BUT AS WE'VE LEARNED TOO OFTEN OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, THESE ARE NOT NORMAL TIMES INSTEAD OF FULFILLING ITS DUTY LATER DARKS THE UNITED STATES SENATE — LATER TODAY, THE UNITED STATES SENATE WILL FAIL ITS TEST AT A CRUCIAL MOMENT OF OUR COUNTRY ABOUT I VOTING TO ACQUIT DONALD J

TRUMP OF ABUSE OF POWER AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS THE SENATE CANNOT BLAME ITS CONSTITUTIONAL FAILURE ON THE HOUSE MANAGERS THEY PROVED THEIR CASE WITH OVERWHELMING AND COMPELLING EVIDENCE MANAGER JERRY MR

NADLER: LAID OUT A METICULOUS CASE DEMONSTRATING HOW AND WHY THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS ROSE TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL STANDARD FOR IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL MANAGER JEFFRIES EXPLAINED HOW DONALD TRUMP PRESSURED THE UKRANIAN LEADER TO CONDUCT PHONY INVESTIGATIONS AS PART OF HIS EFFORT TO CHEAT AND SOLICIT FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN THE 2020 ELECTION MANAGER VAL DEMINGS WALKED US THROUGH THE EVIDENCE OF HOW DONALD TRUMP USED $391 MILLION OF TAXPAYER MONEY TO PRESSURE UKRAINE TO ANNOUNCE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED INVESTIGATIONS SHE CONCLUDED THIS IS ENOUGH TO PROVE EXTORTION IN COURT MANAGER SYLVIA GARCIA SHOWED HOW DONALD TRUMP'S DEMAND FOR INVESTIGATIONS WAS PURELY FOR HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL BENEFIT

SHE DEBUNKED THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL RAISED AGAINST FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN DONALD TRUMP'S POLITICAL RIVAL AND THE TRUE TARGET OF HIS CORRUPT SCHEME MANAGER JASON CROW DESCRIBED VIVIDLY THE HUMAN COSTS OF WITHHOLDING AID FROM UKRANIAN TROOPS FIGHTING A HOT WAR AGAINST RUSSIA MANAGER ADAM SCHIFF TIED TOGETHER THE EVIDENCE OF DONALD TRUMP'S ABUSE OF POWER, THE MOST SERIOUS OF IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES AND ONE THAT INCLUDES EXTORTION AND BRIBERY AND MANAGER ZOLOFT GREN USED HER EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE TO PROVIDE PERSPECTIVE ON DONALD TRUMP'S UNPRECEDENTED, UNILATERAL AND COMPLETE OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS TO COVER UP HIS CORRUPT SCHEME

SHE IS THE ONLY MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO BE INVOLVED IN THREE PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENTS THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS COULD NOT REFUTE THE HOUSE'S CASE INSTEAD, THEY ULTIMATELY RESORTED TO THE ARGUMENT THAT EVEN ACCEPTING THE FACTS AS PRESENTED BY THE HOUSE MANAGERS, DONALD TRUMP'S CONDUCT IS NOT IMPEACHABLE IT'S WHAT I'VE CALLED THE HE DID IT, SO WHAT ARGUMENT MANY OF MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES ARE USING THE SO WHAT ARGUMENT TO JUSTIFY THEIR VOTES TO LET THE PRESIDENT OFF THE HOOK

AND YET THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE SAID, I THINK HE SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT I THINK IT WAS WRONG HE SAID IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE AND IMPROPER, CROSSING A LINE BUT HE REFUSED TO HOLD THE PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE ARGUING THAT THE VOTERS SHOULD DECIDE THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM IOWA SAID, THE PRESIDENT HAS A LOT OF LATITUDE TO DO WHAT HE WANTS TO DO, BUT HE DID IT MAYBE IN THE WRONG MANNER

SHE ALSO SAID THAT WHETHER YOU LIKE WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID OR NOT, THE CHARGES DIDN'T RISE TO THE LEVEL OF AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM OHIO CALLED THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS WRONG AND INAPPROPRIATE BUT SAID THEY DID NOT RISE TO THE LEVEL OF REMOVING A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE AND TAKING HIM OFF THE BALLOT IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ELECTION AND THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM FLORIDA WENT SO FAR AS TO SAY JUST BECAUSE ACTIONS MEET A STANDARD OF IMPEACHMENT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE COUNTRY TO REMOVE A PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE BY REFUSING TO HOLD THIS PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE, MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES ARE REINFORCING THE PRESIDENT'S MISGUIDED BELIEF THAT HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS UNDER ARTICLE 2 OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION DONALD TRUMP WAS ALREADY A DANGER TO THIS COUNTRY

WE'VE SEEN IT IN HIS POLICY DECISIONS FROM TAKING AWAY HEALTH CARE FROM MILLIONS OF AMERICANS TO THREATENING PAINFUL CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TO ENGAGING IN AN ALL-OUT ASSAULT ON IMMIGRANTS IN THIS COUNTRY BUT TODAY WE'RE CALLED ON TO CONFRONT COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF DANGER, ONE THAT GOES WELL BEYOND THE SIGNIFICANT POLICY DIFFERENCES I HAVE WITH THIS PRESIDENT IF WE LET DONALD TRUMP GET AWAY WITH EXTORTING THE PRESIDENT OF ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL POLITICAL BENEFIT, THE SENATE WILL BE COMPLICIT, COMPLICIT IN HIS NEXT CORRUPT SCHEME WHICH COUNTRY WILL HE BULLY OR INVITE TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS NEXT? THIS POT OF TAXPAYER MONEY WILL HE USE AS A BRIBE TO FURTHER HIS POLITICAL SCHEMES? LATER TODAY I WILL VOTE TO CONVICT AND REMOVE PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP FOR ABUSING HIS POWER AND OBSTRUCTING CONGRESS

I AM UNDER NO ILLUSION THAT MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES WILL DO THE SAME THEY'VE ORGANIZED IT'S UP TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO DECIDE AS THOUGH IMPEACHMENT WERE NOT A TOTALLY SEPARATE CONSTITUTIONAL REMEDY FOR A LAWLESS PRESIDENT AS I CONSIDERED MY VOTE, I LISTENED CLOSELY TO MANAGER SCHIFF'S CLOSING STATEMENT ABOUT WHY THE SENATE NEEDS TO CONVICT THIS PRESIDENT HE SAID, I QUOTE, I DO NOT ASK YOU TO CONVICT HIM BECAUSE TRUTH OR RIGHT OR DECENCY MATTERS NOTHING TO HIM HE'S REFERRING TO THE PRESIDENT

BUT BECAUSE WE HAVE PROVEN OUR CASE AND IT MATTERS TO YOU THE TRUTH MATTERS TO YOU RIGHT MATTERS TO YOU YOU ARE DECENT HE IS NOT WHO YOU ARE

IT'S TIME FOR THE SENATE TO UPHOLD ITS CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY BY CONVICTING THIS PRESIDENT AND HOLDING HIM ACCOUNTABLE MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO IS RECOGNIZED MR BENNET: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT

WHEN I WAS IN THE SECOND GRADE, WHICH I DID TWICE BECAUSE I WAS DYSLEXIC SO I DON'T KNOW WHICH YEAR OF THE SECOND GRADE IT WAS BUT ONE OF THOSE TWO YEARS, WE WERE ASKED TO LINE UP IN ORDER OF WHOSE FAMILY HAD BEEN HERE THE LONGEST PERIOD OF TIME AND WHOSE FAMILY HAD BEEN HERE THE SHORTEST PERIOD OF TIME AND I TURNED OUT TO BE THE ANSWER TO BOTH OF THOSE QUESTIONS MY FATHER'S FAMILY WENT ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE MAYFLOWER AND MY MOM'S FAMILY WERE POLISH JEWS WHO SURVIVED THE HOLOCAUST THEY DIDN'T LEAVE WARSAW BECAUSE MY GRANDFATHER HAD A LARGE FAMILY HE DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND

AND IN THE EVENT EVERYBODY WAS KILLED IN THE WAR EXCEPT MY MOM, HER PARENTS, AND AN AUNT THEY LIVED IN WARSAW FOR TWO YEARS AFTER THE WAR THEN THEY WENT TO STOCKHOLM FOR A YEAR THEY WENT TO MEXICO CITY FOR A YEAR, OF ALL PLACES AND THEN THEY CAME TO THE UNITED STATES, THE ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD THEY COULD REBUILD THEIR SHATTERED LIVES

AND THEY DID REBUILD THEIR SHATTERED LIVES MY MOM WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE FAMILY WHO COULD SPEAK ANY ENGLISH SHE REGISTERED HERSELF IN THE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHE GRADUATED FROM HUNTER COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL SHE WENT ON TO GRADUATE FROM WELLESLEY COLLEGE IN MASSACHUSETTS IN ONE GENERATION

MY GRANDPARENTS REBUILT THE BUSINESS THEY HAD LOST DURING THE WAR AND I KNEW FROM THEM HOW IMPORTANT THIS SYMBOL OF AMERICA WAS TO PEOPLE STRUGGLING ALL OVER THE WORLD THEIR JOY — THEY'D BEEN THROUGH SOME OF THE WORST EVENTS IN HUMAN HISTORY AND THEIR JOY OF BEING AMERICANS WAS COMPLETELY UNADULTERATED I'VE MEANT MANY IMMIGRANTS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, AND I STILL HAVEN'T MET ANYBODY WITH A STRONGER ACCENT THAN MY GRANDPARENTS HAD AND I NEVER MET ANYBODY WHO WERE GREATER PATRIOTS THAN THEY WERE AND THEY UNDERSTOOD HOW IMPORTANT THE IDEA OF AMERICA WAS, NOT BECAUSE WE WERE PERFECT

EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF THAT BECAUSE WE WERE IMPERFECT BUT WE LIVED IN A FREE SOCIETY THAT WAS ABLE TO CURE ITS IMPERFECTIONS WITH THE HARD WORK OF OUR CITIZENS TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY MORE DEMOCRATIC, MORE FREE, AND MORE FAIR, A COUNTRY COMMITTED TO THE RULE OF LAW NOBODY WAS ABOVE THE RULE OF LAW AND NOBODY WAS TREATED UNFAIRLY BY THE LAW, EVEN IF YOU WERE AN IMMIGRANT TO THIS COUNTRY FROM MY DAD'S EXAMPLE, I LEARNED SOMETHING REALLY DIFFERENT

IT MIGHT INTEREST SOME PEOPLE AROUND HERE TO KNOW HE WAS A STAFFER IN THE SENATE FOR MANY YEARS AND I ACTUALLY GREW UP COMING HERE ON SATURDAY MORNINGS THROWING PAPER AIRPLANES AROUND THE HALLWAYS OF THE DIRKSEN BUILDING AND THE RUSSELL BUILDING HE WORKED HERE AT A VERY DIFFERENT TIME IN THE SENATE HE WORKED HERE AT A TIME WHEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS WORKED TOGETHER TO UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW, TO PASS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION THAT WAS NEEDED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO MOVE OUR COUNTRY FORWARD, A TIME WHEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS WENT BACK HOME AND SAID I DIDN'T GET EVERYTHING THAT I WANTED TO BE SURE, BUT THE 65% I DID GET IS WORTH THE BILL WE HAD THIS IS WHY THE OTHER SIDE NEEDED 35%

THOSE DAYS ARE COMPLETELY GONE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND I GRIEVE FOR THEM MY DAD PASSED AWAY ABOUT A YEAR AGO AND I KNOW HOW DISAPPOINTED HE WOULD BE ABOUT WHERE WE ARE BUT THERE ISN'T ANYBODY WHO CAN FIX IT EXCEPT THE HUNDRED PEOPLE THAT ARE HERE AND I SUPPOSE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR WHOM WE OSTENSIBLY WORK

IN THE LAST TEN YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN HERE, MADAM PRESIDENT, I HAVE WATCHED POLITICIANS COME TO THIS FLOOR AND DESTROY THE SOLEMN RESPONSIBILITY THAT WE HAVE, THE CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY WE HAVE TO ADVISE AND CONSENT ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS, TO TURN THAT CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY INTO NOTHING MORE THAN A VICIOUS PARTISAN EXERCISE THAT HASN'T BEEN DONE BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT WASN'T DONE BY ANY OTHER GENERATION OF POLITICIANS THAT WERE IN THIS PLACE IT'S BEEN DONE BY THIS GENERATION OF POLITICIANS LED BY THE SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY, THE MAJORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE WE HAVE BECOME A BODY THAT IT DOES NOTHING

WE'RE AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY THAT'S WHO WE ARE 75% OF THE VOTES WE TOOK LAST YEAR WERE ON APPOINTMENTS WE VOTED ON 26 AMENDMENTS LAST YEAR, 26, 26 IN THE WORLD'S GREATEST DELIBERATIVE BODY WE PASSED EIGHT AMENDMENTS IN A YEAR

PATHETIC — PATHETIC WE DIDN'T CONSIDER ANY OF THE MAJOR ISSUES THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE CONFRONTING IN THEIR LIVES, NOT A SINGLE ONE TEN YEARS OF TOWN HALLS WHEN PEOPLE SAY TO ME, MICHAEL, WE ARE KILLING OURSELVES AND WE CAN'T AFFORD HOUSING, HEALTH CARE, HIGHER EDUCATION, EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION WE CANNOT SAY — WE CAN'T LIVE A MIDDLE CLASS LIFE WE THINK OUR KIDS ARE GOING TO LIVE A MORE DIMINISHED LIFE THAN WE DO

WHAT DOES THE UNITED STATES SENATE DO? CUT TAXES FOR RICH PEOPLE WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO DO ANYTHING ELSE AROUND HERE AND NOW WHEN WE ARE THE ONLY BODY ON PLANET EARTH CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF DEALING WITH THE GUILT OR INNOCENCE OF THIS PRESIDENT, WE CAN'T EVEN BRING OURSELVES TO HAVE WITNESSES AND EVIDENCE AS PART OF A FAIR TRIAL EVEN WHEN THERE ARE LITERALLY WITNESSES WITH DIRECT KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID PRACTICALLY BANGING ON THE DOOR OF THE SENATE SAYING LET ME TESTIFY WE'RE TOO LAZY FOR THAT

THE REALITY IS WE'RE TOO BROKEN FOR THAT WE ARE TOO BROKEN FOR THAT AND WE HAVE FAILED IN OUR DUTY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAMILTON SAID IN FEDERALIST 65 THAT IN AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, WE WERE THE INQUISITORS FOR THE PEOPLE, THE SENATE WE WOULD BE THE INQUISITORS FOR THE PEOPLE

HOW CAN YOU BE THE INQUISITORS FOR THE PEOPLE WHEN YOU DON'T EVEN DIGNIFY THE PROCESS WITH EVIDENCE AND WITH WITNESSES? MADAM PRESIDENT, I OFTEN HAVE SCHOOLKIDS COME VISIT ME HERE IN THE SENATE, WHICH I REALLY ENJOY BECAUSE I USED TO BE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOL AND WHEN THEY COME VISIT ME, THEY VERY OFTEN HAVE BEEN ON THE MALL THEY'VE SEEN THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL THEY'VE SEEN THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT THEY'VE SEEN THE SUPREME COURT, THIS CAPITOL

THERE'S A TENDENCY AMONG THEM TO BELIEVE THIS WAS ALL JUST HERE, THAT IT WAS ALL JUST HERE AND OF COURSE 230 YEARS AGO I TELL THEM NONE OF IT WAS HERE NONE OF IT WAS HERE IT WAS IN THE IDEAS OF THE FOUNDERS, THE PEOPLE WHO WE CALL THE FOUNDERS WHO DID TWO INCREDIBLE THINGS IN THEIR LIFETIME, IN THEIR GENERATION THAT HAD NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE IN HUMAN HISTORY THEY WROTE A CONSTITUTION THAT WOULD BE RATIFIED BY THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE UNDER IT, IT NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE

THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED THAT WE WOULD HAVE LASTED 230 YEARS, AT LEAST UNTIL THE AGE OF DONALD TRUMP THEY LED AN ARMED INSUR EPTION AGAINST A COLONIAL POWER, WE CALL THAT THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR THAT SUCCEEDED, TOO THEY DO SOMETHING TERRIBLE IN THEIR GENERATION THAT WILL LAST FOR THE REST OF OUR DAYS, MADAM PRESIDENT, AND THAT IS THEY PERPETUATED HUMAN SLAVERY THE BUILDING WE'RE STANDING IN TODAY WAS BUILT BY ENSLAVED HUMAN BEINGS BECAUSE OF THE DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE

BUT I TELL THE KIDS THAT COME AND VISIT ME, THERE IS A REASON WHY THEY'RE NOTTEN — THERE ARE NOT ENSLAVED HUMAN BEINGS IN THIS COUNTRY ANYMORE, AND THAT'S BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE FREDERICK DOUGLASS, BORN A SLAVE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ESCAPED HIS SLAVERY IN MARYLAND, RISKED HIS LIFE AND LIMB TO GET TO MASSACHUSETTS, AND HE FOUND THE ABOLITION ABOLITIONIST MOVE THE ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT, MADAM PRESIDENT, HAVE BEEN ARGUING FOR GENERATIONS THAT THE CONSTITUTION WAS A PRO-SLAVERY DOCUMENT AND FREDERICK DOUGLASS, WHO WAS COMPLETELY SELF-TAUGHT, COMPLETELY SELF-TAUGHT, SAID TO THEM YOU HAVE THIS EXACTLY WRONG, EXACTLY BACKWARDS 180 DEGREES FROM THE TRUTH THE CONSTITUTION IS AN ANTISLAVERY DOCUMENT, FREDERICK DOUGLASS SAID, NOT A PRO-SLAVERY DOCUMENT, BUT WE'RE NOT LIVING UP TO THE WORDS OF THE CONSTITUTION

IT'S THE SAME THING DR KING SAID THE NIGHT BEFORE HE WAS KILLED IN MEMPHIS WHEN HE WENT DOWN THERE FOR THE STRIKING GARBAGE WORKERS, AND HE SAID I AM HERE TO MAKE AMERICA KEEP THE PROMISE YOU WROTE DOWN ON THE PAGE AND IN MY MIND, FREDERICK DOUGLASS AND DR KING ARE FOUNDERS JUST AS MUCH AS THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES HOW COULD THEY NOT BE? HOW COULD THEY NOT BE? THE WOMEN THAT FOUGHT TO GIVE MY KIDS, MY THREE DAUGHTERS THE RIGHT TO VOTE, WHO FOUGHT FOR 50 YEARS TO GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE, MOSTLY WOMEN IN THIS COUNTRY

THEIR FOUNDERS DISLIKED THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THE CONSTITUTION AS WELL AND OVER THE YEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN HERE, MADAM PRESIDENT, AS I HAVE SEEN THIS INSTITUTION CRUMBLE INTO RUBBLE, THIS INSTITUTION BECOME INCAPABLE OF ADDRESSING THE MOST EXISTENTIAL QUESTIONS OF OUR TIME, THAT THE NEXT GENERATION CANNOT ADDRESS, THEY CAN'T FIX THEIR OWN SCHOOL THEY CAN'T FIX OUR IMMIGRATION SYSTEM THEY CAN'T FIX CLIMATE CHANGE, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE GETTING LESS AND LESSATIENT WITH US ON THAT ISSUE BUT WHAT I HAVE COME TO CONCLUDE IS THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL OF US, NOT JUST SENATORS, BUT ALL OF US AS CITIZENS IN A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC 230 YEARS AFTER THE FOUNDING OF THIS REPUBLIC IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A FOUNDER, THAT IT'S THAT ELEVATED ASSENT OF WHAT A CITIZEN IS REQUIRED TO DO IN A REPUBLIC TO SUSTAIN THAT REPUBLIC

AND I THINK THAT'S THE RIGHT WAY TO THINK ABOUT IT IT GIVES YOU A SENSE OF WHAT'S REALLY AT STAKE BEYOND THE HEADLINES ON THE CABLE TELEVISION AT NIGHT AND CERTAINLY IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS THAT DIVIDE US MINUTE TO MINUTE IN OUR POLITICAL LIFE TODAY AND THE SENATE HAS CLEARLY FAILED THAT STANDARD WE HAVE CLEARLY FAILED THAT STANDARD THE IDEA THAT WE WOULD TURN OUR BACK, CLOSE OUR EYES TO EVIDENCE POUNDING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE DOORS OF THIS CAPITOL IS PITIFUL IT IS DISGRACEFUL

AND IT WILL BE A STAIN ON THIS BODY FOR ALL TIME MORE THAN 50% OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS PLACE HAVE SAID THAT WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID WAS WRONG IT CLEARLY WAS WRONG IT CLEARLY WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL IT CLEARLY WAS IMPEACHABLE

A PRESIDENT WOULD RUN FOR OFFICE, SAYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, I'M GOING TO TRY TO EXTORT A FOREIGN POWER FOR MY OWN ELECTORAL INTERESTS TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTION IT IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF CONDUCT THAT THE IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE WAS WRITTEN FOR IT IS A TEXTBOOK CASE OF WHAT THE IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE EXISTS BUT EVEN IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OR THAT HE SHOULD BE CONVICTED, I DON'T KNOW HOW ANYBODY IN THIS BODY GOES HOME AND FACES THEIR CONSTITUENTS AND SAY WE WOULDN'T EVEN LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE AND SO I SAY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUR DEMOCRACY IS VERY MUCH AT RISK

I'M NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVES THAT DONALD TRUMP IS THE SOURCE OF ALL OUR PROBLEMS I THINK HE'S MADE MATTERS MUCH WORSE, TO BE SURE BUT HE IS A SYMPTOM OF OUR PROBLEM HE IS A SYMPTOM OF OUR FAILURE TO TEND TO THE DEMOCRACY, TO OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS FOUNDERS AND IF WE DON'T BEGIN TO TAKE THAT RESPONSIBILITY AS SERIOUSLY AS OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS DID, PEOPLE WHO FACE MUCH LONGES THAN WE EVER DID

NOBODY IS ASKING US, THANK GOD, TO END HUMAN SLAVERY NOBODY'S ASKING US TO FIGHT FOR 50 YEARS FOR THE SELF-EVIDENT PROPOSITION THAT WOMEN SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE WE'RE NOT MARCHING IN SELMA, BEING BEATEN FOR THE SELF-EVIDENT PROSPECT THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUALLY NOBODY'S ASKING US TO CLIMB THE CLIFFS OF DOVER TO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM IN A WAR THAT HAD NEVER TOUCHED OUR SHORES WE ARE BEING ASKED TO SAVE THE DEMOCRACY

AND WE'RE GOING TO FAIL THAT TEST TODAY IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND MY PRAYER FOR OUR COUNTRY, MADAM PRESIDENT, IS THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WON'T FAIL THAT TEST, AND I'M OPTIMISTIC THAT WE WON'T WE HAVE NEVER FAILED IT BEFORE AND I DON'T THINK WE'LL FAIL IT IN OUR TIME MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WISCONSIN IS RECOGNIZED MS BALDWIN: IN 2012, THE GOOD PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN ELECTED ME TO WORK FOR THEM IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE LIKE EVERY ONE OF MY FELLOW SENATORS, I TOOK AN OATH OF OFFICE IN 2018, I WAS REELECTED, AND I TOOK THAT SAME OATH

WE HAVE ALL TAKEN THAT OATH IT'S NOT TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE PRESIDENT, THIS PRESIDENT OR ANY OTHER OUR OATH IS TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES THAT IS OUR JOB EVERY DAY THAT WE COME TO WORK, AND IT CERTAINLY IS OUR JOB HERE TODAY JUST OVER TWO WEEKS AGO, WE ALL STOOD TOGETHER RIGHT HERE AND WE TOOK ANOTHER OATH GIVEN US TO — BY CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS TO DO IMPARTIAL JUDGMENT IN THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

I HAVE TAKEN THIS RESPONSIBILITY VERY SERIOUSLY I LISTENED TO BOTH SIDES MAKE THEIR CASE I HAVE REVIEWED THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED, AND I HAVE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED THE FACTS FROM THE BEGINNING, I HAVE SUPPORTED A FULL, FAIR, AND HONEST IMPEACHMENT TRIAL A MAJORITY OF THIS SENATE HAS FAILED TO ALLOW IT

I SUPPORTED THE RELEASE OF CRITICAL EVIDENCE THAT WAS CONCEALED BY THE WHITE HOUSE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE LET PRESIDENT TRUMP HIDE IT FROM US, AND THEY VOTED TO KEEP IT A SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE I VOTED FOR TESTIMONY OF RELEVANT WITNESSES WITH DIRECT FIRSTHAND EVIDENCE ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S CONDUCT SENATE REPUBLICANS BLOCKED WITNESS TESTIMONY BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T WANT TO BE BOTHERED WITH THE TRUTH EVERY SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY HAS INCLUDED WITNESSES, AND THIS SENATE TRIAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN NO DIFFERENT

UNFORTUNATELY, IT WAS A MAJORITY OF THE SENATE HAS TAKEN THE UNPRECEDENTED STEP OF REFUSING TO HEAR ALL THE EVIDENCE DECLINING ALL THE FACTS, DENYING THE FULL TRUTH ABOUT THIS PRESIDENT'S CORRUPT ABUSE OF POWER PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS OBSTRUCTED CONGRESS, AND THIS SENATE WILL LET HIM LAST MONTH, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR JOHN BOLTON PROVIDED AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT TO THE WHITE HOUSE

THE RECENT MEDIA REPORTS ABOUT WHAT AMBASSADOR BOLTON COULD HAVE TESTIFIED TO HAD HE NOT BEEN BLOCKED AS A WITNESS GO TO THE HEART OF THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL — ABUSE OF POWER AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS AS REPORTED, IN EARLY MAY, 2019, THERE WAS AN OVAL OFFICE MEETING THAT INCLUDED PRESIDENT TRUMP, MICK MULVANEY, PAT CIPOLLONE, RUDY GIULIANI, AND JOHN BOLTON ACCORDING TO MR BOLTON, THE PRESIDENT DIRECTED HIM TO HELP WITH HIS PRESSURE CAMPAIGN TO SOLICIT ASSISTANCE FROM UKRAINE TO PURSUE INVESTIGATIONS THAT WOULD NOT ONLY BENEFIT PRESIDENT TRUMP POLITICALLY BUT WOULD ACT TO EXONERATE RUSSIA FROM THEIR INTERFERENCE IN OUR 2016 ELECTIONS IZ SEVERAL WEEKS LATER THE U

S DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CERTIFIED THE RELEASE OF MILITARY AID TO UKRAINE, CONCLUDING THAT THEY HAD TAKEN SUBSTANTIAL ACTIONS TO DECREASE CORRUPTION THIS WAS PART OF THE SECURITY ASSISTANCE WE APPROVED IN CONGRESS WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT TO HELP UKRAINE FIGHT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION HOWEVER, PRESIDENT TRUMP BLOCKED IT AND COVERED IT UP FROM CONGRESS ON JULY 25, 2019, AS PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS WITHHOLDING THE SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE, HE HAD A TELEPHONE CALL WITH UKRANIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY

BASED ON A WHITE HOUSE CALL SUMMARY MEMO THAT WAS RELEASED TWO MONTHS LATER, WE ALL KNOW THE PRESIDENT PUT HIS OWN POLITICAL INTERESTS AHEAD OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS BASED ON THE CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE PRESENTED IN THIS TRIAL, WE KNOW PRESIDENT TRUMP USED AMERICAN TAXPAYER DOLLARS AND SECURITY ASSISTANCE FOR UKRAINE TO GET THEM TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS TO HELP THEM POLITICALLY WE KNOW THE PRESIDENT SOLICITED ASSISTANCE FROM UKRAINE TO PURSUE INVESTIGATION OF PHONY CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT OUR 2016 US ELECTION THAT ARE PART OF A RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN

WE KNOW THE PRESIDENT SOLICITED ASSISTANCE FROM UKRAINE TO DISCREDIT THE CONCLUSION BY AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT, THE US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, AND CONFIRMED BY A BIPARTISAN SENATE REPORT THAT RUSSIA INTERFERED WITH OUR 2016 ELECTIONS AND WE KNOW PRESIDENT TRUMP SOLICITED FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION BY PRESSURING UKRAINE TO PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE INVESTIGATIONS TO HELP HIM POLITICALLY I WOULD ASK MY FRIENDS TO CONSIDER THE FACT THAT THE UKRANIAN PRESIDENT WAS PRESSURED AND PREPARED TO GO ON AN AMERICAN CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK TO ANNOUNCE THESE POLITICAL INVESTIGATIONS

TO THOSE WHO ARE MAKING THE ARGUMENT TO ACQUIT THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE TO CONVICT HIM WOULD CREATE FURTHER DIVISION IN OUR COUNTRY, I ASK YOU TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CORRUPT SCHEME HAS GIVEN RUSSIA ANOTHER OPENING TO ATTACK OUR DEMOCRACY, INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS, AND FURTHER DIVIDE OUR ALREADY DIVIDED COUNTRY WE KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE, BUT THE SENATE IS CHOOSING TO IGNORE THE TRUTH AS REPORTED JUST WEEKS AFTER THE ZELENSKY CALL, PRESIDENT TRUMP TOLD AMBASSADOR BOLTON IN AUGUST THAT HE WANTED TO CONTINUE FREEZING $391 MILLION IN SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE UNTIL THEY HELPED WITH THE POLITICAL INVESTIGATIONS HAD AMBASSADOR BOLTON TESTIFIED TO THESE FACTS IN THIS TRIAL, IT WOULD DIRECTLY CONTRADICT WHAT THE PRESIDENT TOLD SENATOR JOHNSON IN A PHONE CALL ON AUGUST 31, 2019, WHERE ACCORDING TO SENATOR JOHNSON, THE PRESIDENT SAID, I WOULD NEVER DO THAT WHO TOLD YOU THAT? JOHN BOLTON NOT ONLY HAS DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT IMPLICATES PRESIDENT TRUMP IN A CORRUPT ABUSE OF POWER, HE HAS DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP LIED TO ONE OF OUR COLLEAGUES IN AN ATTEMPT TO COVER IT UP

IT MAY NOT MATTER TO THIS SENATE, BUT I CAN TELL YOU IT MATTERS TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN THAT THIS PRESIDENT DID NOT TELL THEIR SENATOR THE TRUTH BASED ON THE FACTS PRESENTED TO US, I REFUSE TO JOIN THIS PRESIDENT'S COVER-UP AND I REFUSE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE PRESIDENT'S ABUSE OF POWER DOESN'T MATTER, THAT IT'S OKAY AND THAT WE SHOULD JUST GET OVER IT I WANT TO RECOGNIZE THE COURAGEOUS PUBLIC SERVANTS WHO DID WHAT THIS SENATE HAS FAILED TO DO, TO PUT OUR COUNTRY FIRST IN THE HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, BRAVE GOVERNMENT SERVANTS CAME FORWARD AND TOLD THE TRUTH THEY PUT THEIR JOBS ON THE LINE AND INSTEAD OF INSPIRING US TO DO OUR DUTY, TO DO OUR JOB, THEY FACED CHARACTER ASSASSINATION FROM THIS PRESIDENT, THE WHITE HOUSE, AND SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES HERE IN THE SENATE

IT IS A DISGRACE TO THIS INSTITUTION THAT THEY WERE TREATED AS ANYTHING LESS THAN THE PATRIOTS THAT THEY ARE AS ARMY LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALEXANDER VINDMAN SAID, THIS IS AMERICA HERE, RIGHT MATTERS MY JUDGMENT IS INSPIRED BY THESE WORDS, AND I AM GUIDED TO MY COMMITMENT TO PUT COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY AND OUR CONSTITUTION FIRST MY VOTE ON THE PRESIDENT'S ABUSE OF POWER AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS IS A VOTE TO UPHOLD MY OATH OF OFFICE AND TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION

MY VOTE IS A VOTE TO UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW AND OUR UNIQUELY AMERICAN PRINCIPLE THAT NO ONE, NOT EVEN THE PRESIDENT, IS ABOVE THE LAW I ONLY HAVE ONE OF 100 VOTES IN THE US SENATE, AND I'M AFRAID THAT THE MAJORITY IS PUTTING THIS PRESIDENT ABOVE THE LAW BY NOT CONVICTING HIM OF THESE IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES BUT LET'S BE CLEAR, THIS IS NOT AN EXONERATION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP

IT IS A FAILURE TO SHOW MORAL COURAGE AND HOLD THIS PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE NOW EVERY AMERICAN WILL HAVE A POWER TO MAKE THEIR OWN JUDGMENT EVERY AMERICAN GETS TO DECIDE WHAT IS IN OUR PUBLIC INTEREST WE THE PEOPLE GET TO CHOOSE WHAT IS IN OUR NATIONAL INTEREST I TRUST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

I KNOW THEY WILL BE GUIDED BY OUR COMMON GOOD AND THE TRUTH THE PEOPLE WE WORK FOR KNOW WHAT THE TRUTH IS AND THEY KNOW IN AMERICA IT MATTERS I YIELD BACK A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT IS RECOGNIZED

MR MURPHY: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT MADAM PRESIDENT, IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMIND OURSELVES AT MOMENTS LIKE THIS HOW UNNATURAL AND UNCOMMON DEMOCRACY REALLY IS JUST THINK ABOUT ALL THE IMPORTANT FORUMS IN YOUR LIFE THINK ABOUT YOUR WORKPLACE, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM

NONE OF THEM MAKES DECISIONS BY DEMOCRATIC VOTE THE CEO DECIDES HOW MUCH MONEY YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE, NOT A VOTE OF YOUR FELLOW EMPLOYEES

YOU LOVE YOUR KIDS, BUT THEY DON'T GET AN EQUAL SAY IN HOUSEHOLD MATTERS AS MOM AND DAD DO THE PLAYS THAT THE CHIEFS CALLED ON THEIR GAME-WINNING DRIVE, THEY WEREN'T DECIDED BY A TEAM VOTE NO, MOST EVERYTHING IN OUR LIFE THAT MATTERS OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT UNDER WHICH WE LIVE IS NOT RUN BY DEMOCRATIC VOTE AND OF COURSE A TINY PERCENTAGE OF HUMANS, WELL UNDER PROBABLY 1% HAVE LIVED IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY OVER THE LAST 1,000 YEARS OF HUMAN HISTORY

DEMOCRACY IS UNNATURAL IT'S RARE IT'S DELICATE IT'S FRAGILE AND UNTENDED TO, NEGLECTED OR TAKEN FOR GRANTED, IT WILL DISAPPEAR LIKE ASHES SCATTERING INTO THE COLD NIGHT

THIS BODY, THE UNITED STATES SENATE, WAS CONCEIVED BY OUR FOUNDERS TO BE THE ULTIMATELY MALT GUARDIANS OF THIS BRITLE EXPERIMENT — BRITTLE EXPERIMENT IN GOVERNANCE WE THE 100 OF US WERE GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP IT SAFE FROM THOSE THAT MAY DEIGN TO HARM IT AND WHEN THE SENATE LIVES UP TO THIS CHARGE IT IS AN AWESOME INSPIRATIONAL SIGHT TO BEHOLD I WAS BORN THREE WEEKS AFTER ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD REVEALED THE EXISTENCE OF A TAPING SYSTEM IN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT LIKELY HELD EVIDENCE OF PRESIDENT NIXON'S CRIMES I WAS BORN ONE WEEK AFTER THE SENATE WATERGATE COMMITTEE IN A BIPARTISAN VOTE ORDERED NIXON TO TURN OVER SEVERAL KEY TAPES MY PARENTS WERE REPUBLICANS

MY MOM STILL IS A REPUBLICAN AND OVER THE YEARS THEY'VE VOTED FOR A LOT OF DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS THEY RAISED ME IN THE SHADOW OF WATERGATE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT MATTERED IN POLITICS WASN'T REALLY SOMEONE'S PARTY IT WAS WHETHER YOU ARE HONEST AND DECENT, IF YOU ARE PURSUING OFFICE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS IN THE YEAR I WAS BORN, THIS SENATE WATCHED A PRESIDENT BETRAY THE NATION, AND THIS SENATE, BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, STOOD TOGETHER TO PROTECT THE COUNTRY FROM THIS BETRAYAL

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT OUR FOUNDERS ENVISIONED WHEN THEY GAVE THE CONGRESS THE MASSIVE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE IMPEACHMENT POWER THEY SAID USE IT SPARINGLY, USE IT NOT TO SETTLE POLITICAL SCORES, BUT USE IT WHEN A PRESIDENT HAS STRAYED FROM THE BONDS OF DECENCY AND PROPRIETY THE FOUNDERS WANTED CONGRESS TO SAVE THE COUNTRY FROM BAD MEN WHO WOULD TRY TO USE THE AWESOME POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH TO ENRICH THEMSELVES OR TO WIN OFFICE ILLICITLY AND I GREW UP UNDER THE BELIEF THAT WHEN THOSE BAD MEN PRESENTED THEMSELVES, THIS PLACE HAD THE ABILITY TO PUT ASIDE PARTY AND WORK TO PROTECT OUR FRAGILE DEMOCRACY FROM ATTACK AND THIS ATTACK ON OUR REPUBLIC THAT WE ARE DEBATING TODAY LEFT UNCHECKED IS POTENTIALLY LETHAL

THE ONE SACRED COVENANT THAT AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT MAKES WITH THE GOVERNMENT IS TO USE THE MASSIVE POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY, NOT FOR PERSONAL, FINANCIAL, OR POLITICAL BENEFIT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DEMOCRACY AND A TIN POT DIRKTSHIP IS THAT — DICTATORSHIP IS THAT HERE WE DON'T ALLOW PRESIDENTS TO USE OFFICIAL LEVERS OF POWER TO DESTROY POLITICAL OPPONENTS, BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DID AND WE ALL KNOW IT EVEN THE REPUBLICANS WHO ARE GOING TO VOTE TO ACQUIT HIM TODAY ADMIT THAT AND IF YOU THINK THAT OUR ENDORSEMENT THROUGH ACQUITTAL WON'T HAVE AN IMPACT, THEN JUST LOOK AT RUDY GIULIANI'S TRIP TO UKRAINE IN DECEMBER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

HE WENT BACK LOOKING FOR MORE DIRT, AND THE PRESIDENT WAS BRINGING HIM UP TO GET THE DETAILS BEFORE GIULIANI'S PLANE HIT THE GATE THE CORRUPTION HASN'T STOPPED IT'S ONGOING AND IF THIS IS THE NEW NORMAL, THE NEW MEANS BY WHICH A PRESIDENTAN CONSOLIDATE POWER AND TRY TO DISOI POLITICAL OPPONENTS — TO DESTROY POLITICAL OPPONENTS, THEN WE ARE NO LONGER LIVING IN AMERICA WHAT HAPPENED HERE OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS IS AS MUCH A CORRUPTION AS TRUMP'S SCHEME WAS

THIS TRIAL WAS SIMPLY AN EXTENSION OF TRUMP'S CRIMES NO DOCUMENTS, NO WITNESSES THE FIRST EVER IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN THE SENATE WITHOUT EITHER JOHN BOLTON PRACTICALLY BEGGING TO COME HERE AND TELL HIS FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE PRESIDENT'S CORRUPTION DENIED, JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT VOTERS CAN'T HEAR HIS STORY IN TIME FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO PRESSURE THEIR SENATORS PRIOR TO AN IMPEACHMENT VOTE THIS IS A SHOW TRIAL, A GIFT-WRAPPED PRESENT FOR A GRATEFUL PARTY LEADER

WE BECAME COMPLICIT IN THE VERY ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY THAT THIS BODY IS SUPPOSED TO GUARD AGAINST WE HAVE FAILED TO PROTECT THE REPUBLIC AND WHAT'S SO INTERESTING TO ME IS THAT IT'S NOT LIKE REPUBLICANS DIDN'T SEE THIS MOMENT COMING IN FACT, MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE LITERALLY PREDICTED, PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT'S ELECTION, HERE'S WHAT REPUBLICAN SENATORS SAID ABOUT DONALD TRUMP ONE SAID HE IS SHALLOW, HE IS ILL PREPARED TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF

I THINK HE'S CRAZY I THINK HE'S UNFIT FOR OFFICE ANOTHER SAID THE MAN IS A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR HE DIDN'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE — HE DOESN'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUTH AND LIES YET ANOTHER REPUBLICAN SENATOR SAID WHAT WE'RE DEALING WITH IS A CON ARTIST

HE IS A CON ARTIST NOW YOU CAN SHRUG THIS OFF AS ELECTION YEAR RHETORIC, BUT NO DEMOCRAT HAS EVER SAID THESE KIND OF THINGS ABOUT A CANDIDATE FROM OUR PARTY, AND PRIOR TO TRUMP NO REPUBLICAN HAD SAID SUCH THINGS ABOUT CANDIDATES FROM THEIR PARTY EITHER THE TRUTH IS REPUBLICANS BEFORE TRUMP BECAME THE HEAD OF THEIR PARTY KNEW EXACTLY HOW DANGEROUS HE WAS AND HOW DANGEROUS HE WOULD BE IF HE WON THEY KNEW HE WAS THE ARCHETYPE OF THAT BAD THE FOUNDERS INTENDED THE SENATE TO PROTECT DEMOCRACY FROM BUT TODAY THAT RESPONSIBILITY SEEMS TO NO LONGER RETAIN A POSITION OF PRIMACY IN THIS BODY

TODAY THE RULE OF LAW DOESN'T SEEM TO COME FIRST TODAY OUR COMMITMENT TO UPHOLDING DECENCY AND TRUTH AND HONOR IS NOT THE PRIORITY TODAY IN THE MODERN SENATE, ALL THAT SEEMS TO MATTER IS PARTY WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS IMPEACHMENT IS NOT IT THAT DEMOCRATS HAVE CHOSEN TO MAKE IT PARTISAN, IT IS THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE CHOSEN TO EXCUSE THEIR PARTY PRESIDENT'S CONDUCT IN A WAY THAT THEY WOULD NOT HAVE DONE AND DID NOT DO 45 YEARS AGO THAT'S WHAT MAKES THIS MOMENT EXCEPTIONAL

CONGRESSMAN SCHIFF RIGHTLY CHALLENGED DEMOCRATS IN HIS CLOSING ARGUMENT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE WOULD DO IF A PRESIDENT OF OUR PARTY EVER COMMITTED THE SAME KIND OF OFFENSE THAT DONALD TRUMP HAS I THINK IT WAS A VERY WISE QUERY AND ONE THAT WE AS DEMOCRATS SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK ON THE TRIGGER TO ANSWER SELF-RIGHTEOUSLY WOULD WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO STAND UP TO OUR BASE, TO OUR POLITICAL SUPPORTERS, TO VOTE TO REMOVE A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT WHO HAD CHOSEN TO TRADE AWAY THE SAFETY OF THE NATION FOR POLITICAL HELP? IT WOULD NOT BE EASY NO, THE EASY THING TO DO WOULD BE TO JUST DO WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY, TO BOX OUR EARS, CLOSE OUR EYES, AND JUST HOPE THE CORRUPTION GOES AWAY AND SO I THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT THIS QUESTION OVER THESE PAST TWO DAYS

I'VE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT AT LEAST FOR ME, I WOULD HOLD THE DEMOCRAT TO THE SAME STANDARD I WOULD VOTE TO REMOVE BUT I ADMIT TO SOME LEVEL OF DOUBT AND I THINK THAT I NEED TO BE HONEST ABOUT THAT BECAUSE THE PRESSURES TODAY TO PUT PARTY FIRST ARE REAL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE

AND THEY ARE MUCH MORE ACUTE TODAY THAN THEY WERE DURING WATER GATE IT'S WITH THAT REALITY AS CONTEXT THAT I PREPARE TO VOTE TODAY I BELIEVE THAT THE PRESIDENT'S CRIMES ARE WORTHY OF REMOVAL I WILL VOTE TO CONVICT ON BOTH ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT BUT I KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK

OURS IS AN INSTITUTION BUILT TO PUT COUNTRY ABOVE PARTY AND TODAY WE ARE DOING OFTEN THE OPPOSITE I BELIEVE WITHIN THE CULT OF PERSONALITY THAT HAS BECOME THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY, THE DISEASE IS MORE ACUTE AND MORE PERILOUS TOTAL NATION'S HEALTH ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE LEDGER BUT I ADMIT THAT THIS AFFLICTION HAS SPREAD TO ALL CORNERS OF THIS CHAMBER FUL WE ARE TO SURVIVE AS A — IF WE ARE TO SURVIVE AS A DEMOCRACY, A FRAGILE, DELICATE, CONSTANTLY IN NEED OF TENDING DEMOCRACY, THEN THIS SENATE NEEDS TO FIGURE OUT A WAY AFTER TODAY TO REORDER OUR INCENTIVE SYSTEM AND RECALIBRATE OUR FAITHS SO THAT THE HEALTH OF ONE PARTY NEVER EVER AGAIN COMES BEFORE THE HEALTH OF OUR NATION

I YIELD BACK MR ROMNEY: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM UTAH MR

ROMNEY: THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT THE CONSTITUTION IS AT THE FOUNDATION OF OUR REPUBLIC SUCCESS AND WE EACH STRIVE NOT TO LOSE SIGHT OF OUR PROMISE TO DEFEND IT THE CONSTITUTION ESTABLISHED THE VEHICLE OF IMPEACHMENT THAT IS OCCUPIED BOTH HOUSES OF OUR CONGRESS THESE MANY DAYS WE HAVE LABORED TO FAITHFULLY EXECUTE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO IT

WE HAVE ARRIVED AT DIFFERENT JUDGMENTS, BUT I HOPE WE RESPECT EACH OTHER'S GOOD FAITH THE ALLEGATIONS MADE IN THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT ARE VERY SERIOUS AS A SENATOR JUROR, I SWORE AN OATH BEFORE GOD TO EXERCISE IMPARTIAL JUSTICE I AM PROFOUNDLY RELIGIOUS MY FAITH IS AT THE HEART OF WHO I AM

I TAKE AN OATH BEFORE GOD AS ENORMOUSLY CONSEQUENTIAL I KNEW FROM THE OUTSET THAT BEING TASKED WITH JUDGING THE PRESIDENT, THE LEADER OF MY OWN PARTY, WOULD BE THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISION I HAVE EVER FACED I WAS NOT WRONG THE HOUSE MANAGERS PRESENTED EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THEIR CASE AND THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL DISPUTED THAT CASE IN ADDITION, THE PRESIDENT'S TEAM PRESENTED THREE DEFENSES

FIRST, THAT THERE COULD BE NO IMPEACHMENT WITHOUT A STATUTORY CRIME SECOND, THAT THE BIDENS' CONDUCT JUSTIFIED THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS AND THIRD, THAT THE JUDGMENT OF THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS SHOULD BE LEFT TO THE VOTERS LET ME FIRST ADDRESS THOSE THREE DEFENSES THE HISTORIC MEANING OF THE WORDS HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, THE WRITINGS OF THE FOUNDERS AND MY OWN REASONED JUDGMENT CONVINCED ME THAT A PRESIDENT CAN INDEED COMMIT ACTS AGAINST THE PUBLIC TRUST THAT ARE SO EGREGIOUS THAT WHILE THEY ARE NOT STATUTORY CRIMES, THEY WOULD DEMAND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

TO MAINTAIN THAT THE LACK OF A CODIFIED AND COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF ALL THE OUTRAGEOUS ACTS THAT A PRESIDENT MIGHT CONCEIVABLY COMMIT RENDERS CONGRESS POWERLESS TO REMOVE SUCH A PRESIDENT DEFIES REASON THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL ALSO NOTES THAT VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN APPEARED TO HAVE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST WHEN HE UNDERTOOK AN EFFORT TO REMOVE THE UKRANIAN PROSECUTOR GENERAL IF HE KNEW OF THE EXORBITANT COMPENSATION HIS SON WAS RECEIVING FROM A COMPANY ACTUALLY UNDER INVESTIGATION, THE VICE PRESIDENT SHOULD HAVE RECUSED HIMSELF WHILE IGNORING A CONFLICT OF INTEREST IS NOT A CRIME, IT IS SURELY VERY WRONG WITH REGARDS TO HUNTER BIDEN, TAKING EXCESSIVE ADVANTAGE OF HIS FATHER'S NAME IS UNSAVORY BUT ALSO NOT A CRIME

GIVEN THAT IN NEITHER THE CASE OF THE FATHER NOR THE SON WAS ANY EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL THAT A CRIME HAD BEEN COMMITTED, THE PRESIDENT'S INSISTENCE THAT THEY BE INVESTIGATED BY THE UKRANIANS IS HARD TO EXPLAIN OTHER THAN AS A POLITICAL PURSUIT THERE'S NO WE IN MY MIND THAT WERE THEIR NAMES NOT BIDEN, THE PRESIDENT WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE WHAT HE DID THE DEFENSE ARGUES THAT THE SENATE SHOULD LEAVE THE IMPEACHMENT DECISION TO THE VOTERS WHILE THE LOGIC IS APPEALING TO OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTINCTS, IT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTION'S REQUIREMENT THAT THE SENATE, NOT THE VOTERS, TRY THE PRESIDENT HAMILTON EXPLAINED THAT THE FOUNDERS' DECISION TO INVEST SENATORS WITH THIS OBLIGATION RATHER THAN LEAVE IT TO THE VOTERS WAS INTENDED TO MINIMIZE TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE THE PARTISAN SENTIMENTS OF THE PUBLIC AT LARGE

SO THE VERDICT IS OURS TO RENDER UNDER OUR CONSTITUTION THE PEOPLE WILL JUDGE US FOR HOW WELL AND FAITHFULLY WE'VE — WE FULFILL OUR DUTY THE GRAVE QUESTION THE CONSTITUTION TASKS SENATORS TO ANSWER IS WHETHER THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED AN ACT SO EXTREME AND EGREGIOUS THAT IT RISES TO THE LEVEL OF A HIGH CRIME AND MISDEMEANOR YES, HE DID THE PRESIDENT ASKED A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE HIS POLITICAL RIVAL

THE PRESIDENT WITHHELD VITAL MILITARY FUNDS FROM THAT GOVERNMENT THE PRESIDENT DELAYED FUNDS FOR AN AMERICAN ALLY AT WAR WITH RUSSIAN INVADERS THE PRESIDENT'S PURPOSE WAS PERSONAL AND POLITICAL ACCORDINGLY, THE PRESIDENT IS GUILTY OF AN APPALLING ABUSE OF PUBLIC TRUST WHAT HE DID WAS NOT PERFECT

NO, IT WAS A FLAGRANT ASSAULT UNDER ELECTORAL RIGHTS, OUR NATIONAL SECURITY, AND OUR FUNDAMENTAL VALUES CORRUPTING AN ELECTION TO KEEP ONE'S SELF IN OFFICE IS PERHAPS THE MOST ABUSIVE AND DESTRUCTIVE VIOLATION OF ONE'S OATH OF OFFICE THAT I CAN IMAGINE IN THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS I'VE RECEIVED NUMEROUS CALLS AND TEXT, MANY DEMANDED IN THEIR WORDS THAT I STAND WITH THE TEAM I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THAT THOUGHT HAS BEEN VERY MUCH ON MY MIND YOU SEE, I SUPPORT A GREAT DEAL OF WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAS DONE

I VOTED WITH HIM 80% OF THE TIME BUT MY PROMISE BEFORE GOD TO APPLY IMPARTIAL JUSTICE REQUIRE THAT I PUT MY PERSONAL FEELINGS AND POLITICAL BIASES ASIDE WERE I TO IGNORE THE EVIDENCE THAT HAS BEEN PRESENTED AND DISREGARD WHAT I BELIEVE MY OATH AND THE CONSTITUTION DEMANDS OF ME FOR THE SAKE OF A PARTISAN END, IT WOULD, I FEAR, EXPOSE MY CHARACTER TO HISTORIES — HISTORY'S REBUKE AND THE CENSOR OF MY OWN CONSCIENCE I'M AWARE THERE ARE PEOPLE IN MY PARTY AND IN MY STATE WHO WILL STRENUOUSLY DISAPPROVE OF MY DECISION AND IN SOME QUARTERS I WILL BE VEHEMENTLY DENOUNCED I'M SURE TO HEAR ABUSE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND HIS SUPPORTERS

DOES ANYONE SERIOUSLY BELIEVE THAT I WOULD CONSENT TO THESE CONSEQUENCES OTHER THAN FROM AN INESCAPABLE CONVICTION THAT MY OATH BEFORE GOD DEMANDED OF ME I SOUGHT TO HEAR TESTIMONY FROM JOHN BOLTON NOT ONLY BECAUSE I BELIEVED HE COULD ADD CONTEXT TO THE CHARGES BUT ALSO BECAUSE I HOPED THAT WHAT HE MIGHT SAY COULD RAISE REASONABLE DOUBT AND THUS REMOVE FROM ME THE AWFUL OBLIGATION TO VOTE FOR IMPEACHMENT LIKE EACH MEMBER OF THIS DELIBERATIVE BODY, I LOVE OUR COUNTRY I BELIEVE THAT OUR CONSTITUTION WAS INSPIRED BY PROVIDENCE I'M CONVINCED THAT FREEDOM ITSELF IS DEPENDENT ON THE STRENGTH AND VITALITY OF OUR NATIONAL CHARACTER

AS IT IS WITH EACH SENATOR, MY VOTE IS AN ACT OF CONVICTION WE'VE COME TO DIFFERENT CONCLUSIONS, FELLOW SENATORS, BUT I TRUST WE HAVE ALL FOLLOWED THE DICTATES OF OUR CONSCIENCE I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT MY VERDICT WILL NOT REMOVE THE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE THE RESULTS OF THIS SENATE COURT WILL IN FACT BE APPEALED TO A HIGHER COURT, THE JUDGMENT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE VOTERS WILL MAKE THE FINAL DECISION JUST AS THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS HAVE IMPLORED

MY VOTE WILL LIKELY BE IN THE MINORITY IN THE SENATE BUT IRRESPECTIVE OF THESE THINGS, WITH MY VOTE I WILL TELL MY CHILDREN, THEIR CHILDREN, THAT I DID MY DUTY TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY BELIEVING THAT MY COUNTRY EXPECTED IT OF ME I WILL ONLY BE ONE NAME AMONG MANY, NO MORE, NO LESS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS WHO LOOK AT THE RECORD OF THIS TRIAL THEY WILL NOTE MERELY THAT I WAS AMONG THE SENATORS WHO DETERMINED THAT WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID WAS WRONG, GRIEVOUSLY WRONG WE ARE ALL FOOTNOTES AT BEST IN THE ANNALS OF HISTORY BUT IN THE MOST POWERFUL NATION ON EARTH, THE NATION CONCEIVED IN LIBERTY AND JUSTICE, THAT DISTINCTION IS ENOUGH FOR ANY CITIZEN

THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT I YIELD THE FLOOR A SENATOR: MR PRESIDENT

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA MR SCOTT: THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, WE HAVE HEARD A LOT OF ARGUMENTS, ACT — ACCUSATIONS AND ANECDOTES

VERY SKILLED SPEAKERS ON BOTH SIDES HAVE PRESENTED THEIR CASE FOR AND AGAINST POA I LISTENED INTENTLY HOUR AFTER HOUR, DAY AFTER DAY, TO THE HOUSE MANAGERS AND THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS AND THE WORD THAT KEPT COMING TO ME, THAT I KEPT WRITING DOWN IN MY NOTES WAS FAIRNESS, BECAUSE YOU SEE HERE IN AMERICA, YOU ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY AS THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE TEAM NOTED, AT THE FOUNDATION OF THOSE AUTHENTIC FORMS OF JUSTICE IS FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS IT'S PLAYING BY THE RULES

IT'S WHY WE DON'T ALLOW DEFLATED FOOTBALLS OR STEALING SIGNS FROM THE FIELD RULES ARE RULES THEY'RE THERE TO BE FOLLOWED YOU CAN CREATE ALL THE RHETORICAL IMAGERY IN THE WORLD, BUT WITHOUT THE FACTS PROVING GUILT, IT DOESN'T MEAN A THING THEY CAN SAY THE PRESIDENT CANNOT BE TRUSTED, BUT WITHOUT PROVING WHY HE CAN'T BE TRUSTED, THEIR WORDS ARE JUST EMPTY POLITICAL ATTACKS

YOU CAN SPEAK OF DAVID VERSUS GOLIATH, BUT IF YOU WERE THE ONE TRYING TO SUBVERT THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE, IF YOU WERE THE ONE TRYING TO WILL FACTS INTO EXISTENCE, YOU ARE NOT DAVID YOU HAVE BECOME GOLIATH OUR JOB HERE IN THE SENATE IS TO ENSURE A FAIR TRIAL BASED ON THE EVIDENCE GATHERED BY THE HOUSE I HAVE BEEN ACCUSED, AS HAVE MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES, OF NOT WANTING THAT FAIR TRIAL THE EXACT OPPOSITE IS TRUE

WE HAVE ENSURED A FAIR TRIAL IN THE SENATE AFTER HOUSE DEMOCRATS ABUSED HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS IN THEIR ZEAL TO IMPEACH A PRESIDENT THEY SIMPLY DO NOT LIKE DURING PRIOR IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS IN THE LAST 50 YEARS, LASTING AROUND 75 DAYS OR SO IN THE HOUSE, THE OPPOSING PARTY HAS ALLOWED WITNESSES AND THE ABILITY TO CROSS-EXAMINE THIS TIME, HOUSE REPUBLICANS WERE LOCKED OUT OF THE FIRST 71 OF 78 DAYS LET ME SAY THAT DIFFERENTLY THE ABILITY TO CROSS-EXAMINE THE WITNESSES THAT ARE COMING BEFORE THE HOUSE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS WERE NOT ALLOWED, THE PRESIDENT'S TEAM WAS NOT ALLOWED TO CROSS-EXAMINE THOSE WITNESSES

THE ABILITY TO CONTRADICT AND/OR TO CROSS-EXAMINE OR HAVE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE EVIDENCE AT THE FOUNDATION OF THE TRIAL, WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, REPUBLICANS, NOT ALLOWED THINK ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF DUE PROCESS THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS, PRESIDENT'S TEAM, NOT ALLOWED 71 OF 78 DAYS IN THE HOUSE THIS IS NOT A FAIR PROCESS

DOES THAT SOUND FAIR TO YOU? DEMOCRATS BEGAN TALKING ABOUT IMPEACHMENT WITHIN MONTHS OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ELECTION AND HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT THEIR NUMBER ONE GOAL, PERHAPS THEIR ONLY GOAL, HAS BEEN TO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE DOES THAT SOUND FAIR TO YOU? THEY HAVE SAID WE'RE GOING TO IMPEACH AND USED AN EXPLETIVE THEY HAVE SAID WE HAVE TO IMPEACH HIM OTHERWISE, HE IS GOING TO WIN THE ELECTION NOW, THAT MIGHT BE THE TRANSPARENCY WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR IN THIS PROCESS

THE REAL ROOT OR THE FOUNDATION OF WHY WE FOUND OURSELVES HERE FOR 60 HOURS OF TESTIMONY IT MIGHT BE BECAUSE, AS THEY HAVE SAID THEMSELVES, IF WE DON'T IMPEACH HIM, HE MIGHT JUST WIN WHAT AN AMAZING THOUGHT, THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND NOT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WOULD DECIDE THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT THAT THE HOUSE MANAGERS AND CONGRESS WOULD NOT REMOVE HIS NAME FROM THE BALLOT IN 2020, BUT WE WOULD ALLOW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO DECIDE THE FATE OF THIS PRESIDENT AND OF THE PRESIDENCY THEY DON'T GET IT

THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD BE AND ARE THE FINAL ARBITERS OF WHAT HAPPENS THEY WANT TO MAKE NOT ONLY THE PRESIDENT VULNERABLE, BUT THEY WANT TO MAKE REPUBLICAN SENATORS VULNERABLE SO THAT THEY CAN CONTROL THE MAJORITY OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE, BECAUSE THE FACTS ARE NOT WINNING FOR THEM THE FACTS ARE WINNING FOR US, BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE FACTS, THEY ARE NOT THEIR FACTS AND OUR FACTS THEY ARE JUST THE FACTS BUT WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM WATCHING THE HOUSE MANAGERS' VERY CONVINCING, VERY CONVINCING THEY WERE FOR THE FIRST DAY, AND AFTER THAT, WHAT WE REALIZED WAS SOME FACTS, MIXED WITH A LITTLE FICTION, LED TO 100% DECEPTION

YOU CANNOT MIX FACTS AND FICTION WITHOUT HAVING THE PREMISE OF DECEIVING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, AND THAT'S WHAT WE SAW HERE IN OUR CHAMBERS AND WHY IS THAT THE CASE? WELL, IT'S SIMPLE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE FACTS OF THIS PRESIDENCY, YOU COME TO A FEW CONCLUSIONS THAT ARE, IN FACT, INDISPUTABLE ONE OF THOSE CONCLUSIONS IS OUR ECONOMY IS BOOMING, AND IT'S NOT SIMPLY BOOMING FROM THE TOP IT'S WHEN YOU START LOOKING INTO THE CROSS, WHAT — THE BOTTOM 20% ARE SEEING INCREASES THAT THE TOP ARE NOT SEEING

SO THIS ECONOMY IS WORKING FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE AMERICANS, AND THAT'S CHALLENGING TO OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITIES AND THE LEGISLATION SUPPORTED BY THIS PRESIDENT IS BRINGING $67 BILLION OF PRIVATE SECTOR DOLLARS INTO THE MOST VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES, THAT IS CHALLENGING TO THE OTHER SIDE, BUT THOSE TWO ARE FACTS WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE ESSENCE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM AND MAKING COMMUNITIES SAFER AND HAVING A FAIRER JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR THOSE WHO ARE INCARCERATED, THAT IS CHALLENGING TO THE OTHER SIDE, BUT IT IS INDEED A FACT DRIVEN HOME BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND PRESIDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP AND THESE FACTS DO HAVE CONSEQUENCES, JUST LIKE ELECTIONS, AND OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE UNFORTUNATELY DECIDED THAT THEY COULD NOT BEAT THEM AT THE POLLS, GIVE CONGRESS AN OPPORTUNITY TO, IN FACT, IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT MY FRIENDS ON THE LEFT SIMPLY DON'T WANT A FAIR PROCESS

THIS PROCESS HAS LACKED FAIRNESS INSTEAD, THEY PAINT THEIR EFFORTS AS FIGHTING ON BEHALF OF DEMOCRACY WHEN, IN FACT, THEY ARE JUST WORKING ON BEHALF OF DEMOCRATS THAT'S NOT FAIR IT'S NOT WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE HOUSE MANAGERS SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN THE SENATE HAD TO PROTECT OUR NATION'S FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS, BUT THEY ARE SEEKING TO OVERTURN A FAIRLY WON ELECTION WITH ABSURD CHARGES

THE HOUSE MANAGERS SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT THE SENATE HAS TO ALLOW NEW WITNESSES SO AS TO MAKE THE SENATE TRIAL FAIR, BUT THEY DIDN'T BOTHER WITH THE NOTION OF FAIRNESS WHEN THEY WERE IN CHARGE IN THE HOUSE THEIR NOTION OF FAIRNESS IS TO GIVE THE PROSECUTION DO-OVERS AND EXTRA LATITUDE, BUT NOT THE DEFENDANTS ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, AND DEMOCRAT ACTIONS HAVE SAID ALL WE NEED TO HEAR LET'S VOTE NO ON THESE MOTIONS TODAY AND GIVE BACK TO WORKING — AND GET BACK TO WORKING FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MARYLAND

DELAWARE, SORRY MR COONS: MR PRESIDENT, THE LAST TIME THIS BODY, THE LAST TIME THE SENATE DEBATED THE FATE OF A PRESIDENCY IN THE CONTEXT OF IMPEACHMENT, THE LEGENDARY SENATOR FROM WEST VIRGINIA, ROBERT BYRD, ROSE AND SAID, I THINK MY COUNTRY SINKS BENEATH THE YOKE, IT WEEPS, IT BLEEDS AND EACH NEW DAY A GASH IS ADDED TO HER WOUNDS OUR COUNTRY TODAY, AS THEN, IS IN PAIN

WE ARE DEEPLY DIVIDED AND MOST DAYS IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WE HERE ARE THE ONCE WIELDING THE SHIV, NOT THE SOW THE FOUNDERS GAVE THE SENATE THE SOLE POWER TO TRY IMPEACHMENT BECAUSE AS ALEXANDER HAMILTON WROTE, WHERE ELSE IN THE SENATE COULD HAVE BEEN FOUND A TRIBUNAL SUFFICIENTLY DIGNIFIED OR SUFFICIENTLY IS INDEPENDENT? I WISH I COULD SAY WITH CONFIDENCE THAT WE HERE HAVE LIVED UP TO THE FAITH OUR FOUNDERS ENTRUSTED IN US UNFORTUNATELY, I FEAR IN THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL THE SENATE HAS FAILED AN HISTORIC TEST OF OUR ABILITY TO PUT COUNTRY OVER PARTY FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR DEMOCRACY HAS POSED A GRAVE THREAT TO OUR NATION SINCE ITS VERY FOUNDING

JAMES MADISON WROTE THAT IMPEACHMENT WAS AN IN INDISEXPENSABLE TRUST THE THREAT REMAINS GRAVE AND REAL TO THIS DAY IT IS UNI INDISPUTABLE THAT RUSSIA ATTACKED OUR 2016 ELECTION, INTERFERED IN IT BROADLY PRESIDENT TRUMP'S OWN F

BI DIRECTOR AND DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE HAVE WARNED US THAT THEY ARE INTENT IN INTERFERING IN OUR ELECTION THIS COMING FALL SO TO MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES, I HAVE FRANKLY FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WOULD CONTINUE TO SO FERVENTLY SUPPORT A PRESIDENT WHO HAS REPEATED LID AND PUBLICLY INVITED FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS DURING HIS 2016 CAMPAIGN, DONALD TRUMP LOOKED STRAIGHT INTO THE CAMERAS AT A PRESS CONFERENCE AND SAY, QUOTE, RUSSIA, IF YOU'RE LISTENING, I HOPE YOU'RE ABLE TO FIND SECRETARY CLINTON'S 30,000 E-MAILS

WE NOW KNOW WITHCEPTOR THAT RUSSIAN MILITARY — WE NOW KNOW WITH CERTAINTY THAT RUSSIAN MILITARY OFFICERS FIRST TRIED TO BREAK INTO THE SERVERS FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT VERY DAY THROUGHOUT HIS CAMPAIGN, PRESIDENT TRUMP PRAISED THE PUBLICATION OF E-MAILS THAT RUSSIAN HACKERS HAD STOLEN AND HE MERCILESSLY ATTACKED ROBERT MUELLER THROUGHOUT HIS INVESTIGATION INTO THE 2016 ELECTION AND ALLEGATIONS OF RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE NOW WE KNOW FOLLOWING THIS TRIAL THAT THE DAY AFTER SPECIAL COUNSEL MUELLER TESTIFIED ABOUT HIS INVESTIGATION TO THIS CONGRESS, PRESIDENT TRUMP ON A PHONE CALL WITH THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE ASKED FOR A FAVOR HE ASKED PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO ANNOUNCE AN INVESTIGATION OF HIS CHIEF POLITICAL RIVAL, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND HE ASKED FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO A RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY THEORY ABOUT THAT D

NC SERVER IN THE WEEKS AND THE MONTHS SINCE, HE HAS REPEATED THAT UKRAINE SHOULD INVESTIGATE HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS AND THAT CHINA SHOULD AS WELL DURING THE TRIAL HERE, AFTER THE HOUSE MANAGERS AND PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL MADE THEIR PRESENTATIONS, SENATORS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS

I ASKED A QUESTION OF THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS ABOUT A SENTENCE IN THEIR OWN TRIAL BRIEF, ONE THAT STATED, QUOTE, CONGRESS HAS FORBIDDEN FOREIGNERS' INVOLVEMENT IN AMERICAN ELECTIONS I SIMPLY ASKED WHETHER THE PRESIDENT'S OWN ATTORNEYS BELIEVE THEIR CLIENT, PRESIDENT TRUMP, AGREES WITH THAT STATEMENT AND THEY REFUSED TO CONFIRM THAT HE DOES AND HOW COULD THEY? WHEN HE HAS REPEATEDLY INVITED AND SOLICITED FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS SO TO MY COLLEAGUES, DO YOU DOUBT THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DID WHAT HE'S ACCUSED OF? DO YOU DOUBT HE WOULD DO IT AGAIN? DO YOU THINK FOR EVEN ONE MOMENT HE WOULD REFUSE THE HELP OF FOREIGN AGENCIES TO SMEAR ANY ONE OF US IF HE THOUGHT IT WAS IN HIS BEST POLITICAL INTERESTS? AND I HAVE TO ASK, WHAT BECOMES OF OUR DEMOCRACY WHEN ELECTIONS BECOME A NO-HOLDS-BARRED BLOOD SPORT, FROM OUR FOREIGN ADVERSARIES BECOME OUR ALLIES AND WHEN AMERICANS OF THE OPPOSING PARTY BECOME OUR ENEMIES? THROUGHOUT THIS TRIAL, I HAVE LISTENED TO THE ARGUMENTS OF THE HOUSE MANAGERS PROSECUTING THE CASE AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP AND OF THE ARGUMENTS OF COUNSEL DEFENDING THE PRESIDENT

I ENGAGED WITH COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE AND LISTENED TO THEIR POSITIONS THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL HAVE WARNED US OF DANGER IN PARTISAN IMPEACHMENTS THEY HAVE A CAUTIONED THAT ABUSE OF POWER, THE FIRST ARTICLE, IS A DIFFICULT STANDARD TO DEFINE THEY'VE EXPRESSED DEEP CONCERN ABOUT AN IMPEACHMENT CONDUCTED ON THE BRINK OF OUR NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION I UNDERSTAND THOSE CONCERNS AND EVEN SHARE SOME OF THEM

THE HOUSE MANAGERS, IN TURN, WARNED US THAT OUR PRESIDENT HAS DEMONSTRATED A PERILOUS WILLINGNESS TO SEEK FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS AND PRESENTED SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE THAT THE PRESIDENT WITHHELD FOREIGN AID FROM A VULNERABLE ALLY, NOT TO SERVE OUR NATIONAL INTEREST BUT A TACK A POLITICAL OPPONENT AND THEY DEMONSTRATED THE PRESIDENT HAGS CATEGORICALLY OBSTRUCTED CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS TO COVER CUP HIS MISCONDUCT THESE ARE SERIOUS DANGERS, TOO WE THEN ARE FACED WITH A CHOICE BETWEEN SERIOUS AND SIGNIFICANT DANGERS, AND AFTER LISTENING CLOSELY TO THE EVIDENCE, WEIGHING THE ARGUMENTS, AND REFLECTING ON MY CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND MY OATH TO DO IMPARTIAL JUSTICE, I HAVE DECIDED TODAY I WILL VOTE GUILTY ON BOTH ARTICLES I RECOGNIZE THAT MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE MADE UP THEIR MINDS

NO MATTER WHAT DECISION YOU'VE REACHED, I THINK IT IS A SAD DAY FOR OUR COUNTRY I MYSELF HAVE NEVER BEEN ON A CRUSADE TO IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP, AS HAS BEEN ALLEGED AGAINST ALL DEMOCRATS I'VE SOUGHT WAYS TO WORK ACROSS THE AISLE WITH HIS ADMINISTRATION, BUT IN THE YEARS THAT HAVE FOLLOWED HIS ELECTION, I'VE INCREASINGLY BECOME CONVINCED OUR PRESIDENT IS NOT JUST UNCONVENTIONAL, NOT JUST TESTING THE BOUNDARIES OF OUR NORMS AND TRADITIONS, HE IS AT TIMES UNMOORED FLUTE THIS TILE I HAVE HEARD FROM DELAWAREANS THAT THE SENATE REFUSED TO HEAR FROM WITNESSES OR SUBPOENA DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO UNCOVER ALL THE FACTS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S MISCONDUCT I'VE HEARD FROM DELAWAREANS WHO FEAR OUR PRESIDENT BELIEVES HE IS ABOVE THE LAW AND THAT HE ACTS AS IF HE IS THE LAW

I'VE ALSO HEARD FROM DELAWAREANS WHO JUST WANT US TO FIND A WAY TO WORK TOGETHER IT IS MY SINCERE REGRET THAT IN ALL THE TIME WE'VE SPENT TOGETHER WE COULD NOT FIND COMMON GROUND AT ALL FROM THE OPENING RESOLUTION THAT SET THE PROCEDURES FOR TRIAL ADOPTED ON A PARTY-LINE BASIS, THE MAJORITY LEADER REFUSED ALL ATTEMPTS TO MAKE THIS A MORE OPEN, MORE FAIR PROCESS EVERY DEMOCRAT WAS WILLING TO HAVE CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS RULE ON MOTIONS TO SUBPOENA RELEVANT WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS EVERY MEMBER OF THE OPPOSING PARTY REFUSED

WE COULD NOT EVEN FORGE A CONSENSUS TO CALL A SINGLE WITNESS WHO HAS SAID HE HAS FIRSTHAND EVIDENCE, IS WILLING TO TESTIFIED, AND WAS EVEN PREPARING TO APPEAR BEFORE US MR PRESIDENT, WHEN AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL BECOMES MEANINGLESS, WE CAN DAMAGED AND WEAKENED AS A BODY AND OUR CONSTITUTION SUFFERS IN WAYS NOT EASILY REPAIRED WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO HASN'T TURNED OVER A SINGLE SCRAP OF PAPER IN AN IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION UNLIKE PRESIDENTS NIXON AND CLINTON BEFORE HIM, WHO DIRECTED THEIR SENIOR ADVISORS AND CABINET OFFICIALS TO COOPERATE, PRESIDENT TRUMP STONEWALLED EVERY STEP OF THIS CONGRESS' IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, AND THEN PERSONAL A TACKED THOSE WHO COOPERATED

THE PEOPLE WHO TESTIFIED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN SPITE OF THE PRESIDENT'S ORDERS ARE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANTS AND DESERVE OUR THANKS, NOT CONDEMNATION WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? WELL, AFTER PRESIDENT CLINTON'S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, HE SAID, AND I QUOTE, THIS CAN BE AND MUST BE A TIME OF RECONCILIATION AND RENEWAL FOR OUR COUNTRY, AND HE APOLOGIZED FOR THE HARM HE'D DONE TO OUR NATION WHEN PRESIDENT NIXON ANNOUNCED HIS RESIGNATION, HE SAID THE FIRST ESSENTIAL IS TO BEGIN HEALING THE WOUNDS OF THIS NATION I WISH PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD USE THIS MOMENT TO BRING OUR COUNTRY TOGETHER, TO ASSURE US HE WOULD WORK TO MAKE THE 2020 ELECTION A FAIR CONTEST, THAT HE WOULD TELL RUSSIA AND CHINA TO STAY OUT OF OUR ELECTIONS, THAT HE WOULD TELL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHOMEVER HIS OPPONENT MIGHT BE, THE FIGHT WILL BE BETWEEN CANDIDATES, NOT FAMILIES, AND THAT IF HE LOSES, HE WILL LEAVE PEACEFULLY, IN A DIG NIGHIFIED MANNER, AND THAT IF HE WINS, HE WILL WORK TIRELESSLY TO BE THE PRESIDENT FOR ALL PEOPLE BUT AT THIS POINT, SOME MIGHT SUGGEST IT WOULD BE HOPELESSLY NAIVE TO EXPECT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP THAT HE WOULD APOLOGIZE FOR STRIVE TO HEAL OUR COUNTRY OR DO THE IMPORTANT WORK OF SAFEGUARDING OUR NEXT ELECTION

AND SO THAT FALLS TO US, TO MY COLLEAGUES, WHO'VE CONCLUDED IMPEACHMENT IS TOO HEAVY A HAMMER TO WIELD, IF YOU BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD DECIDE THE FATE OF THIS PRESIDENT IN THE NEXT ELECTION, WHAT WILL YOU DO TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY? WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ENSURE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE LEARN THE TRUTH OF WHAT HAPPENED SO THAT THEY CAN CAST INFORMED VOTES? WILL YOU COSPONSOR BILLS TO SECURE OUR ELECTIONS? WILL YOU INSIST THEY RECEIVE VOTES ON THIS FLOOR? WILL YOU EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY THAT IS WORKING TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY SAFE? WILL YOU ENSURE WHISTLE-BLOWERS WHO EXPOSE CORRUPTION ARE PROTECTED, NOT VILIFIED? WILL YOU PRESS THIS ADMINISTRATION TO COOPERATE WITH INVESTIGATIONS, TO ALLOW MEANINGFUL ACCOMMODATIONS SO THAT CONGRESS CAN HAVE ITS POWER OF OVERSIGHT? WHY CAN WE NOT DO THIS TOGETHER? EACH DAY OF THIS TRIAL, WE SAID THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO OUR COMMON NATION FOR MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS WHO HAVE CONCLUDED THE VOTERS SHOULD DECIDE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FATE, WE NEED TO DO MORE TOGETHER TO MAKE THAT POSSIBLE AND MANY OF MY DEMOCRATIC FRIENDS, I KNOW, ARE POISED TO DO THEIR VERY BEST TO DEFEAT PRESIDENT TRUMP AT THE BALLOT BOX SO HERE IS MY PLEA — THAT WE WOULD FIND WAYS TO WORK TOGETHER TO DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY AND SAFEGUARD OUR NEXT ELECTION WE HAVE SPENT MORE TIME TOGETHER HERE IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS THAN IN THE LAST FEW YEARS

IMAGINE IF WE DEDICATED THAT SAME TIME TO PASSING THE DOZENS OF BIPARTISAN BILLS THAT HAVE COME OVER FROM THE HOUSE THAT ARE WAITING ACTION IMAGINE WHAT WE COULD ACCOMPLISH FOR OUR STATES AND OUR COUNTRY IF WE ACTUALLY TACKLED THE CHALLENGES OF AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE AND ENDING THE OPIOID CRISIS, OF MAKING OUR SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES SAFER AND BRIDGING OUR PROFOUND DISAGREEMENTS WHAT FILLS ME WITH DREAD, TO MY COLLEAGUES, IS EACH DAY WE COME TO THIS FLOOR AND TALK PAST EACH OTHER, NOT TO EACH OTHER, AND FAIL TO HELP OUR CONSTITUENTS LET ME CLOSE BY PARAPHRASING OUR CHAPLAIN CHAPLAIN BLACK, WHOSE DAILY PRAYERS BROUGHT MY GREAT STRENGTH IN RECENT WEEKS

MAY WE WORK TOGETHER TO BRING PEACE AND UNITY MAY WE PERMIT GODLINESS TO MAKE US BOLD AS LIONS MAY WE SEE A CLEAR VISION OF OUR LORD'S DESIRES FOR OUR NATION AND REMEMBER WE BORROW OUR HEARTBEATS FROM OUR CREATOR EACH DAY THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT

I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT MY STATEMENT BE PRINTED IN THE TRIAL RECORD THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MR GARDNER: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO

MR GARDNER: THANK YOU, MR PRESIDENT OVER THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, SEVERAL WEEKS, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE WATCHED WASHINGTON CONVULSE IN PARTISAN ACCUSATIONS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND ENDLESS ACRIMONY THAT DIVISION REACHED ITS HIGH WATERMARK AS THE UNITED STATES SENATE CARRIED OUT THE THIRD PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY

WE SAW OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS AN IMPEACHMENT PROCESS THAT INCLUDED THE TESTIMONY OF 17 WITNESSES, MORE THAN 100 HOURS OF TESTIMONY, AND TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF EVIDENCE, RECORDS, AND DOCUMENTS, WHICH I SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT TO MAKE PART OF THE RECORD I FOUGHT HARD TO EXTEND THE DURATION OF TESTIMONY TO ENSURE THAT EACH SIDE COULD BE HEARD OVER SIX DAYS INSTEAD OF JUST FOUR BUT WHAT WE DID NOT SEE OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS WAS A CONCLUSIVE REASON TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AN ACT WHICH WOULD NULLIFY THE 2016 ELECTION AND ROB HALF THE COUNTRY OF THEIR PREFERRED CANDIDATE FOR THE 2020 ELECTION HOUSE MANAGERS REPEATEDLY STATED THAT THEY HAD ESTABLISHED OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE AND AIRTIGHT CASE TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT

THEY ALSO CLAIMED THEY NEEDED ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATION AND TESTIMONY A CASE CAN'T BE BOTH OVERWHELMING AND AIRTIGHT AND INCOMPLETE AT THE SAME TIME THAT CONTRADICTION IS NOT MERE SEMANTICS IN THEIR PARTISAN RACE TO IMPEACH, THE HOUSE FAILED TO DO THE FUNDAMENTAL WORK REQUIRED TO PROVE ITS CASE, TO MEET THE HEAVY BURDEN FOR THE SENATE TO IGNORE THIS DEFICIENCY AND CONDUCT ITS OWN INVESTIGATION WOULD WEAPONIZE THE IMPEACHMENT POWER

A HOUSE MEMBER COULD DEMAND THAT DEMAND THE SENATE COMPLETE THE HOUSE'S WORK THE FOUNDERS WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS VERY POINT ALEXANDER HAMILTON WROTE REGARDING IMPEACHMENTS AND I QUOTE, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THE GREATEST DANGER THAT THE DECISION WILL BE REGULATED MORE BY THE COMPARATIVE STRENGTH OF PARTIES THAN BY REAL DEMONSTRATIONS OF INNOCENCE OR GUILT MORE RECENTLY CONGRESSMAN JERRY NADLER ONE OF THE HOUSE MANAGERS IN THE TRIAL SAID THERE MUST NEVER BE A NARROWLY VOTED IMPEACHMENT AND ONE THAT IS LARGELY OPPOSED BY THE OTHER

SUCH IMPEACHMENT WOULD LACK LEGITIMACY LAST MARCH SPEAKER PELOSI SAID IMPEACHMENT IS SO DIVISIVE TO THE COUNTRY THAT UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING SO COMPELLING AND OVERWHELMING AND BIPARTISAN, I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD GO DOWN THAT PATH BECAUSE IT DIVIDES THE COUNTRY THE FRAMERS KNEW THAT PARTISAN IMPEACHMENTS COULD LEAD TO IMPEACHMENTS OVER POLICY DISAGREEMENTS LEGAL SCHOLAR LIKE CHARLES BLACK HAVE WRITTEN THAT POLICY DIFFERENCES ARE NOT GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT BUT POLICY DIFFERENCES ABOUT CORRUPTION AND PROPER USE OF TAX DOLLARS ARE AT THE HEART OF IMPEACHMENT

NEVERTHELESS, THAT DISAGREEMENT LED THE HOUSE TO DEPLOY THIS MOST SERIOUS OF CONSTITUTIONAL REMEDIES THE REASON THE FRAMERS WERE CONCERNED ABOUT POLICY IMPEACHMENTS WAS THEIR CONCERN FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ROSMING A PRESIDENT DISENFRANCHISES THE AMERICAN FOR A SENATE OF 100 PEOPLE TO DO THAT REQUIRES A GENUINE, BIPARTISAN, NATIONAL CONSENSUS HERE, ESPECIALLY ONLY NINE MONTHS BEFORE AN ELECTION, I CANNOT PRETEND THE PEOPLE WILL ACCEPT THIS BODY REMOVING A PRESIDENT WHO RECEIVED NEARLY 63 MILLION VOTES WITHOUT MEETING THAT HIGH BURDEN THE HOUSE MANAGERS' OTHER ARGUMENT TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT, OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS, IS AN AFFRONT TO THE CONSTITUTION THE FRAIRMTS CREATED A SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT IN A WAY THE LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE, AND JUDICIARY ARE EVENLY BALANCED

ALL THREE ARE SEPARATE BUT EQUAL, EMPOWERED TO CHECK EACH OTHER THE OBSTRUCTION CHARGE ASSUMES THE HOUSE IS SUPERIOR TO THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IN THEIR ZEAL, THE HOUSE MANAGERS WOULD DISEMPOWER THE JUDICIARY AND DEMAND THAT THE HOUSE'S WOULD BE ACCEPTED BY THE SENATE AND THE OTHER BRANCHES WITHOUT EXCEPTION THEY CLAIM NO CONSTITUTIONAL — AGAINST THE LEGISLATURE SEEKING IMPEACHMENT THEY CLAIM THAT A SINGLE JUSTICE, A SINGLE JUSTICE EXERCISING THE SENATE'S SOLE POWER TO TRY IMPEACHMENTS CAN STRIP THE EXECUTIVE OF ITS CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS WITH A SIMPLE DECREE IN FEDERALIST 78, HAMILTON WROTE, LIBERTY CAN HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THE JUDICIARY ALONE, BUT WOULD HAVE EVERYTHING TO FEAR FROM ITS UNION WITH EITHER OF THE OTHER DEPARTMENTS

IF THE HOUSE MANAGERS PREVAIL, THE HOUSE WOULD HAVE DESTROYED OUR CONSTITUTIONAL BALANCE, DECLARING ITSELF THE ARBITER OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AN CONSCRIPTING THE CHIEF JUSTICE TO DO IT TO BE CLEAR, THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IS NOT IMMUNE FROM LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT OR IMPEACHMENT AND TRIAL BUT THANT COME AT THE EXPENSE — BUT THAT CANNOT COME WITHOUT EXPENSE OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS MABURYV] MADISON, WITHOUT THIS SEPARATION NOTHING STOPS THE HOUSE FROM SEEKING PRIVILEGED INFORMATION UNDER THE GUYS OF AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, BUT THE HOUSE MANAGERS SAY NO MATTER HOW FLIMSY THE HOUSE'S CASE, IF THE EXECUTIVE TRIES TO PROTECT THAT INFORMATION CONSTITUTIONALLY, THAT ITSELF IS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DANGEROUS PRECEDENT WOULD WEAKEN THE STABILITY OF GOVERNMENT, CONSTANTLY THREATENING THE PRESIDENT WITH REMOVAL AND SETTING THE STAGE FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS WITHOUT RECOURSE TO THE COURTS

WITH THIS PRECEDENT SET, THE SEPARATION OF POWERS WOULD SIMPLY CEASE TO EXIST OVER THE 244 YEAR HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY, NO PRESIDENT HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM OFFICE THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT OCCURRED IN 1868 THE NEXT WAS MORE THAN 100 YEARS LATER NOW 50% OF PRESIDENTS HAVE BEEN IMPEACHED IN THE LAST 25 YEARS ALONE

A TOOL SO RARELY USED IN THE PAST IS NOW BEING USED MORE FREQUENTLY IT'S A DANGEROUS DEVELOPMENT AND THE SENATE STANDS AS THE SAFEGUARD AS PASSIONS GROW EVEN MORE HEATED THESE DEFECTIVE ARTICLES AND THE DEFECTIVE PROCESS LEADING TO THEM ALLOW THE HOUSE TO MUDDY THINGS AND CLAIM WE'RE SETTING A DESTRUCTIVE PRECEDENT FOR THE FUTURE OF COURSE, BAD CASES MAKE BAD LAW THE HOUSE'S DECISION TO SHORT CIRCUIT THE INVESTIGATION, MOVING FASTER THAN ANY OTHER IMPEACHMENT AND A WHOLLY PARTISAN ONE AT THAT, CERTAINLY MAKE FOR BAD CASE

SO, AGAIN, LET ME BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THIS PRECEDENT DOES NOT DO AT THE OUTSET, THIS CASE DOES NOT SAY THAT THE PRESIDENT CAN DO ANYTHING HE WANTS HE BELIEVES IT TO BE IN HIS ELECTORAL INTEREST I ALSO REJECT THE CLAIM THAT IMPEACHMENT REQUIRES CRIMINAL CONDUCT HOUSE COMMITTEES CANNOT ASSUME THE IMPEACHMENT POWER TO COMPEL EVIDENCE WITHOUT EXPRESS AUTHORITY FROM THE FULL BODY SECOND, THE HOUSE SHOULD WORK IN GOOD FAITH WITH THE EXECUTIVE THROUGH THE ACCOMMODATION PROCESS

IF THAT PROCESS REACHES AN IMPASSE, THE HOUSE SHOULD SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH BEFORE TURNING TO IMPEACHMENT FINALLY, WHEN ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT COME TO THE SENATE ALONG PARTISAN LINES WITH NEARLY HALF OF THE PEOPLE APPEAR UNMOVED AND MAINTAIN SUPPORT FOR THE PRESIDENT AND WHEN THE COUNTRY IS JUST MONTHS AWAY FROM AN ELECTION, IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WOULD LIKELY NOT ACCEPT REMOVING THE PRESIDENT AND THE SENATE CAN WISELY DECLINE TO USURP THE PEOPLE'S POWER TO ELECT THEIR OWN PRESIDENT IT HAS BEEN SAID IN THIS TRIAL, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CANNOT MAKE THAT DECISION FOR THEMSELVES I COULDN'T DISAGREE MORE I BELIEVE IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

I BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF OUR PEOPLE TO EVALUATE THE PRESIDENT TO MAKE THEIR DECISION IN NOVEMBER AND TO MOVE FORWARD IN OUR ENDURING EFFORT TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION I DO NOT BELIEVE A SENATE NULLIFICATION OF TWO ELECTIONS OVER DEFECTIVE IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES IS IN THE NATION'S BEST INTEREST SO LET'S MOVE FORWARD WITH THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS AND BRING THIS NATION BACK TOGETHER LET'S RISE UP TOGETHER, NOT FIGHT EACH OTHER, NOT ALL OF US VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP, NOT ALL OF US VOTED FOR THE LAST PRESIDENT OR THE ONE BEFORE HIM YET, WE SHOULD WORK TO MAKE OUR NATION SUCCESSFUL REGARDLESS OF PARTISAN PASSIONS

PASSION POSITIVELY PLACED WILL PROVIDE OUR NATION WITH THE PROSPERITY IT HAS AS YOU BEEN BLESSED WITH PARTISAN POISON WILL PROVE DEVASTATING TO OUR NATION'S LONG-TERM PROSPERITY WE MUST NOT ALLOW OUR FRACTURES TO DESTROY OUR NATIONAL FABRIC OR PARTISANSHIP TO DESTROY OUR FRIENDSHIPS IF WE COME TOGETHER, WE WILL SUCCEED TOGETHER FOR SURELY WE ARE BOUND TOGETHER IN THIS THE GREAT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA MR

PRESIDENT, I ASK THIS BE INCLUDED IN THE TRIAL RECORD AND I YIELD THE FLOOR MR LEAHY: MR PRESIDENT, TODAY WE FACE A CRUCIAL TEST, WHETHER THE SENATE WILL RISE TO SERVE AS A CHECK ON EXECUTIVE ABUSESES THAT OUR FOUNDERS EXPECTED IT TO BE BUT TODAY, AND THROUGHOUT THIS TRIAL, I'M SAD TO SAY WE'RE FAILING THIS TEST

AFTER WE'VE BEEN CONFRONTED WITH OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE OF A BRAZEN ABUSE OF EXECUTIVE POWER AND EQUALLY BRAZEN ATTEMPT TO KEEP THAT SCHEME HIDDEN FROM CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THE SENATE IS POISED TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY, TO PRETEND THE SENATE HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY, TO REVEAL THE PRESIDENT'S MISCONDUCT, AND GOD FORBID, HOLD HIM TO ACCOUNT INSTEAD WE ARE BEING TOLD THE SENATE HAS NO CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE TO PLAY WE'RE TOLD ONLY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD JUDGE THE PRESIDENT'S MISCONDUCT IN THE NEXT ELECTION THIS, DESPITE THE FACT THE PRESIDENT PRESIDENT'S SCHEME WAS AIMED AT CHEATING IN THAT VERY NEXT ELECTION AND NOW THE SENATE IS CEMENTING A COVER-UP OF THE PRESIDENT'S MISCONDUCT TO KEEP HIS EXTENT HIDDEN FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

I'VE BEEN HERE 45 YEARS AND I THINK HOW FAR THE SENATE HAS FALLEN IN SOME WAYS PRESIDENT NIXON'S MISCONDUCT, A DIRECT BREAK-IN INTO THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS SEEMS QUAINT COMPARED TO TODAY AS CHARGED IN ARTICLE 1, PRESIDENT TRUMP SECRETLY DIRECTED A SWEEPING ILLEGAL SCHEME TO WITHHOLD $400 MILLION IN MILITARY AID FROM AN ALLY AT WAR IN ORDER TO EXTORT THAT ALLY INTO ANNOUNCING INVESTIGATIONS INTO HIS POLITICAL OPPONENT IN A WAY THAT WOULD BOOST PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ELECTION PRESIDENT TRUMP ATTEMPTED TO HIDE EVERY SINGLE RECORD FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AS WE LOOKED IN ARTICLE 2, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS THE DISTINCTION OF BEING THE ONLY PRESIDENT — THE ONLY PRESIDENT IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY TO DIRECT ALL EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIALS NOT TO COOPERATE WITH A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION

SO I WANT TO BE CLEAR I DON'T RELISH THE PROSPECT OF AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL I HAVE STARK DISAGREEMENTS WITH THIS PRESIDENT ON ISSUES OF POLICY, ON THE LAW, ON MORALITY AND HONESTY, BUT IT'S FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO JUDGE A PRESIDENT ON THOSE MATTERS TODAY IS NOT ABOUT POLICY DIFFERENCES, IT'S ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS AND THE CONSTITUTION — THE CONSTITUTION CANNOT PROTECT ITSELF WE'RE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT IT

THE CENTRAL ARGUMENTS PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE TEAM WERE STUDYING NOT UNLIKE KING LOUIS XIIII WHO DECLARED I AM THE STATE THE PRESIDENT ARGUES HE CAN ABUSE HIS POWER SO LONG AS HE BELIEVES HIS REELECTION IS IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST HE EVEN ARGUES HE CAN REQUEST FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS TO DIG UP DIRT FROM POLITICAL OPPONENTS WITH IMPUNITY ALL OF US SHOULD REJECT THE PRESIDENT'S ARGUMENT, BUT AN ACQUITTAL WILL DO JUST THE OPPOSITE IF YOU BELIEVE THESE OUTLANDISH ARGUMENTS ARE IRRELEVANT AFTER TODAY, REMEMBER THIS, THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL CLAIMS THAT THE — IT IS LARGELY AND MISTAKENLY BASED ON THE ARGUMENT OF OTHER COUNSEL, BENJAMIN CURTIS DEFENDING PRESIDENT JOHNSON, THAT WAS 150 YEARS AGO

AN ACQUITTAL TODAY DESPITE THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE OF GUILT AND FOLLOWING A SHAM OF A TRIAL MAY FUNDAMENTALLY DISTORT OUR SYSTEM'S CHECKS AND BALANCES FOR ANOTHER 150 YEARS WHAT A SHAM TRIAL IT WAS, THE FACT THAT THIS BODY WOULD NOT CALL A UNIQUELY CRITICAL WITNESS, JOHN BOLTON, AND ANOTHER ONE, IS OUTRAGEOUS IS IT BECAUSE DETAILING THIS CORRUPT SCHEME NO MATTER HOW DAMNING WOULD NOT ALTER THE MAJORITY LEADER'S PREORDAINED ACQUITTAL? IT'S OFTEN SAID THAT HISTORY IS WATCHING AND I EXPECT THAT'S TRUE AT THIS MOMENT WE'RE NOT MERELY WITNESSES TO HISTORY, WE'RE IN IT

LET ME TELL YOU THE DARK CHAPTER WE ASCRIBING GEORGE WASHINGTON WARNED US FOREIGN INFLUENCE IS A FOE OF THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT AS A CANDIDATE PRESIDENT TRUMP FAMOUSLY REQUESTED A — A FOREIGN FOE, RUSSIA, TO HACK HIS POLITICAL OPPONENT'S E-MAIL AND HOURS LATER RUSSIA DID AND LITERALLY THE DAY AFTER THAT, IT FINALLY CAME TO A CLOSE, THE PRESIDENT ASKED THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FOR A QUOTE, FAVOR HE HAS SINCE PUBLICLY REPEATED HIS REQUEST FOR UKRAINE TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTION, HE MADE THE SAME REQUEST TO CHINA

IF WE ACQUIT PRESIDENT TRUMP TODAY, WHAT WILL HE DO TOMORROW? TWO THINGS I'M CONFIDENT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S WILLINGNESS TO ABUSE HIS OFFICE, HIS EAGERNESS TO EXPLOIT FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS WILL ONLY GROW AND CONGRESS' CAPACITY TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT WILL BE CRIPPLED WHILE THE PRESIDENT'S LAWYERS STOOD ON THE SENATE FLOOR AND ADMONISHED THE HOUSE MANAGERS FOR FAILING TO LITIGATE EACH SUBPOENA IN COURT TO EXHAUSTION, HE HAD OTHER LAWYERS IN COURT MAKING THE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE ARGUMENT THAT THE JUDGES SETTLE THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO BRANCHES SUCH DUPLICITY WOULD PUT THE TWO-FACED GOD TO SHAME TODAY WE INFLICT GRAVE DAMAGE ON OUR POWER OF THE PURSE

I SEE THE CHAIRMAN OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE FLOOR I'M THE VICE CHAIRMAN OF APPROPRIATIONS MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE ARE THE GUARDIANS OF THIS BODY'S POWER OF THE PURSE GRANTED EXCLUSIVELY BY THE FOUNDERS OF THE CONGRESS TO COUNTER ALL THE OVERGROWN PREROGATIVES OF THE OTHER BRANCHES IF WE FAIL TO HOLD PRESIDENT TRUMP ACCOUNTABLE FOR ILLEGALLY FREEZING MILITARY AID TO EXTRACT A PERSONAL FAVOR, WHAT WOULD STOP ANY FUTURE PRESIDENT FROM HOLDING ANY PART OF THE $47 TRILLION BUDGET HOSTAGE FOR THEIR PERSONAL WHIMS? AND THE ANSWER IS SNOWING

WE WILL HAVE — THE ANSWER IS NOTHING WE WILL HAVE RELINQUISHED THE CHECK THE FOUNDERS ENTRUSTED US TO ENSURE THE PRESIDENT COULD NEVER BEHAVE LIKE A KING DECADES AGO I QUESTIONED WHETHER IMPEACHMENT WOULD BE ACCEPTED IF NOT BIPARTISAN, BUT THE ARGUMENT THE OTHER SIDE HAS REVEALED ITSELF TO BE PAINFULLY FLAWED IN 1974 REPUBLICANS CONVINCED PRESIDENT NIXON TO RESIGN IN 1999 DEMOCRATS CONDEMNED PRESIDENT CLINTON'S PRIVATE MISCONDUCT AND SUPPORTED A CENSURE

IN CONTRAST WITH ONE IMPORTANT EXCEPTION, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SUPPORTERS HAVE THUS FAR SHOWN NO LIMITS IN THE TOLERANCE OF OVERWHELMING MISCONDUCT BEFORE I CLOSE, I WANT TO THANK THE BRAVE INDIVIDUALS WHO SHARED THEIR TESTIMONY WITH THE HOUSE AND AMERICAN PEOPLE EACH WITNESS STEPPED FORWARD DESPITE KNOWING THE DISGRACEFUL ATTACKS THEY WOULD ENDURE, AND WE OWE THEM OUR APPRECIATION THEY ACTUALLY GIVE US HOPE FOR TOMORROW BUT TODAY, TODAY'S A DARK DAY

AND WHAT BOTHERS ME MOST IS THIS, WE'RE CURRENTLY ON A DANGEROUS ROAD NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THAT ROAD IS GOING TO TAKE US THE NOTION THE PRESIDENT LEARNED HIS LESSON IS FARCICAL HIS LEAD COUNSEL OPENED AND CLOSED THE TRIAL BY CLAIMING THE PRESIDENT DID NOTHING WRONG THE PRESIDENT DESCRIBED HIS ACTIONS AS PERFECT

ON 75 SEPARATE OCCASIONS, INCLUDING YESTERDAY, HE'S CLAIMED HE'S DONE NOTHING WRONG LORD HELP US IF THE SENATE AGREES BECAUSE THE ONLY LESSON THE PRESIDENT HAS LEARNED FROM THIS TRIAL IS HOW EASILY HE CAN GET AWAY WITH EGREGIOUS, ILLEGAL MISCONDUCT THE SENATE DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THE GRAVITY OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S VIOLATION OF THE PUBLIC TRUST AS DEFINED AS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE, WE'VE ONLY SEEN A PREVIEW OF WHAT'S TO COME, DISREGARD OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL POWER OF THE PURSE, OPEN, FLAGRANT CORRUPTION THAT'S THE TRAGIC RESULT OF THE SENATE FAILING AT ITS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY WITH NO CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUNAL TO WHICH HE IS AMENABLE, NO PUNISHMENT TO WHICH HE COULD BE SUBJECTED WITHOUT INVOLVING THE CRISIS OF A NATIONAL REVOLUTION

I QUOTE HAMILTON AS HAMILTON WARNED, THAT WOULD NOT BE A PRESIDENT THAT WOULD BE A KING I'M PROUD TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY THAT ELECTS PRESIDENTS, NOT KINGS I FOR ONE WILL NOT MERELY GET OVER IT

PRESIDENT TRUMP DIRECTED THE MOST IMPEACHABLE, CORRUPT SCHEME BY ANY PRESIDENT IN THIS COUNTRY'S HISTORY TO PROTECT OUR REPUBLIC, TO SAFEGUARD OUR SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES, MY OATH WHICH I TAKE SERIOUSLY COMPELS ME TO HOLD THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ACCOUNTABLE I WILL VOTE TO CONVICT AND REMOVE PRESIDENT DONALD J TRUMP FROM OFFICE MR

PRESIDENT, BEFORE YIELDING THE FLOOR, I ASK MY FULL STATEMENT AND MY JANUARY 31 STATEMENT REGARDING THE VOTE ON WITNESSES BE INCLUDED IN THE TRIAL RECORD THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION A SENATOR: MR PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA

MR SHELBY: MR PRESIDENT, OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS MY COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE PATIENTLY LISTENED TO ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH THE HOUSE MANAGERS AND THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL RIGHT HERE IN THE SENATE REGARDING A GRAVE ALLEGATION FROM THE HOUSE THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS COMMITTED AN ACT WORTHY OF IMPEACHMENT AS A SENATOR, MR PRESIDENT, I BELIEVE THAT THE FIRST AND PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IS WHETHER ABUSE OF POWER AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS ARE IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES AS ASSERTED BY OUR HOUSE MANAGERS

IMPEACHMENT IS A NECESSARY AND ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF OUR CONSTITUTION IT SERVES AS AN IMPORTANT CHECK ON CIVIL OFFICERS WHO COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES HOWEVER, OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WERE WISE TO ENSURE THAT THE IMPEACHMENT AND THE CONVICTION OF A SITTING PRESIDENT WOULD NOT BE OF PARTISAN INTENT SINCE PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK OFFICE, MANY HAVE SOUGHT TO DE LEGITIMIZE HIS PRESIDENCY WITH PARTISAN ATTACKS WE'VE HEARD THIS RIGHT HERE IN THE SENATE AND WE'VE EXPERIENCED IT

THIS EXTREME EFFORT TO UNSEAT THE PRESIDENT I BELIEVE IS UNJUSTIFIED AND INTOLERABLE NOW THAT THE SENATE HAS HEARD AND STUDIED THE ARGUMENTS FROM BOTH SIDES, I BELIEVE THE LACK OF MERIT IN THE HOUSE MANAGERS' CASE IS EVIDENT THE OUTCOME OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IS A FOREGONE CONCLUSION ACQUITTAL IS A JUDGMENT THE SENATE SHOULD AND I BELIEVE WILL RENDER, AND SOON FOR MY PART, I HAVE WEIGHED THE HOUSE MANAGERS' CASE AND FOUND IT WANTING IN FUNDAMENTAL ASPECTS I WILL TRY TO EXPLAIN

I BELIEVE, MR PRESIDENT, THAT THEIR CASE DOES NOT ALLEGE AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE EVEN IF THE FACTS ARE AS THEY HAVE STATED, THE MANAGERS HAVE FAILED, I BELIEVE, AS A MATTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW TO MEET THE EXCEEDINGLY HIGH BAR FOR REMOVAL OF THE PRESIDENT AS ESTABLISHED BY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS, THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION IN THEIR WISDOM, THE FRAMERS REJECTED VAGUE GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT, OFFENSIVE LIKE WE'VE HEARD HERE, MALADMINISTRATION, FOR FEAR THAT IT WOULD, IN THE WORDS OF MADISON, RESULT IN A PRESIDENTIAL P TENURE DURING THE PLEASURE OF THE SENATE ABUSE OF POWER, ONE OF THE CHARGES PUT FORWARD HERE BY THE HOUSE MANAGERS, IS A CONCEPT AS VAGUE AND SUSCEPTIBLE TO ABUSE, I BELIEVE, AS MALADMINISTRATION

IF YOU TAKE JUST A MINUTE OR TWO TO LOOK AT THE DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE AND MAL, THEY DRAW DISTINCT SIMILARITIES, MAL A PREFICTION OF LATIN ORIGIN, MEANS BAD, EVIL, WRONG ABUSE, ALSO OF LATIN ORIGIN, MEANS TO WRONGLY USE, OR TO USE FOR A BAD EFFECT THERE'S A KINSHIP BETWEEN MAL AND ABUSE AS THE FRAMERS REJECTED IN THEIR WISDOM MALADMINISTRATION, I BELIEVE THAT THEY TOO WOULD REJECT THE NONCRIMINAL ABUSE OF POWER INSTEAD THE FRAMERS, AS THE PRESIDING OFFICER KNOWS, THE FRAMERS PROVIDED FOR IMPEACHMENT ONLY IN A LIMITED, IN A FEW LIMITED CASES

TREASON, BRIBERY, AND HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS ONLY THOSE OFFENSIVE JUSTIFY TAKING THE DIRE MOVE, DIRE STEP OF REMOVING A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE AND PERMANENTLY TAKING HIS NAME OFF THE BALLOT THIS INSTITUTION, THE US SENATE, I BELIEVE, SHOULD NOT LOWER THE CONSTITUTIONAL BAR AND AUTHORIZE THEIR THEORY OF IMPEACHMENT FOR ABUSE OF POWER

IT'S SIMPLY NOT AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE, IN MY JUDGMENT THERE ARE CRY — THEIR CRITERIA CENTERS NOT ON THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS BUT THEIR LOOSE PERCEPTION OF HIS MOTIVATIONS IF THE SENATE ENDORSES THIS APPROACH WE WILL DRAMATICALLY TRANSFORM THE IMPEACHMENT POWER AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT OVER THE YEARS WE WILL FOREVER TURN THIS GRAVE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER INTO A TOOL FOR ADJUDICATING POLICY DISPUTES AND POLITICAL DISAGREEMENTS AMONG ALL OF US THE FRAMERS IN THEIR WISDOM CAUTIONED US AGAINST THIS DANGEROUS PATH, AND I BELIEVE THE SENATE WILL HEED THEIR WARNING

THE OTHER ARTICLE, THE HOUSE MANAGERS OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS CLAIM, IS SIMILARLY FLAWED CONGRESS' INVESTIGATIVE AND OVERSIGHT TOOLS ARE USED IN OUR SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES BUT THOSE POWERS ARE NOT ABSOLUTE THE PRESIDENT TOO, AS HEAD OF A COEQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, ENJOYS CERTAIN PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES FROM CONGRESSIONAL FACT FINDING THAT IS HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AND HAS BEEN THE RIGHT OF FORMER PRESIDENTS FROM BOTH PARTIES THE PRESIDENT'S MERE ASSERTION OF PRIVILEGE OF IMMUNITIES IS NOT IMPEACHABLE

IT'S NOT AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE ENDORSING OTHERWISE WOULD BE UNPRECEDENTED AND WOULD IGNORE THE PAST PRACTICES OF ADMINISTRATIONS OF BOTH PARTIES ADOPTING OTHERWISE WOULD DRASTICALLY UNDERMINE THE SEPARATION OF POWERS ENSHRINED IN OUR CONSTITUTION THIS WAS NOT WHAT OUR FRAMERS INTENDED MR

PRESIDENT, NOWHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION, AS YOU KNOW, OR IN THE FEDERAL STATUTE IS ABUSE OF POWER OR OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS LISTED AS A CRIME NOWHERE WHAT CONSTITUTES AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE IS NOT LEFT TO THE DISCRETION OF THE CONGRESS WE CANNOT EXPAND, I BELIEVE, ON THE SCOPE OF ACTIONS THAT COULD BE DEEMED IMPEACHABLE BEYOND THAT WHICH THE FRAMERS INTENDED WHAT WE REALLY HAVE HERE, I BELIEVE, IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE ABUSE OF THE POWER OF IMPEACHMENT ITSELF BY THE DEMOCRATIC HOUSE

DOESN'T OUR COUNTRY DESERVE BETTER? THE PRESIDENT CERTAINLY DESERVES BETTER AND TODAY I'M PROUD TO STAND AND REPUDIATE THOSE VERY WEAK IMPEACHMENT EFFORTS, AND I WILL ACCORDINGLY VOTE TO ACQUIT THE PRESIDENT ON BOTH SIDES, BOTH ARTICLES MR PRESIDENT, MY HOPE IS THAT IN THE FUTURE CONGRESS WILL REJECT THIS EPISODE AND INSTEAD CHOOSE TO BE GUIDED BY THE CONSTITUTION AND THE WORDS OF OUR FRAMERS MR

PRESIDENT, BASICALLY I BELIEVE IT'S A TIME TO MOVE ON WE KNOW THAT THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IS BOOMING THE UNITED STATES IS PROJECTING STRENGTH IN PROMOTING PEACE ABROAD AND THE PRESIDENT IS UNBOWED AND I BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SEE ALL THIS AT THE END OF THE DAY, MR

PRESIDENT, THE ULTIMATE JUDGMENT RESTS IN THEIR HANDS IN MY JUDGMENT, THAT IS JUST AS IT SHOULD BE WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR MR DURBIN: MR

PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE ASSISTANT DEMOCRATIC LEADER MR DURBIN: MR PRESIDENT, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KNEW THE STRENGTH OF OUR CONSTITUTION BUT HE ALSO KNEW ITS VULNERABILITY

HIS WORDS OFTEN REPEATED ON THIS FLOOR, A REPUBLIC IF YOU CAN KEEP IT, WERE A STARK WARNING FRANKLIN BELIEVED EVERY GENERATION COULD FACE THE CHANNELING OF PROTECTING AND DEFENDING OUR NATION'S LIBERTY AFFIRMING DOCUMENT WE KNOW THIS PERSONALLY BEFORE WE CAN LEGALLY SERVE AS SENATORS, WE MUST PUBLICLY SWEAR AN OATH TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES A TRIAL OF IMPEACHMENT, MORE THAN ANY OTHER SENATE ASSIGNMENT, TESTS THE OATH EACH ONE OF US TAKES BEFORE THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION

THE PRESIDENT'S LEGAL TEAM WARNS US OF THE DANGER OF IMPEACHMENT AND CONVICTION THEY TELL US TO THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT WHAT THE REMOVAL OF A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT COULD MEAN FOR OUR DEMOCRACY BUT IF WE SHOULD HAVE OUR EYES WIDE OPEN TO THE DANGER OF CONVICTION, WE ALSO CANNOT IGNORE THE DANGER OF ACQUITTAL THE FACTS OF THIS IMPEACHMENT ARE WELL KNOWN AND MANY REPUBLICANS CAN SEE THAT THEY ARE LIKELY TRUE THEY BELIEVE, AS I DO, THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP PRESSURED THE UKRANIAN PRESIDENT BY WITHHOLDING VITAL MILITARY AID AND A PRIZED WHITE HOUSE VISIT IN RETURN FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN INVESTIGATION OF THE BIDENS AND THE RUSSIAN CONCOCTED CROWDSTRIKE FANTASY

SOME OF THESE SAME REPUBLICANS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID WAS INAPPROPRIATE AT LEAST ONE HAS USED THE WORD IMPEACHABLE BUT MANY SAY THEY'RE STILL GOING TO VOTE TO ACQUIT HIM REGARDLESS SO LET'S OPEN OUR EYES TO THE MORNING AFTER A JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL FACING A WELL-ESTABLISHED ELECTION SIEGE BY RUSSIA AND OTHER ENEMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WE THE SENATE WILL HAVE ABSOLVED A PRESIDENT WHO CONTINUES TO BRAZENLY INVITE FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS

EXPECT MORE OF THE SAME A MAJORITY OF THIS BODY WILL HAVE VOTED FOR THE PRESIDENT'S ARGUMENT THAT INVITING INTERFERENCE BY A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT IS NOT IMPEACHABLE IF IT SERVES THE PRESIDENT'S PERSONAL POLITICAL INTEREST WE WILL ALSO HAVE FOUND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THIS NATION THAT AN IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDING IN THE SENATE CAN BE CONDUCTED WITHOUT ANY DIRECT WITNESSES OR EVIDENCE PRESENTED ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CASE AND THAT A PRESIDENT FACING IMPEACHMENT CAN IGNORE SUBPOENAS TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS OR WITNESSES TO CONGRESS ALEXANDER HAMILTON DESCRIBED THE SENATE AS THE VERY BEST VENUE FOR AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL BECAUSE IT IS INDEPENDENT AND DIGNIFIED, IN HIS WORDS WHEN THE SENATE VOTED 59-49 FOR WITNESS AND EVIDENCE, THEY — IN ADDITION AN ACQUITTAL WILL LEAVE THE EXTREME VIEW STATED BY THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE COUNSEL ALAN DERSHOWITZ UNCHALLENGED, FIRST THAT AN IMPEACHABLE POWER IS NOT AN OFFENSE AND HIS MOST DANGEROUS THEORY THAT UNLESS THE PRESIDENT IS COMMITTED — HAS COMMITTED AN ACTUAL CRIME, HIS CONDUCT CANNOT BE CORRUPT OR IMPEACHABLE AS LONG AS HE BELIEVES IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIS REELECTION

BY THIS LOGIC, PROFESSOR DERSHOWITZ WOULD HAVE EXCUSED RICHARD NIXON'S ORDERING OF IRS AUDITS OF HIS POLITICAL ENEMIES MR

DERSHOWITZ HAS CREATED AN ESCAPE CLAUSE TO IMPEACHMENT WHICH IS BREATHTAKING AND UNFOUNDED IN OUR LEGAL HISTORY WE HAVE RECEIVED A LETTER SIGNED BY 300 LAW SCHOLARS FLATLY REJECTING THE DEFENSE OFFERED BY THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE TEAM I ASK IT BE ENTERED INTO THE RECORD THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION MR

DURBIN: YET A VERDICT OF ACQUITTAL BLESSES THE TORTUROUS REASONING AN ACQUITTAL WOULD GIVE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY, RUDY GIULIANI A PAT ON THE BACK TO CONTINUE HIS GLOBAL ESCAPADES, HARASS BE AMERICAN AMBASSADORS AND LOUNGING AT EUROPEAN CIGAR BARS WITH POST-SOVIET AMIGOES AN ACQUITTAL WILL SAY THIS PRESIDENT IS ABOVE THE LAW AND CANNOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR CONDUCT ABUSING HIS OFFICE THIS PRESIDENT BELIEVES THAT'S TRUE ON JULY 23, TWO DAYS BEFORE HIS PHONE CALL WITH PRESIDENT ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT TRUMP SPOKE TO A GROUP OF YOUNG SUPPORTERS AND HE SAID, AND I QUOTE, I HAVE AN ARTICLE 2 WHERE I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHATEVER I WANT AS PRESIDENT

THIS IS THE DANGEROUS PRINCIPLE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS DAUGHTERS — LAWYERS ARE ASKING US WITH ACQUITTAL TO ACCEPT UNDER THE OATH I HAVE SWORN, I CANNOT WHAT DOES IT SAY OF THIS CONGRESS AND OUR NATION THAT IN THREE YEARS WE HAVE BECOME SO ANEST ADVERTISED TO OUTRAGE THAT FOR A MAJORITY IN THIS SENATE THERE IS NOTHING, NOTHING THIS PRESIDENT CAN DO OR SAY THAT RISES TO THE LEVEL OF BLUSH WORTHY, LET ALONE IMPEACHABLE? NEARLY SIX YEARS AGO I TRAVELED TO UKRAINE WITH A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATE COLLEAGUES LED BY JOHN McCAIN IT WAS ONE OF JOHN'S WHIRLWIND VISITS WHERE WE CRAMMED FIVE DAY S INTO FOUR HOURS UKRAINIANS HAD JUST OUSTED A CORRUPT RUSSIAN-BACKED LEADER WHO HOLLOWED OUT THEIR NATION'S MILITARY

THEY HAD DONE SO BY TAKING TO THE STREETS, RISKING THEIR LIVES FOR DEMOCRACY MORE THAN 100 ORDINARY CITIZENS IN KIEV HAD BEEN KILLED BY SECURITY FORCES OF THE OLD GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THEY WERE PROTESTING FOR DEMOCRACY SEEING UKRAINE IN A DELICATE TRANSITION, VLADIMIR PUTIN ORDERED AN INVASION PUTIN AND HIS THINLY DISGUISED RUSSIAN THUGS WERE ON THE VERGE OF SEIZING THE EAST I ASKED THE PRIME MINISTER WHAT UKRAINE NEEDED TO DEFEND ITSELF

HE SAID EVERYTHING WE DON'T HAVE ANYTHING THAT FLOATS, FLIES, OR RUNS MANY MAY NOT APPRECIATE HOW DEVASTATING RUSSIA'S WAR ON UKRAINE HAS BEEN TO THAT STRUGGLING YOUNG DEMOCRACY THEIR COSTLY BATTLE WITH RUSSIA WAS FOR A PRINCIPLE THAT IS BASIC TO AMERICA'S NATIONAL SECURITY AS WELL IN A COUNTRY WITH ONE EIGHTH OF OUR POPULATION, MORE UKRAINIAN GROUPS HAVE DIED DEFENDING UKRAINE FROM RUSSIA THAN AMERICAN TROOPS HAVE PERISHED IN AFGHANISTAN

DURING THE MONTHS PRESIDENT TRUMP ILLEGALLY WITHHELD MILITARY AID, AS MANY AS TWO DOZEN UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS WERE KILLED IN BATTLE BY WITH HOLDING SECURITY AID IN UKRAINE FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP'S POLITICAL BENEFIT, HE ENDANGERED THE SECURITY OF A FRAGILE DEMOCRACY CAN THERE BE A DEEPER BETRAYAL OF A PRESIDENT THAN TO ENDANGER OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE SECURITY OF AN ALLY FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL POLITICAL GAME — GAIN AND FOR THOSE WHO DESCRIBE THE PRESIDENT'S CONDUCT AS MERELY INAPPROPRIATE, I DISAGREE

DISPARAGING JOHN McCAIN'S SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY IS DISGUSTING AND INAPPROPRIATE WHAT THIS PRESIDENT HAS DONE TO UKRAINE CROSSES THAT LINE IT IS IMPEACHABLE I'LL CLOSE BY REMEMBERING TWO PUBLIC SERVANTS WHO, LIKE US, WERE CALLED BY HISTORY TO JUDGE A PRESIDENT TOM RAILSBACK PASSED AWAY AND TWO DAYS SHY OF HIS 88th BIRTHDAY

IN 1974 TOM WAS A REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FROM MOLINE, ILLINOIS HE REGARDED PRESIDENT NIXON AS A POLITICAL FRIEND HE BELIEVED THAT RICHARD NIXON ACHIEVED MUCH FOR AMERICA, INCLUDING THE OPENING OF THE DOOR TO CHINA AFTER STUDYING THE WATERGATE EVIDENCE CLOSELY, HE CAME TO BELIEVE THAT RICHARD NIXON VIOLATED THE CONSTITUTION WHEN PRESIDENT NIXON REFUSED TO TURN OVER RECORDS AND RECORDINGS REQUESTED BY CONGRESS, TOM TOOK TO THE HOUSE FLOOR TO SAY IF CONGRESS DOESN'T GET THE MATERIAL WE THINK WE NEED AND THEN VOTES TO EXONERATE, WE'LL BE REGARDED AS A PAPER TIGER

WHEN HE VOTED TO END — TO HIS DYING DAY TOM RAILSBACK WAS FAITHFUL TO HIS VOTE BOB COHEN WAS A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HE STUDIED THE EVIDENCE WITH TOM RAILSBACK AND WORKED WITH HIM BILL COHEN RECEIVED DEATH THREATS AND HE THOUGHT HIS VOTES TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT NIXON WOULD BE THE END OF HIS POLITICAL CAREER HE WENT ON TO A DISTINGUISHED TERM IN THE HOUSE, THREE TERMS IN THE SENATE AND SERVED AS SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

LISTEN TO WHAT BILL COHEN SAID RECENTLY OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ACTIONS QUOTE, THIS IS PRESIDENTIAL CONDUCT THAT YOU WANT TO BE ASHAMED OF HE'S CORRUPTING INSTITUTIONS, POLITICIZING THE MILITARY AND ACTS LIKE HE IS THE LAW AND THEN COHEN ADDED, IF THE PRESIDENT'S CONDUCT IS ACCEPTABLE, WE REALLY DON'T HAVE A REPUBLIC AS WE'VE KNOWN IT ANYMORE MAY I RESPECTFULLY SAY TO MY SENATE COLLEAGUES, BEN FRANKLIN WARNED US OF THIS DAY

I WILL VOTE GUILTY ON BOTH ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST PRESIDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP ON ARTICLE 1, ABUSE OF POWER, AND ARTICLE TWO, OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS AT THIS MOMENT, I HOPE MY LAST WORDS CAN BE A PERSONAL APPEAL TO MY SENATE COLLEAGUES LAST NIGHT MANY OF US ATTENDED A STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS WHICH WAS AS EMOTIONALLY CHARGED AS ANY I HAVE ATTENDED AS DIVIDED AS OUR NATION MAY BE, AND AS DIVIDED AS THIS SENATE MAY BE, WE HAVE WEATHERED GREATER STORMS

IT WAS ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN THE DARKNESS OF OUR WORST STORM WHO CALLED US TO STRIVE ON TO FINISH THE WORK WE ARE IN TO WORK TO BIND THE NATION'S WOUNDS AFTER THIS VOTE AND AFTER THIS DAY, THOSE OF US WHO WERE ENTRUSTED WITH THIS HIGH OFFICE MUST EACH DO OUR PART TO WORK TO BIND THE WOUNDS OF DIVIDED NATION I HOPE WE CAN LEAVE THIS CHAMBER WITH THAT COMMON RESOLVE I YIELD THE FLOOR A SENATOR: MR

PRESIDENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA MR GRAHAM: I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE MY FULL STATEMENT AFTER MY REMARKS THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION

MR GRAHAM: THANK YOU VERY MUCH LET ME GIRN WITH A NOTE OF — BEGIN WITH A NOTE OF OPTIMISM YOU WILL GET TO PICK THE NEXT PRESIDENT, NOT A BUNCH OF POLITICIANS DRIVEN BY SOUR GRAPES I DIDN'T VOTE FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP, BUT I ACCEPTED THE FACT THAT HE WON

THAT'S BEEN HARD FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE [NO AUDIO [[ >> I MR GRAHAM: I SUPPORTED THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION

WILL YOU STAND WITH US TO MAKE SURE MUELLER CAN COMPLETE HIS INVESTIGATION? AND I DID TWO YEARS, $32 MILLION, FBI AGENTS, SUBPOENAS, YOU NAME IT, THE VERDICT IS IN

WHAT DID WE FIND? NOTHING I THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE IT BUT IT'S NEVER ENOUGH WHEN IT COMES TO TRUMP SORRY IT'S NEVER ENOUGH WHEN IT COMES TO PRESIDENT TRUMP

THIS SHAM PROCESS IS THE LOW POINT IN THE SENATE FOR ME IF YOU THINK YOU'VE DONE THE COUNTRY A GOOD SERVICE BY LEGITIMATIZING THIS IMPEACHMENT PROCESS, WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IS UNLEASHED THE PARTISAN FORCES OF HELL THIS IS SOUR GRAPES THEY IMPEACHED THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN 78 DAYS YOU COULD NOT GET A PARKING TICKET IF YOU CONTESTED IT IN 78 DAYS

THEY GAVE OUT SOUVENIR PENS WHEN IT WAS OVER IF YOU CAN'T SEE THROUGH THAT, YOUR HATRED OF DONALD TRUMP HAS BLINDED YOU TO THE OBVIOUS■■ THIS IS NOT ABOUT PROTECTING THE COUNTRY THIS IS ABOUT DESTROYING THE PRESIDENT THERE ARE NO RULES WHEN IT COMES TO DONALD TRUMP

EVERYBODY IN AMERICA CAN CONFRONT THE WITNESSES AGAINST HIM AGAINST — THEM EXCEPT DONALD TRUMP EVERYBODY IN AMERICA CAN CALL WITNESSES ON THEIR BEHALF EXCEPT PRESIDENT TRUMP EVERYBODY IN AMERICA CAN INTRODUCE EVIDENCE EXCEPT FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP HE'S NOT ABOVE THE LAW, BUT YOU PUT HIM BELOW THE LAW, AND THE PROCESS OF IMPEACHING THIS PRESIDENT, YOU'VE MADE IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR FUTURE PRESIDENTS TO DO THEIR JOB IN 78 DAYS, YOU TOOK DUE PROCESS AS WE'VE COME TO KNOW IT IN AMERICA AND THREW IT IN THE GARBAGE CAN

THIS IS THE FIRST IMPEACHMENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY DRIVEN BY POLITICIANS THE NIXON IMPEACHMENT HAD OUTSIDE COUNSEL, WATERGATE PROSECUTORS AND THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT HAD KEN STARR THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION WENT ON FOR TWO YEARS I TRUSTED BOB MUELLER

AND WHEN HE RENDERED HIS VERDICT, IT BLOAC YOUR HEART AND YOU — BROKE YOUR HEART AND YOU CAN'T LET IT GO THE ONLY WAY THIS IS GOING TO END PERMANENTLY IS FOR THE PRESIDENT TO GET REELECTED, AND HE WILL SO AS TO ABUSE OF CONGRESS, IS IT WHOLESALE ASSAULT ON THE PRESIDENCY, IS IT ABANDONING EVERY SENSE OF FAIRNESS THAT EVERY AMERICAN HAS COME TO EXPECT IN THEIR OWN LIVES IT'S DRIVEN BY BLIND PARTISANSHIP AND HATRED OF THE MAN HIMSELF, AND THEY WANTED TO DO IT IN 78 DAYS WHY? BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO IMPEACH HIM BEFORE THE ELECTION

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP HE SAID THAT THE REASON THE PRESIDENT WAS NEVER ALLOWED TO GO TO COURT AND CHALLENGE THE SUBPOENAS ISSUED IS BECAUSE IT WOULD TAKE TIME PRESIDENT NIXON AND PRESIDENT CLINTON WERE ALLOWED TO GO TO ARTICLE 3 COURT THAT WAS DENIED THIS PRESIDENT BECAUSE IT WOULD GET IN THE WAY OF IMPEACHING HIM BEFORE THE ELECTION

YOU SEND THIS CRAP OVER HERE AND YOU'RE OKAY WITH IT, MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES YOU'RE OKAY WITH THE IDEA THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS DENIED HIS DAY IN COURT AND YOU WERE GOING TO RULE ON EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AS A POLITICAL BODY YOU WERE WILLING TO DEAL OUT THE ARTICLE 3 COURTS BECAUSE YOU HATE TRUMP THAT MUCH YOU HAVE WEAKENED THE INSTITUTION OF THE PRESIDENCY BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR BECAUSE IT WILL COME BACK YOUR WAY

ABUSE OF CONGRESS SHOULD BE ENTITLED ABUSE OF POWER BY THE CONGRESS IF YOU THINK THAT ADAM SCHIFF IS TRYING TO GET TO THE TRUTH, I HAVE A BRIDGE I WANT TO SELL YOU THEY HATE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S GUTS, THEY RAMMED IT THROUGH THE HOUSE IN A WAY THAT YOU COULDN'T GET A PARKING TICKET AND THEY HAD A GOAL OF IMPEACHING HIM BEFORE THE ELECTION THE SENATE WILL ACHIEVE ITS GOAL OF ACQUITTING HIM IN FEBRUARY AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GET TO DECIDE IN NOVEMBER WHO THEY WANT TO BE THEIR PRESIDENT SO ACQUITTAL WILL HAPPEN IN ABOUT TWO HOURS, EXONERATION COMES WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP GETS REELECTED BECAUSE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES ARE FED UP WITH THIS CRAP

BUT THE DAMAGE YOU HAVE DONE WILL BE LONG LASTING ABUSE OF POWER, YOU'RE IMPEACHING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR SUSPENDING FOREIGN AID FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME THAT THEY EVENTUALLY RECEIVED A HEAD OF SCHEDULE TO LEVERAGE AN INVESTIGATION THAT NEVER HAPPENED YOU'RE GOING TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR SUSPENDING FOREIGN AID TO LEVERAGE AN INVESTIGATION OF A POLITICAL OPPONENT THAT NEVER OCCURRED THE UKRAINIANS DIDN'T KNOW THE SUSPENSION UNTIL SEPTEMBER THEY DIDN'T FEEL ANY PRESSURE

IF YOU'RE OKAY WITH JOE BIDEN AND HUNTER BIDEN DOING WHAT THEY DO, IT SAYS MORE ABOUT YOU THAN IT DOES ANYTHING ELSE THE POINT OF THE ABUSE OF POWER ARTICLE IS THAT YOU MADE IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE NOW FOR ANY PRESIDENT TO PICK UP THE PHONE IF ALL OF US CAN ASSUME THE WORST AND IMPEACH SOMEBODY BASED ON A SUBJECTIVE STANDARD HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THE CORRUPTION IN UKRAINE WITH THE PAST PRESIDENT AND THE BIDENS' CONDUCT IN THE UKRAINE UNDERCUT OUR ABILITY TO EFFECTIVELY DEAL WITH CORRUPTION BY ALLOWING HIS SON TO RECEIVE $3 MILLION THROUGH THE MOST CORRUPT GAS COMPANY IN THE UKRAINE CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW THE UKRANIAN PARLIAMENT MUST HAVE FELT TO BE LECTURED BY JOE BIDEN BY ENDING SWEETHEART DEALS? WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IS IMPEACHED THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND WILLING TO REMOVE HIM BECAUSE HE SUSPENDED FOREIGN AID FOR 40 DAYS TO LEVERAGE AN INVESTIGATION THAT NEVER OCCURRED AND TO MY GOOD FRIEND, DICK DURBIN, DONALD TRUMP HAS DONE MORE TO HELP THE UKRANIAN PEOPLE THAN BARACK OBAMA DID IN HIS ENTIRE EIGHT YEARS

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY TO HELP THE UKRANIAN PEOPLE FIGHT THE RUSSIANS, HOW ABOUT GIVING THEM SOME WEAPONS THIS IS A SHAM THIS IS A FARCE THIS IS DISGUSTING THIS IS AN INJUSTICE TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AS A PERSON

IT'S A THREAT TO THE OFFICE IT WILL END SOON IT'S GOING TO BE AN OVERWHELMING REJECTION OF BOTH ARTICLES WE'RE GOING TO PICK UP THE PIECES AND TRY TO GO FORWARD, BUT I CAN SAY THIS WITHOUT ANY HESITATION I WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE PRESIDENCY AFTER WHAT'S HAPPENED HERE

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WILL YOU COME TO REGRET THIS WHOLE PROCESS AND TO THOSE WHO HAVE THESE PENS, I HOPE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND HISTORY WILL JUDGE THOSE PENS AS A SOUVENIR OF SHAME I YIELD MR SCHUMER: MR

PRESIDENT SOME THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER MR SCHUMER: THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT BEFORE US CHARGE PRESIDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP WITH OFFENSES AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT CHARGES THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP ABUSED THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY BY SOLICITING THE INTERFERENCE OF A FOREIGN POWER, UKRAINE, TO BENEFIT HIMSELF IN THE 2020 ELECTION

THE PRESIDENT ASKED A FOREIGN LEADER TO DO US A FAVOR, US MEANING HIM, AND INVESTIGATE HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS IN ORDER TO ELICIT THESE POLITICAL INVESTIGATIONS, PRESIDENT TRUMP WITHHELD A WHITE HOUSE MEETING AND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MILITARY ASSISTANCE FROM AN ALLY AT WAR WITH RUSSIA THERE'S EXTENSIVE DOCUMENTATION IN THE RECORD PROVING THIS QUID PRO QUO AND THE CORRUPT MOTIVE BEHIND IT THE FACTS ARE NOT SERIOUSLY IN DISPUTE IN FACT, SEVERAL REPUBLICAN SENATORS ADMITTED THEY BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT COMMITTED THIS OFFENSE WITH VARYING DEGREES OF APROPOSE YUM — INAPPROPRIATE, WRONG, SHAMEFUL ALMOST ALL REPUBLICANS WILL ARGUE, HOWEVER, THAT THIS REPREHENSIBLE CONDUCT DOES NOT RISE TO THE LEVEL OF AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE

THE FOUNDERS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN CLEARER WILLIAM DAVEY, A DELEGATE TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DEEMED IMPEACHMENT, QUOTE, AN ESSENTIAL SECURITY LESS THE PRESIDENT, QUOTE, SPARE NO EFFORT OR MEANS WHATEVER TO GET HIMSELF ELECTED JAMES MADISON OFFERED A SPECIFIC LIST OF IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES DURING THE DEBATE IN INDEPENDENCE HALL A PRESIDENT MIGHT LOSE HIS CAPACITY OR EMBEZZLE PUBLIC FUNDS A DESPICABLE SOUL MIGHT SUCCUMB TO BRIBES WHILE IN OFFICE

MADISON THEN ARRIVED AT WHAT HE BELIEVED WAS THE WORST CONDUCT A PRESIDENT COULD ENGAGE IN THE PRESIDENT COULD BETRAY HIS TRUST TO FOREIGN POWERS WHICH WOULD BE FATAL TO THE REPUBLIC MADISON'S WORDS WHEN I STUDIED THE CONSTITUTION AND THE "FEDERALIST PAPERS" IN HIGH SCHOOL ADMITTEDLY I WAS SKEPTICAL OF GEORGE WASHINGTON'S WARNING THAT, QUOTE, FOREIGN INFLUENCE IS ONE OF THE MOST BANEFUL FOES OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT UNQUOTE

IT SEEMS SO FAR-FETCHED WHO WOULD DARE? BUT THE FORESIGHT AND WISDOM OF THE FOUNDERS ENDURES MADISON WAS RIGHT WASHINGTON WAS RIGHT THERE IS NO GREATER SUBVERSION OF OUR DEMOCRACY THAN FOR POWERS OUTSIDE OF OUR BORDERS TO DETERMINE ELECTIONS WITHIN THEM

IF AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT THEY DON'T DETERMINE THEIR SENATOR, THEIR GOVERNOR, THEIR PRESIDENT BUT RATHER SOME FOREIGN POTENTATE DOES, THAT'S THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF DEMOCRACY FOR A FOREIGN COUNTRY TO ATTEMPT SUCH A THING ON ITS OWN IS CONTEMPTIBLE FOR AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT TO DELIBERATELY SOLICIT SUCH A THING, TO BLACKMAIL A FOREIGN COUNTRY, AND — INTO HELPING HIM WIN AN ELECTION IS UNFORGIVABLE NOW, DOES THIS RISE TO THE LEVEL OF IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE? OF COURSE IT DOES OF COURSE IT DOES THE TERM HIGH CRIMES DERIVES FROM ENGLISH LAW

CRIMES WERE COMMITTED BETWEEN SUBJECTS OF THE MONARCHY HIGH CRIMES WERE COMMITTED AGAINST THE CROWN ITSELF THE FRAMERS DID NOT DESIGN A MONARCHY THEY DESIGNED A DEMOCRACY, A NATION WHERE THE PEOPLE WERE KING HIGH CRIMES ARE THOSE COMMITTED AGAINST THE ENTIRE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES

THE PRESIDENT SOUGHT TO CHEAT THE PEOPLE OUT OF A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION HOW COULD SUCH AN OFFENSE NOT BE DEEMED A HIGH CRIME? A CRIME AGAINST THE PEOPLE? AS ONE CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR IN THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE — JUDICIARY HEARINGS TESTIFIED, IF THIS IS NOT IMPEACHABLE, NOTHING IS I AGREE I JUDGE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS GUILTY OF THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT IS EQUALLY STRAIGHTFORWARD

ONCE THE PRESIDENT REALIZED HE GOT CAUGHT, HE TRIED TO COVER IT UP THE PRESIDENT ASSERTED BLANKET IMMUNITY HE CATEGORICALLY DEFIED CONGRESSIONAL SUBPOENAS, ORDERED HIS AIDES NOT TO TESTIFY AND WITHHELD THE PRODUCTION OF RELEVANT DOCUMENTS EVEN PRESIDENT NIXON, AUTHOR OF THE MOST INFAMOUS PRESIDENTIAL COVER-UP IN HISTORY, PERMITTED HIS AIDES TO TESTIFY IN CONGRESS IN THE WATERGATE INVESTIGATION THE IDEA THAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WAS PROPERLY INVOKING THE VARIOUS RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF THE PRESIDENCY IS NONSENSE

AT EACH STAGE OF THE HOUSE INQUIRY, THE ADMINISTRATION CONJURED UP A DIFFERENT BAD FAITH JUSTIFICATION FOR EVADING ACCOUNTABILITY THERE IS NO CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD HAVE COMPLIED WHEN I ASKED THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL TWICE TO NAME ONE DOCUMENT OR ONE WITNESS THE PRESIDENT PROVIDED TO CONGRESS, THEY COULD NOT ANSWER IT CANNOT BE THAT THE PRESIDENT BY DINT OF LEGAL SHAMELESSNESS CAN ESCAPE SCRUTINY ENTIRELY ONCE AGAIN, THE FACTS ARE NOT IN DISPUTE

BUT SOME HAVE SOUGHT TO PORTRAY THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT AS SOMEHOW LESS IMPORTANT THAN THE FIRST IT IS NOT THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT IS NECESSARY IF CONGRESS IS TO EVER HOLD A PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE AGAIN DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN THE CONSEQUENCES OF SANCTIONING SUCH CATEGORICAL OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS WOULD BE FAR-REACHING AND THEY WILL BE IRREPARABLE

I JUDGE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS GUILTY OF THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT THE SENATE SHOULD CONVICT PRESIDENT TRUMP, REMOVE HIM FROM THE PRESIDENCY, AND DISQUALIFY HIM FROM HOLDING FUTURE OFFICE THE GUILT OF THE PRESIDENT ON THESE CHARGES IS SO OBVIOUS THAT HERE AGAIN SEVERAL REPUBLICAN SENATORS ADMIT THAT THE HOUSE HAS PROVED ITS CASE SO INSTEAD OF MAINTAINING THE PRESIDENT'S INNOCENCE, THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL ULTIMATELY TOLD THE SENATE THAT EVEN IF THE PRESIDENT DID WHAT HE WAS ACCUSED OF, IT'S NOT IMPEACHABLE THIS HAS TAKEN THE FORM OF AN ESCALATING SERIES OF DERSHOWITZIAN ARGUMENTS, INCLUDING, QUOTE, ABUSE OF POWER IS NOT AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE

QUOTE, THE PRESIDENT CAN'T BE IMPEACHED FOR NONCRIMINAL CONDUCT BUT HE ALSO CAN'T BE INDICTED FOR CRIMINAL CONDUCT QUOTE, IF A PRESIDENT BELIEVES HIS OWN REELECTION IS ESSENTIAL TO THE NATION, THEN A QUID PRO QUO IS NOT CORRUPT THESE ARE THE EXCUSES OF A CHILD CAUGHT IN A LIE EACH EXPLANATION MORE OUTLANDISH AND DESPERATE THAN THE LAST IT WOULD BE LAUGHABLE IF NOT FOR THE FACT THAT THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF THESE ARGUMENTS WOULD RENDER NOT JUST THIS PRESIDENT BUT ALL PRESIDENTS IMMUNE FROM IMPEACHMENT AND, THEREFORE, ABOVE THE LAW

NOW, SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THIS CHAMBER SAID THAT EVEN IF THE PRESIDENT IS GUILTY AND EVEN IF IT'S IMPEACHABLE, THE SENATE STILL SHOULDN'T CONVICT THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE THERE'S AN ELECTION COMING UP AS IF THE FRAMERS FORGOT ABOUT ELECTIONS WHEN THEY WROTE THE IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE IF THE FOUNDERS BELIEVED THAT EVEN WHEN A PRESIDENT IS GUILTY OF AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT THE NEXT ELECTION SHOULD DECIDE HIS FATE, THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE INCLUDED AN IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT MUCH IS OBVIOUS ALONE EACH OF THE DEFENSES ADVANCED BY THE PRESIDENT'S COUNSEL COMES CLOSE TO BEING PREPOSTEROUS

TOGETHER THEY ARE AS DANGEROUS TO THE REPUBLIC AS THIS PRESIDENT, A FIG LEAF SO LARGE AS TO EXCUSE ANY PRESIDENTIAL MISCONDUCT, UNABLE TO DEFEND THE PRESIDENT, ARGUMENTS WERE FOUND TO MAKE HIM A KING LIKE FUTURE — LET FUTURE GENERATIONS KNOW THAT ONLY A FRACTION OF THE SENATE SWALLOWED THESE FANTASIES THE REST OF US CONDEMN THEM TO THE ASH HEAP OF HISTORY AND THE DERISION OF FIRST-YEAR LAW STUDENTS EVERYIER WE'RE ONLY THE THIRD IN HISTORY TO SIT IN A COURT OF IMPEACHMENT THE TASK WE WERE GIVEN WAS NOT EASY

BUT THE FRAMERS GAVE THE SENATE THIS RESPONSIBILITY BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT IMAGINE ANY OTHER BODY CAPABLE OF IT THEY CONSIDERED OTHERS BUT THEY ENTRUSTED US TO US AND THE SENATE FAILED THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS TRAINED ITS OUTRAGED NOT ON THE CONDUCT OF THE PRESIDENT BUT ON THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS IN THE HOUSE DERIDING FALSELY AN ALLEGED LACK OF FAIRNESS AND THOROUGHNESS THE OUT– THE CONJURED OUTRAGE WAS SO BLINDING THAT THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY ENDED UP GUILTY OF THE VERY SINS IT FALSELY ACCUSED THE HOUSE OF COMMITTING IT CONDUCTED THE LEAST FAIR, LEAST THOROUGH, MOST RUSHED IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY

A SIMPLE MAJORITY OF SENATORS DENIED THE SENATE'S RIGHT TO EXAMINE RELEVANT EVIDENCE, TO CALL WITNESSES, TO REVIEW DOCUMENTS, AND TO PROPERLY TRY, TRY THE IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT MAKING THIS THE FIRST IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN HISTORY THAT HEARD FROM NO WITNESSES A SIMPLE MAJORITY OF SENATORS INDEFERENCE TO AND MOST LIKELY IN FEAR OF THE PRESIDENT OF THEIR PARTY PERPETRATED A GREAT MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE IN THE TRIAL OF PRESIDENT TRUMP AS A RESULT, THE VERDICT OF THIS KANGAROO COURT WILL BE MEANINGLESS BY REFUSING THE FACTS, BY REFUSING WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS, THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY HAS PLACED A GIANT ASTERISK, THE ASTERISK OF A SHAM TRIAL NEXT TO THE ACQUITTAL OF PRESIDENT TRUMP WRITTEN IN PERMANENT INK ACQUITTAL AND AN UNFAIR TRIAL WITH THIS GIANT ASTERISK, THE ASTERISK OF A SHAM TRIAL IS WORTH NOTHING AT ALL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP OR TO ANYBODY ELSE

NO DOUBT THE PRESIDENT WILL BOAST HE RECEIVED TOTAL EXONERATION, BUT WE KNOW BETTER WE KNOW THIS WASN'T A TRIAL BY ANY STRETCH OF THE DEFINITION AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW IT, TOO WE'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE FRAMERS OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, ABOUT THE IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE THEY FORGED, THE SEPARATION OF POWERS THEY WROUGHT, THE CONDUCT THEY MOST FEARED IN OUR CHIEF MAGISTRATE BUT THERE IS SOMETHING THE FOUNDERS CONSIDERED EVEN MORE FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR REPUBLIC

TRUTH THE FOUNDERS HAD SEEN AND STUDIED SOCIETIES GOVERNED BY THE IRON FIST OF TYRANTS AND THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS BUT NONE BY ARGUMENT, RATIONAL THINKING, FACTS, DEBATE HAMILTON SAID THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WOULD DETERMINE, QUOTE, WHETHER SOCIETIES ARE REALLY CAPABLE OF ESTABLISHING GOOD GOVERNMENT FROM REFLECTION AND CHOICE OR FOREVER DESTINED TO DEPEND ON ACCIDENT AND FORCE AND WHAT AN ASTONISHING THING THE FOUNDERS DID THEY PLACED A BET WITH LONG ODDS

THEY BELIEVED THAT REFLECTION AND CHOICE WOULD MAKE US CAPABLE OF SELF-GOVERNMENT, THAT WE WOULDN'T AGREE ON EVERYTHING BUT AT LEAST WE COULD AGREE ON A COMMON BASELINE OF FACT AND OF TRUTH THEY WROTE A CONSTITUTION WITH THE REMARKABLE IDEA THAT EVEN THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN OUR COUNTRY WAS NOT ABOVE THE LAW AND COULD BE PUT ON TRIAL, A TRIAL, A PLACE WHERE YOU SEEK TRUTH THE FAITH OUR FOUNDERS PLACED IN US MAKES THE FAILURE OF THIS SENATE EVEN MORE DAMNING OUR NATION WAS FOUNDED ON THE IDEA OF TRUTH BUT THERE WAS NO TRUTH HERE THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY COULDN'T LET TRUTH INTO THIS TRIAL

THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY REFUSED TO GET THE EVIDENCE BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID OF WHAT IT MIGHT SHOW OUR NATION WAS FOUNDED ON THE IDEA OF TRUTH, BUT IN ORDER TO COUNTENANCE THIS PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE TO IGNORE THE TRUTH REPUBLICANS WALKED THROUGH THE HALLS WITH THEIR HEADS DOWN THEY DIDN'T SEE THE TWEET THEY CAN'T RESPOND TO EVERYTHING HE SAYS

THEY HOPE HE LEARNS HIS LESSON THIS TIME YES, MAYBE THIS TIME HE LEARNED HIS LESSON OUR NATION WAS FOUNDED ON TRUTH BUT IN ORDER TO EXCUSE THIS PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE TO WILLFULLY IGNORE THE TRUTH AND INDULGE IN THE PRESIDENT'S CONSPIRACY THEORIES MILLIONS OF PEOPLE VOTED ILLEGALLY, THE DEEP STATE IS OUT TO GET HIM, UKRAINE INTERFERED IN OUR ELECTIONS

YOU MUST ATTEMPT TO NORMALIZE HIS BEHAVIOR OBAMA DID IT, TOO, THEY FALSELY CLAIM DEMOCRATS ARE JUST AS BAD OUR NATION WAS FOUNDED ON THE IDEA OF TRUTH, BUT THIS PRESIDENT IS SUCH A MENACE, SO CONTEMPTUOUS OF EVERY VIRTUE, SO DISHONORABLE, SO DISHONEST, THAT YOU MUST IGNORE — INDEED, SACRIFICE — THE TRUTH TO MAINTAIN HIS FAVOR THE TRIAL OF THIS PRESIDENT, IT'S FAILURE, REFLECTS THE CENTRAL CHALLENGE OF THIS PRESIDENCY AND MAYBE THE CENTRAL CHALLENGE OF THIS TIME IN OUR DEMOCRACY

YOU CANNOT BE ON THE SIDE OF THIS PRESIDENT AND BE ON THE SIDE OF TRUTH AND IF WE ARE TO SURVIVE AS A NATION, WE MUST CHOOSE TRUTH BECAUSE IF THE TRUTH DOESN'T MATTER, IF THE NEWS YOU DON'T LIKE IS FAKE, IF CHEATING IN AN ELECTION IS ACCEPTABLE, IF EVERYONE IS AS WICKED AS THE WICKEDEST AMONG YOU THEN THE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE IS LOST THE EYES OF THE NATION ARE UPON THIS SENATE, AND WHAT THEY SEE WILL STRIKE DOUBT IN THE HEART OF EVEN THE MOST ARDENT PATRIOT THE HOUSE MANAGERS ESTABLISHED THE PRESIDENT ABUSED THE GREAT POWER OF HIS OFFICE TO TRY TO CHEAT IN AN ELECTION, AND THE SENATE MAJORITY IS POISED TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY

SO I DIRECT MY FINAL MESSAGE, NOT TO THE HOUSE MANAGERS, NOT EVEN TO MY FELLOW SENATORS, BUT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MY MESSAGE IS SIMPLE — DON'T LOSE HOPE THERE IS JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD, AND TRUTH AND RIGHT I BELIEVE THAT I WOULDN'T BE IN THIS GOVERNMENT IF I DIDN'T

SOMEHOW, IN WAYS WE CAN'T PREDICT, WITH GOD'S MYSTERIOUS HAND GUIDING US, TRUTH AND RIGHT WILL PREVAIL THERE HAVE BEEN DARK PERIODS IN OUR HISTORY, BUT WE ALWAYS OVERCOME THE SENATE'S OPENING PRAYER YESTERDAY WAS AMUST, 5:24, LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN LIKE WATER, RIGHTEOUSNESS LIKE AN EVER-FLOWING STREAM THE LONG ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE, MY FELLOW AMERICANS, DOES BEND TOWARDS JUSTICE AMERICA DOES CHANGE FOR THE BETTER

BUT NOT ON ITS OWN IT TOOK MILLIONS OF AMERICANS HUNDREDS OF I DO NOTERS TO MAKE THIS — HUNDREDS OF YEARS TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY WHAT IT IS TODAY AMERICANS OF EVERY COLOR AND CREED WHO STOOD UP AND SAT IN, AMERICANS WHO DEFENDED THIS DEMOCRACY, THIS BEAUTIFUL DEMOCRACY, IN ITS DARKEST HOURS ON MEMORIAL DAY IN 1884, OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES TOLD HIS WAR-WEARY AUDIENCE THAT, QUOTE, WHETHER ONE ACCEPTS FROM FORTUNE OR SPADE AND WILL LOOK DOWNWARD AND DIG OR FROM ASPIRATION HER AX AND CORD AND WILL SCALE THE ICE, THE ONE AND ONLY SUCCESS WHICH IS YOURS TO COMMAND IS TO BRING TO YOUR WORK A MITETY HEART I HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT AMERICANS OF A DIFFERENT GENERATION — OUR GENERATION — WILL BRING TO OUR WORK A MITETY — A MITETY HEART TO FIGHT FOR WHAT'S RIGHT, TO FIGHT FOR THE TRUTH, AND NEVER, NEVER LOSE FAITH

I YIELD THE FLOOR MR McCONNELL: MR PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER MR

McCONNELL: THE UNITED STATES SENATE WAS MADE FOR MOMENTS LIKE THIS THE FRAMERS PREDICTED THAT FACTIONAL FEVER MIGHT DOMINATE HOUSE MAJORITIES FROM TIME TO TIME THEY KNEW THE COUNTRY WOULD NEED A FIREWALL TO KEEP PARTISAN FLAMES FROM SCORCHING — SCORCHING — OUR REPUBLIC SO THEY CREATED THE SENATE OUT OF NECESSITY, JAMES MADISON WROTE, OF SOME STABLE INSTITUTION IN THE GOVERNMENT

OF SOME STABLE INSTITUTION IN THE GOVERNMENT TODAY WE WILL FULFILL THIS FOUNDING PURPOSE WE WILL REJECT THIS INCOHERENT CASE THAT COMES NOWHERE NEAR — NOWHERE NEAR — JUSTIFYING THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL REMOVAL IN HISTORY THIS PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT WILL END TODAY BUT I FEAR THE THREAT TO OUR INSTITUTIONS MAY NOT, BECAUSE THIS EPISODE IS ONE OF A SYMPTOM OF SOMETHING MUCH DEEPER

IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, THE OPPOSITION TO THIS PRESIDENT HAS COME TO REVOLVE AROUND A TRULY DANGEROUS CONCEPT LEADERS IN THE OPPOSITE PARTY INCREASINGLY ARGUE THAT IF OUR INSTITUTIONS DON'T PRODUCE THE OUTCOMES THEY LIKE, OUR INSTITUTIONS THEMSELVES MUST BE BROKEN ONE SIDE HAS DECIDED THAT DEFEAT SIMPLY MEANS THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS BROKEN, THAT WE LITERALLY TEAR UP THE RULES AND WRITE NEW ONES NORMALLY — NORMALLY WHEN A PARTY LOSES AN ELECTION, IT ACCEPTS DEFEAT; IT REFLECTS AND RETOOLS BUT NOT THIS TIME

WITHIN MONTHS, SECRETARY CLINTON WAS SUGGESTING HER DEFEAT WAS INVALID SHE CALLED OUR PRESIDENT ILLEGITIMATE FORMER PRESIDENT FALSELY CLAIMED THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DIDN'T ACTUALLY WIN HE LOST THE ELECTION, THE FORMER PRESIDENT SAID AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE USED SIMILAR RHETORIC

A DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN WEAKENING CONFIDENCE IN OUR DEMOCRACY THE VERY REAL ISSUE OF FOREIGN ELECTION INTERFERENCE WAS ABUSE REASONABLE DOUBT TO FUEL CONSPIRACY THEORIES FOR YEARS PROMINENT VOICES SAID THERE'D BEEN A SECRET CONSPIRACY BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT'S CAMPAIGN AND A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT BUT WHEN THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION AND THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE DEBUNKED THAT, THE DELEGITIMIZING ENDEAVOR DIDN'T STOP DIDN'T STOP

REMEMBER WHAT CHAIRMAN SCHIFF SAID HERE ON THE FLOOR HE SUGGESTED THAT IF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE REELECT PRESIDENT TRUMP IN NOVEMBER, THAT ELECTION WILL BE PRESUMPTIVELY INVALID AS WELL THAT'S CHAIRMAN SCHIFF ON THIS FLOOR HE SAID IF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE REELECT PRESIDENT TRUMP THIS NOVEMBER, THAT ELECTION WILL BE PRESUMPTIVELY INVALID AS WELL SO THEY STILL DON'T — STILL DON'T — ACCEPT THE AMERICAN VOTER'S LAST DECISION

AND NOW THEY'RE PREPARING TO REJECT THE VOTERS' NEXT DECISION IF THEY DON'T LIKE THE OUTCOME NOT ONLY THE LAST DECISION, BUT THE NEXT DECISION HEADS WE WIN, TAILS YOU CHEATED AND WHO CAN TRUST OUR DEMOCRACY ANYWAY, THEY SAY? THIS KIND OF TALK CREATES MORE FEAR AND DIVISION THAN OUR FOREIGN ADVERSARIES COULD ACHIEVE IN THEIR WILDEST DREAMS AS DR

HILL TESTIFIED, OUR ADVERSARIES SEEK TO DIVIDE US AGAINST EACH OTHER, DEGRADE OUR INSTITUTIONS, AND DESTROY THE FAITH OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN OUR DEMOCRACY AND AS SHE NOTED, IF AMERICANS BECOME CONSUMED BY PARTISAN RANCOR, WE CAN EASILY DO THAT WORK FOR THEM THE ARCHITECTS OF THIS IMPEACHMENT CLAIM THEY WERE DEFENDING NORMS AND TRADITIONS IN REALITY, IT WAS AN ASSAULT ON BOTH FIRST, THE HOUSE ATTACKED ITS OWN PRECEDENCE ON FAIRNESS AND DUE PROCESS AND BY RUSHING TO USE THE IMPEACHMENT POWER AS A POLITICAL WEAPON OF FIRST RESORT

THEN THEIR ARTICLES ATTACKED THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY, THEN THEY ATTACKED THE SENATE AND CALLED US TREACHEROUS, THEN THE FAR LEFT TRIED TO IMPUGN THE CHIEF JUSTICE FOR REMAINING NEUTRAL DURING THE TRIAL, AND NOW — AND NOW — FOR THE FINAL ACT, THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE IS TRYING TO STEAL THE SENATE'S SOLE POWER TO RENDER A VERDICT THE SPEAKER SAYS SHE WILL JUST REFUSE TO ACCEPT THIS ACQUITTAL THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SAYS SHE REFUSE TOSS ACCEPT THIS — SHE REFUSES TO ACCEPT THIS ACQUITTAL, WHATEVER THAT MEANS PERHAPS SHE WILL TEAR UP THE VERDICT LIKE SHE TORE UP THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS SO I WOULD ASK MY DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE, IS THIS REALLY — REALLY WHERE YOU WANT TO GO? THE PRESIDENT ISN'T THE PRESIDENT? AND ACQUITTAL ISN'T AN ACQUITTAL? ATTACK INSTITUTIONS UNTIL THEY GET THEIR WAY? EVEN MY COLLEAGUES, WHO MAY NOT AGREE WITH THIS PRESIDENT, MUST SEE THE INSANITY OF THIS LOGIC

IT'S LIKE SAYING IS YOU'RE SO WORRIED ABOUT A BULL IN A CHINA SHOP THAT YOU WANT TO BULLDOZE THE CHINA SHOP TO CHASE IT OUT AND HERE'S THE MOST TROUBLING PART — THE MOST TROUBLING PART THERE IS NO SIGN THIS ATTACK ON OUR INSTITUTIONS WILL END HERE IN RECENT MONTHS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND SENATE LEADERS HAVE TOYED WITH KILLING THE FILIBUSTER SO THE SENATE COULD APPROVE RADICAL CHANGES WITH LESS DELIBERATION AND LESS PERSUASION SEVERAL OF OUR COLLEAGUES SENT AN EXTRAORDINARY BRIEF TO THE SUPREME COURT THREATENING POLITICAL RETRIBUTION IF THE JUSTICES DIDN'T DECIDE A CASE THE WAY THEY WANTED

WE'VE SEEN PROPOSALS TO TURN THE FEC, THE REGULATOR OF ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL SPEECH, INTO A PARTISAN BODY FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ALL THESE THINGS, MR

PRESIDENT — ALL THESE THINGS — A TOXIC TEMPTATION TO STOP DEBATING POLICY WITHIN OUR GREAT AMERICAN GOVERNING TRADITIONS AND INSTEAD DECLARE A WAR ON THE TRADITIONS THEMSELVES A WAR ON THE TRADITIONS THEMSELVES SO, COLLEAGUES, WHATEVER POLICY DIFFERENCES WE MAY HAVE, WE SHOULD ALL AGREE THIS IS PRECISELY THE KIND OF RECKLESSNESS — THE KIND OF RECKLESSNESS — THE SENATE WAS CREATED TO STOP THE RESPONSE TO LOSING ONE ELECTION CANNOT BE TO ATTACK THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY THE RESPONSE TO LOSING SEVERAL ELECTIONS CANNOT BE TO THREATEN THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

THE RESPONSE TO LOSING A COURT CASE CANNOT BE TO THREATEN THE JUDICIARY THE RESPONSE TO LOSING A VOTE CANNOT BE TO THREATEN THE SENATE WE SIMPLY CANNOT LET FACTIONAL FEVER BREAK OUR INSTITUTIONS IT MUST WORK THE OTHER WAY, AS MADISON AND HAMILTON INTENDED THE INSTITUTIONS MUST BREAK THE FEVER

RATHER THAN THE OTHER WAY AROUND THE FRAMERS BUILT THE SENATE TO KEEP TEMPORARY RAGE FROM DOING PERMANENT DAMAGE TO OUR REPUBLIC THE FRAMERS BUILT THE SENATE TO KEEP TEMPORARY RAGE FROM DOING PERMANENT DAMAGE TO OUR REPUBLICBLIC >>> THIS IS AN NBC NEWS NEWS SPECIAL REPORT

THE TRIAL OF DONALD J TRUMP HERE IS LESTER HOLT >> GOOD LAFTERNOON WE ARE COMING ON THE AIR TO BRING YOU NBC NEWS LIVE COVERAGE OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF PRESIDENT TRUMP, LESS THAN THIS HOURS AFTER HIS STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH TO A BITTERLY DIVIDED CONGRESS

TODAY THE FINAL ACT, THE VOTE ON WHETHER TO CONVICT AND REMOVE THE PRESIDENT OF THE TWO COUNTS OF IMPEACHMENT VOTED BY THE HOUSE, EXACTLY SEVEN WEEKS AGO NOW IT'S THE SENATE'S TURN IN AN ALL BUT CERTAIN VOTE FOR ACQUITTAL JOINING OUR COVERAGE TODAY MODERATOR OF "MEET THE PRESS" CHUCK "TODAY" AND SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL AND WITH ME FORMER US ATTORNEY CAROL LAM

KASIE HUNT IS AT THETAL WITH DRAMATIC NEWS OF ONE REPUBLICAN SENATOR DOING THE SOUL SEARCHING VOTE TO CONVICT >> Reporter: SENATOR MITT ROMNEY ONCE THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT ANNOUNCING HE IS GOING TO VOTE TO CONVICT PRESIDENT TRUMP ON THAT FIRST ARTICLE, ABUSE OF POWER HE'S DOING IT, HE SAYS, BECAUSE OFYS HIS OWN FAITH, AND HIS CONSCIENCE LET'S LISTEN TO A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT ROMNEY SAID THIS MORNING >> WERE I TO IGNORE THE EVIDENCE THAT HAS BEEN PRESENTED AND DISREGARD WHAT I BELIEVE MY OATH AND THE CONSTITUTION DEMANDS OF ME, O FOR THE SAKE OF A PARTISA END, IT WOULD, I FEAR, EXPOSE MY CHARACTER TO HISTORY'S REBUKE, ANDKE THE CENSURE OF MY OWN CONSCIENCE

>> Reporter: HE TALKS ABOUT SENDING A SIGNAL TO HIS CHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDREN THAT HE DID HIST DUTY, THAT IT IS A REMARKABLE BREAK FOR ROMNEY WITH HISOM OWN PARTY, AND WE'VE LEARD JUST IN THE LAST FEW MINUTES, LESTER, THATNU HE'S GOING TO BE THE ONLY PERSON HERE THAT WE EXPECT TO MAKE A DRAMATIC BREAK WITHMA THEIR OWN PARTY WE WERE WATCHING THREE DEMOCRATICG SENATORS, DOUG JONE, JOE MANCHIN, ALL UP FOR RE-ELECTION IN THREE STATES COME UP, JOE MANCHIN A DEMOCRAT FROM WEST VIRGINIA REELECTED BUT STILL IN A TOUGH POSITION THEY NOW WILL VOTE TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT ON BOTH OF THESE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, SO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL STAY TOGETHER THE VAST MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS WE KNOW ARE GOING TO VOTE AGAINST CONVICTING THE PRESIDENT ON ABUSE OF POWER SO MITT ROMNEY ONCE AGAIN A MAN ALONE HERE AT THE CAPITOL AND IN HIS REPUBLICAN PARTY LESTER? >> KASIE, THANKS VERY MUCH

FROM SENATORSRING MAKING REMARKS WHEN THEY RESUME FROM RECESS IT WILL BE GAVELLED IN AS PART OF THE TRIAL ITSELF P LEADING TO T READING OF THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, FOLLOWED BY THE VOTE LET'S GO TO HALLIE JACKSON RIGHT NOW WHO IS ALSO ON CAPITOL HILL >> WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS AND SOURCES CLOSEFF TO THE PRESIDEN DESCRIBE THE ROMNEY VOTE AS DISAPPOINTING BUT NOT ALL TOGETHER SURPRISING FRANKLY THERE'S NOT A LOT OF HAPPINESS ABOUT IT

WHAT YOU HAVE NOW WHEN YOU LOOK AT Y THE VOTES BETWEEN SENATOR ROMNEY AS WELL ASEN THOSE DEMOCRATS WHO ARE IN STATES THAT DONALD TRUMP WANTS, SENATOR JONES, SENATOR MANCHIN, SENATOR CINEMA, THIS IS ABOUT THE WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR THE WHITE HOUSE OTHER THAN IF IT WERE TO OF COURSE BE AN ACTUAL CONVICTION IN THIS VOTE HERE, WHICH ISN NOT THE EXPECTATION FROM ANYBODY ON EITHER SIDE T O THE AISLE WHAT THIS DOES IS IT ROBS THE WHITE HOUSE OF THE ABILITY TO CALL THISBI A BIPARTISAN ACQUITL AND IT DOESN'T LET THEM ARGUE IT SAY BIPARTISAN CONVICTION FROM ADVISERS TO THE PRESIDENT ANO ACQUITTAL IS AN ACQUITTAL THEY WILL SEIZE ON THE IDEA IF THIS ROAD GOES THE DIRECTION AS EVERYBODY EXPECTS IT TO GO, THAT THE PRESIDENT WILL BE ACQUITTED HE'LL STILL BE IMPEACHED, LESTER, HE WILL STAY IN OFFICE, THE THIRD EVER IMPEACHMENT OF A PRESIDENT OF COURSE IN U

S HISTORY AND NOW THE THIRD EVER ACQUITTAL OF AN IMPEACHED PRESIDENT IN US HISTORY THE DIFFERENCE HERE IS UNLIKE FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON IN 1999, PRESIDENT TRUMP IS RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION, AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WILL BE ON DISPLAY

IT WAS HERE LAST NIGHT, LESTER, THAT STATE OF THE UNION, AND IT WILL BE OVER THE NEXT SEVEN MONTHS AS PRESIDENT TRUMP IS IN OFFICE >> THEY AREN COMING BACK INTO SESSION LET'S TAKE A QUICK PEEK IF WE CAN ON THE SENATE FLOOR >> ALL PERSONS ARE COMMANDED TO KEEP SILENCE ON PAIN OF C IMPRISONMENT WHILE THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES IS SITTING FOR THE TRIAL OF THE ARTICLELESS OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AGAINST DONALD JOHN TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AS A REMINDER TO EVERYONE IN THE CHAMBER AS WELL AS THOSE IN THE GALLERIES, DEMONSTRATIONS OF APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL ARE PROHIBITED

>> THE MAJORITY LEADER IS RECOGNIZED >> CHIEF JUSTICE, THE SENATE IS NOW READY TO VOTE ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, AND AFTER THAT IS DONE, WE WILL ADJOURN THE COURT OF IMPEACHMENT >> THE CLERK WILL NOW READ THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT >> ARTICLE ONE, ABUSE OF POWER, THE CONSTITUTION PROVIDES THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES "SHALL HAVE THE SOLE POWER OFTH IMPEACHMENT" THAT THE PRESIDENT "SHALL BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE ON IMPEACHMENT FORN AND CONVICTION OF TREASON, BRIBERY OR OTHERMIS

"IN HIS CONDUCT OF THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OFF THE YOU STAUTS IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OATHUT FAITHFULLY TO EXECUTE TH OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND THEES CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, AND INCO VIOLATION OF H CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO TAKE CARE THAT THEO LAWS BE FAITHFULLY EXECUTED, DONALD J TRUMP ABUSED THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENCY IN THAT USING THE POWERS OF HIS OFFICE, PRESIDENT TRUMP SOLICITED THE INTERFERENCE OF A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, UKRAINE, IN THE 2020 UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIOND HEES DID SO THROUGH A SCHEME OR COURSE OF CONDUCT THAT INCLUDED SOLICITING THE GOVERNMENDET OF UKRAINE TO PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE INVESTIGATIONS THAT WOULD BENEFIT HIS RE-ELECTION, HARM THE ELECTION PROSPECTS OF POLITICAL OPPONENTS AND INFLUENCE THE 2020 UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TO HIS ADVANTAGE PRESIDENT TRUMP ALSO SOUGHT TO PRESSURE THEGH GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE TO TAKE THESE STEPS BY CONDITIONING S OFFICIAL UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACTS OF SIGNIFICANT VALUE TO UKRAINE ON ITS PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE INVESTIGATIONS PRESIDENT TRUMP ENGAGED IN THE SCHEME OR COURSE OF CONDUCT FOR CORRUPT PURPOSES IN PURSUIT OF PERSONAL OR POLITICAL PRESIDENT

PRESIDENT TRUMP USED THE POUSHZ OF THE U PRESIDENCY AND MAN OF COMPROMISED SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND UNDERMINED THE INTEGRITY OF THE UNITED STATES DEMOCRATIC PROCESS HE IGNORED THE INTERESTS OF THE NATION PRESIDENT TRUMP ENGAGED IN THIS SCHEME I OR COURSE OF CONDUCT THROUGH THE FOLLOWING MEANS — ONE, PRESIDENT TRUMP ACTING BOTH DIRECTLY AND THROUGH HIS AGENTS WITHIN AND GHOUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CORRUPTLY SOLICITED THE GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE TO PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE INVESTIGATIONS INTO A, A POLITICAL OPPONENT, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH R BIDEN, JR, AND BT A DISCREDITED THEORY PROMOTED BY RUSSIA ALLEGING THAT UKRAINE, RATHER THAN RUSSIA, INTERFERED IN THE 2016 UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

TWO, WITH THE SAME CORRUPT MOTIVE, PRESIDENT TRUMP ACTING BOTHUM DIRECTLY AND THROUGH HIS AGENTS WITHIN THE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CONDITIONED TWO OFFICIAL ACTSS N THE PUBLICCI ANNOUNCEMENTS THATE HAD REQUESTED A, THE RELEASE OF $391 MILLION OF UNITED STATES TAXPAYER FUNDS THAT CONGRESS HADPA APPROPRIATE ON A BIPARTISAN BASIS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING VITAL MILITARY AND SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE TO OPPOSE RUSSIAN AGGRESSION O AND WHICH PRESIDEN TRUMP HADHI ORDERED SUSPENDED, D B, A HEAD OF STATE MEETING AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WHICH THE PRESIDENT OFHI UKRAINE SOUGHT T DEMONSTRATE CONTINUED UNITED STATES SUPPORT FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE IN THE FACE OF RUSSIAN AGGRESSION THREE, FACED WITH THE PUBLIC REVELATION OF HIS ACTIONS, PRESIDENT TRUMP RELEASED THE MILITARY AND SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE, AND HAS PERSISTED IN OPENLY AN CORRUPTLY URGING ANDY SOLICITIN UKRAINE TO UNDERTAKE INVESTIGATIONS FOR HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL BENEFITS THESE ACTIONS WERE CONSISTENT WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PREVIOUS INVITATIONS OF FOREIGN INTERFERENCE, UNITED STATES ELECTIONS IN ALL OF THIS, PRESIDENT TRUMP ABUSED THE POWERS OF T THE PRESIDENCY BY IGNORING AND INJURING NATIONAL SECURITY AND OTHER VITAL NATIONAL INTERESTS TONA OBTAIN AN IMPROPER PERSONA POLITICAL BENEFIT

HE HASL ALSO BETRAYED THE NATI BY T ABUSING HIS HIGH OFFICE TO ENLIST A FOREIGN POWER IN CORRUPTING DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS WHEREVER PRESIDENT TRUMP BY SUCH CONDUCT HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT HE WILL REMAIN A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE CONSTITUTION IF ALLOWED TO REMAIN IN OFFICE, AND HAS ACTED IN A MANNER GROSSLY INCOMPATIBLE WITH SELF-GOVERNANCE AND THECO RULE LAW PRESIDENT TRUMP THUS WARRANTS IMPEACHMENT AND TRIAL, REMOVAL FROM ACOFFICE, AND DISQUALIFICATION TO HOLD AND ENJOY ANY OFFICE OF HONOR, TRUST, OR PROFIT UNDER THE UNITED STATES" >> EACH SENATOR WHEN HIS OR HER NAME IS CALLED WILL STAND IN HIS OR HERS PLACE AND VOTE GUILTY NOT GUILTY, AS REQUIRED BY RULE 23 OF B THE SENATE RULES ON IMPEACHMENT ARTICLE ONE SECTION THREE CLAUSE SIXEE OF THE DISCUSSION REGARDI THE VOTE REQUIRED FOR CONVICTION ON IMPEACHMENT PROVIDES THAT NO PERSON SHALL BE CONVICTED WITHOUT THE CONCURRENCE OF TWO-THIRDS OF THE MEMBERS PRESENT

THE QUESTION IS ON THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU? IS THE RESPONDENT, DONALD JOHN TRUMP,AL GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY? A ROLL CALL VOTE IS REQUIRED THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL >> MR ALEXANDER >> NOT GUILTY

>> MR ALEXANDER NOT GUILTY >> MS BALDWIN? >> GUILTY >> MS

BALDWIN GUILTY MR BARRASSO? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR BARRASSO NOT GUILTY

MR BENNET? >> GUILTY >> MR BENNET GUILTY MRS

BLACKBURN? >> NOT GUILTY >> MRS BLACKBURN NOT GUILTY MR BLUMENTHAL? >> GUILTY

>> MR BLUMENTHAL GUILTY >> MR BLUNT? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

BLUNT NOT GUILTY MR BOOKER? >> GUILTY >> MR BOOKER, GUILTY

MR BOOZMAN? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR BOOZMAN NOT GUILTY MR

SFWLAUN >> NO GUILTY >> MR BRAUN NOT GUILTY MR BROWN? >> GUILTY

>> MR BROWN, GUILTY MR BURR? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

BURR NOT GUILTY MISS CANTWELL? >> GUILTY >> MISS CANTWELL GUILTY MRS CAPITO? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MISS CAPITO NOT GUILTY MR CARDIN? >>MR GUILTY >> MR CARDIN GUILTY

MR CARPER? >> GUILTY >> MR CARPER GUILTY MR

CASEY? >> GUILTY >> MR CASEY GUILTY MR CASSIDY? NOT GUILTY

>> MR CASSIDY NOT GUILTY MISS KOHL SNINS >> NOT GUILTY >> MISS COLLINS NOT GUILTY MR

COONS? >>MR GUILTY >> MR COONS, GUILTY MR CORNYN? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MR CORNYN NOT GUILTY MS CORTEZT MASTO? >> GIMTY >> MS

CORTEZ MASTO GUILTY MR COTTON? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR COTTON NOT GUILTY

MR CRAMER? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR CRAMER NOT GUILTY MR

CRAPO? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR CRAPO NOT GUILTY MR CRUZ? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MR CRUZ NOT DILTY MR DAINES? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

DANES NOT GUILTY MISS DUCKWORTH? >> GUILTY >> MISS DUCKWORTH, GUILTY MR DURBIN? >> GUILTY

>> MR DURBY GUILTY MR ENZI? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

ENZI NOT GUILTY MISS ERNST NOT GUILTY MRS FEIN STEIN GUILTY MRS

FISCHER? >> NOT GUILTY >> MRS FISCHER NOT GUILTY MR GARDNER NOT GUILTY

MRS GILLIBRAND? >> GUILTY >> MRS GILLIBRAND GUILTY MR

GRAHAM? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR GRAHAM NOT GUILTY MR GRASSLEY? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MR GRASSLEY NOT GUILTY MISS HARRIS? >> GUILTY >> MISS HARRIS GUILTY MISS HASSAN? >> GUILTY

>> MR HAWLEY? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR HAWLEY NOT GUILTY MR

HEINRICH? >> GUILTY >> MR HEINRICH GUILTY MISS HIRONO? >> GUILTY >> MISS HIROONO GUILTY

MR HOEVEN? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR HOEVEN NOT GUILTY MISS HYDE-SMITH? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MISS HYDE-SMITH NOT GUILTY MR INHOFE? >> NOT GUILTY >> INHOFE NOT GUILTY MR

JOHNSON? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR JOHNSON NOT GUILTY MR JONES? >> GUILTY

>> MR JONES GUILTY MR KAINE? GUILTY >> MR

KAINE GUILTY MR KENNEDY? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR KENNEDY NOT GUILTY

MR KING? >> GUILTY >> MR KING GUILTY MISS KLOBUCHAR? >> GUILTY

>> MISS KLOBUCHAR GUILTY MR LANGFORD? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR LANGFORD NOT GUILTY

MR LEAHY? MR LEAHY GUILTY MR LEE? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MISS LOEFFLER NOT GUILTY MR MANCHIN? >> GUILTY >> MR MANCHIN GUILTY

MR MARKEY? >> GUILTY >> MR MARKEY GUILTY MR

McCONNELL? >> NOT GUILTY >> MRTY McCONNELL NOT GUILTY MISS McSALLY? >> NOT GUILTY >> MISS

McSALLY NOT GUILTY MR MENENDEZ? >> GUILTY >> MR MENENDEZ GUILTY

WILL MERKLEY? >> GUILTY >> MR MORAN? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR MORAN NOT GUILTY

MISS MURKOWSKI? >> NOT GUILTY >> MISS MURKOWSKI NOT GUILTY MR MURPHY? >>MR GUILTY >> MR

MURPHY GUILTY MRS MURRAY? GUILTY >> MRS MURRAY GUILTY

MR TYPAUL? >> NOT GUILTY >> MRR PAUL NOT GUILTY

MR PERDUE? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR PERDUE NOT GUILTY

MR PETERS? >> GUILTY >> MR PETERS GUILTY MR

PORTMAN? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR PORTMAN NOT GUILTY >> MR REED? >> GUILTY

>> MR RISC NOT GUILTY MR ROBERTS NOT GUILTY MR

ROMNEY? >> GUILTY >> MR ROMNEY GUILTY MISS ROSEN? >> GUILTY >> MISS ROSEN GUILTY

MR ROUNDS? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR ROUNDS NOT GUILTY MR

RUBIO? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR RUBIO NOT GUILTY MR SANDERS? >> GUILTY

>> MR SANDERS, GUILTY MR SASS SNE >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

SASSE NOT GUILTY MR SCHATZ, GUILTY MR SCHUMER? >> GUILTY

>> MR SCHUMER GUILTY MR SCOTT OF FLORIDA? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

SCOTT OF FLORIDA NOT GUILTY MR SCOTT OF SOUTH CAROLINA >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

SCOTT OF SOUTH CAROLINA NOT GUILTY MRS SHAHEEN? >> GUILTY >>Y MR

SHELBY? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR SHELBY NOT GUILTY MISS SINEMA? >> GUILTY >> MISS SMITH? >> GUILTY

>> MISS SMITH GUILTY MR STABENOW? >> GUILTY >> MISS STABENOW GUILTY MR

SULLIVAN? >> NOTMR GUILTY >> MR SULLIVAN NOT GUILTY MR TESTER? >> GUILTY

>> MR THUNE? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR THUNE NOT GUILTY MR

TILLIS? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR TILLIS NOT GUILTY MR TOOMEY? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MR TOOMEY NOT GUILTY MR UDALL? >> GUILTY >> MR

UDALL GUILTY MR VAN HOLLEN? >> GUILTY >> MR

VAN HOLLEN GUILTY MR WARNER? >> GUILTY >> MR WARNER GUILTY

MS WARREN? >> GUILTY >> MS WARREN GUILTY MR

WHITEHOUSE? >>>> GUILTY >> MR WHITEHOUSE GUILTY MR WICKER? >> NOT GUILTY

>> MR WICKER NOT GUILTY MR WYDEN? >> GUILTY >> MR

WYDEN GUILTY MR YOUNG? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR YOUNG NOT GUILTY

>> THIS ARTICLE OF MPMENT, 48 SENATORSRS PRONOUNCED DONALD JO TRUMP PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES GUILTY OF CHARGED SENATORS HAVE PRONOUNCED HIM NOT GUILTY AS CHARGED TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS NOT HAVING PRONOUNCED HIM GUILTY THE SENATE OF JUDGES THE RESPONDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOTRU GUIL AS CHARGED IN THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT THE CLERK WILL READ THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT >> ARTICLE TWO, OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS

THE CONSTITUTION PROVIDES THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SHALL HAVE THE SOLE POWERE OF IMPEACHMENT AND THAT THE PRESIDENT SHALL BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE ON IMPEACHMENT FOR AND CONVICTION OF TREASON, BRIBERY OR OTHER HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS IN HIS CONDUCT OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT O THE UNITED STATES AND IN VIOLATION OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL OATH, FAITHFULLY TOAT EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND TO THE BEST OF HIS ABILITY PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, AND INCO VIOLATION OF H CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO TAKE CARE THAT THE LAWS BE FAITHFULLY EXECUTED, DONALD J TRUMP HAS DIRECTED THEAS UNPRECEDENTED CATEGORICAL AND INDISCRIMINATE DEFIANCE OF SUBPOENAS ISSUED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PURSUANT TO ITS SOLE POWER OF IMPEACHMENT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS ABUSED THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENCY IN A MANNER OFFENSIVE TO AND SUBVERSIVE OF THE CONSTITUTION IN THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS ENGAGED IN AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY FOCUSED ON PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CORRUPT SOLICITATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE TO INTERFERE IN THE 2020 UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AS PART OF THIS IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, THE COMMITTEES UNDERTAKING THE INVESTIGATION SERVE SUBPOENAS, SEEKING DOCUMENTS AND TESTIMONY BEING VITAL TO THE INQUIRY FROM VARIOUS EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES AND OFFICESXE AND CURRT AND FORMER OFFICIALS

IN RESPONSE, WITHOUT LAWFUL CAUSE OR EXCUSE, PRESIDENT TRUMP DIRECTED EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES, OFFICES AND OFFICIALS NOT TO COMPLY WITH THOSE SUBPOENAS PRESIDENT TRUMP THUS INTERPOSED THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENCY AGAINST THE LAWFUL SUBPOENAS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ASSUMED TO HIMSELF FUNCTION AND JUDGMENT NECESSARY TO THE EXERCISE OF THE SOLE POWER OF IMPEACHMENT VESTED BY THE CONSTITUTION IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PRESIDENT TRUMP ABUSED THE POWERS OF HIS HIGH OFFICE TO THE FOLLOWING MEANS ONE,E, DIRECTING THE WHITE HOUS TO DEFY A LAWFUL SUBPOENA BY WITHHOLDING THE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS SOUGHT THEREIN BY THE COMMITTEES TWO, DIRECTING OTHER EXECUTIVE AGENCIES ANDXE OFFICES TO DEFY LAWFUL SUBPOENAS AND WITHHOLD THE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS FROM THE COMMITTEES, IN RESPONSE TO WHICH THE DEPARTMEN OF STATE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REFUSED TO PRODUCE A SINGLE DOCUMENT OR RECORD

THREE, DIRECTING CURRENT AND FORMER EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIALS NOT TO COOPERATE WITH THE COMMITTEES IN RESPONSE TO WHICH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS DEFIED SUBPOENAS FOR TESTIMONY, JOHN MICHAEL MICK MULVANEY, ROBERT BLAIR, JOHN EISENBERG, MICHAEL ELLIS, CHRIS TEN GRIFFITH, MICHAEL DUFFY, BRIAN McCORMICK AND TULRICHT BRECHTBULL THROUGH THESE ACTIONS, PRESIDENT TRUMP SOUGHT TO ABROGATE THE NATURE OF AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY INTO HIS OWN CONDUCT AS WELL AS THE UNILATERAL PREROGATIVE TO DENY ANY AND ALL INFORMATION TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS SOLE POWER OF MUCH PEACHMENT NO PRESIDENT HAS EVER ORDERED THE COMPLETE DEFIANCE OF AN IMPEACHMENTN INQUIRY OR THOUGHT TO OBSTRUCT AND IMPEDE SO COMPREHENSIVELY THE ABILITY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO INVESTIGATE HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS HIS ABUSE OF OFFICE SERVED TO COVER UP S THE PRESIDENT'S OWN REPEATED MISCONDUCT AND SEIZE AND CONTROL THE POWER OF IMPEACHMENT AND THUS TO NULLIFY A VITAL CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARD VESTEDFE SOLELY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

IN ALL OF THIS, PRESIDENT TRUMP HASIS ACTED IN A MANNER CONTRAR TO HISR TRUST AS PRESIDENT, AND SUBVERSIVE ONDF THE CONSTITUTIOL GOVERNMENT, TO C THE GREAT PREJUDICE OF THE CAUSE OF LAW AND JUSTICE AND TO THE MANIFEST INJURY OF THETH PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES WHEREVER, PRESIDENT TRUMP BY SUCH CONDUCT HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT HE WILL REMAIN A THREAT TO THE CONSTITUTION IF ALLOWED TO REMAIN IN OFFICE AND HAS ACTED IN A H MANNER GROSSLY INCOMPATIE WITH SELF-GOVERNANCE AND THE RULE OFOV LAW PRESIDENT TRUMP THUS WARRANTS IMPEACHMENT AND TRIAL REMOVAL FROM OFFICE AND DISQUALIFICATION TO HOLD AND ENJOY ANY OFFICE OF HONOR, TRUST, OR PROFIT UNDER THE UNITED STATES >> THE QUESTION IS ON THE SECOND ARTICLE T OF IMPEACHMENT SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU? IS THE RESPONDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY? THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL

>> MR ALEXANDERL >> NOT GUILTY >> MR ALEXANDER NOT GUILTY

>> MS BALDWIN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR BARRASSO? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MR BENNET? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MRS

BLACKBURN? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR BLUMENTHAL? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MR BLUNT? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR BLUNT NOT GUILTY MR

BOOKER? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR BOOZMAN? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY

MR BRAUN? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR BROWN? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR BURR? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MISS CANTWELL? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MRS CAPITO? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

CARDIN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR CARPER? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MR CASEY? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR CASSIDY? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MS COLLINS? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

COONS? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR CORNYN? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY

MS CORTEZ MASTO? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR COTTON? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MR CRAMER? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

CRAPO? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR CRUZ? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY

MR DAINES? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MISS DUCKWORTH? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MR DURBIN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR ENZI? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MISS ERNST? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MRS FEINSTEIN? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MRS FISCHER? >> NOT GUILTYYY

>> NOT GUILTY MR GARDNER? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MRS

GILLIBRAND? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR GRAHAM? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY

MR GRASSLEY? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MS HARRIS? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MISS HASSAN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR HAWLEY? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MR HEINRICH? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MISS HIRONO? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR HOEVEN? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MRS

HYDE-SMITH? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR INHOFE? >> NOT GUILTY >> MR

JOHNSON? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR JONES? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MR KAINE? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR KENNEDY? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MR KING? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MISS KLOBUCHAR? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR LANGFORD? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

LEAHY? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR LEE? >> NOT GUILTYY

>> NOT GUILTY MRS LOEFFLER? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTYY

MR MANCHIN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR MARKEY? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR McCONNELL? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MS

McSALLY? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR MENENDEZ? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MR MERKLEY? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR MORAN? >> NOT GUILTY

MO >> NOT GUILTY MS MURKOWSKI? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

MURPHY? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MRS MURRAY? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MR PAUL? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR PERDUE? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MR PETERS? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR

PORTMAN? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTYY MR REED? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR RISCH? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

ROBERTS? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR ROMNEY? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY

MS ROSEN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR ROUNDS? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MR RUBIO? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

SANDERS? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR SASSE? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY

MR SCHATZ? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR SCHUMER? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR SCOTT OF FLORIDA? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR

SCOTT OF SOUTH CAROLINA >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MRS SHAHEEN? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR SHELBY? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MISS SINEMA? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MISS SMITH? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MISS STABENOW? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MR SULLIVAN? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR TESTER? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR THUNE? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY

MR TILLIS? >> NOT GUILTY >> NOT GUILTY MR TOOMEY? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY MR UDALL? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR

VAN HOLLEN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR WARNER? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY

MS WARREN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR WHITEHOUSE? >> GUILTY

>> GUILTY MR WICKER? >> NOT GUILTYY >> NOT GUILTY

MR WYDEN? >> GUILTY >> GUILTY MR YOUNG? >> NOT GUILTY

>> NOT GUILTY >> ON ATHRL OF IMPEACHMENT, 47 SENATORS HAVEAC PRONOUNCED DONA JOHN TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, T GUILTY AS CHARGED 53 SENATORS HAVE PRONOUNCED HIM NOT GUILTY AS CHARGED TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT NOT HAVING PRONOUNCED HIM GIMTY THE SENATE OF JUDGES OF RESPONDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOT GUILTY AS CHARGED IN THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT THE PRESIDING OFFICER PRESENTS JUDGMENT AS FFFOLLOWS

THE SENATE HAVING TRIED DONALD JOHN TRUMP, PRESIDENTSE OF THE UNITED STATES UPON TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED AGAINST HIM BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT NOT HAVING FOUND HIM GUILTY OF THE CHARGES CONTAINED THEREIN, IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT THE SAID DONALD JOHN TRUMP BE AND HE IS HEREBY ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGES IN SAID ARTICLES >> MR CHIEF JUSTICE? >> THE MAJORITY LEADER IS RECOGNIZED >> I SENT AN ORDER TO THE DESK >> THE CLERK WILL REPORT

REN >> ORDERED THAT THE SECRETARY BE DIRECTED TO COMMUNICATE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE AS PROVIDED BY RULE 23 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE IN THE SENATE WHEN SITTING ON IMPEACHMENT TRIALS AND ALSO TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THE JUDGMENT OF THE SENATE AND THE CASE OF DONALD JOHN TRUMP AND TRANSMIT A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE JUDGMENT TO EACH >> WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE ORDER WILL BE ENTERED >> MR CHIEF JUSTICE? >> THE MAJORITY LEADER IS RECOGNIZED

>> BEFORE THE PROCESS FULLY CONCLUDES I WANT TO VERY QUICKLY ACKNOWLEDGE A FEW OF THE PEOPLE WHO HELPED THE SENATE FULFILL OURHE DUTY THESE PAST WEEKS FIRST AND FOREMOST, I KNOW MY COLLEAGUES JOIN ME IN THANKING CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS FOR PRESIDING OVER THE SENATE TRIAL, WITHAT A CLEAR HEAD, STEADY HAN AND THE FOREBEARANCE THAT THIS RARE OCCASION DEMANDS [ APPLAUSE ] WE KNOW FULL WELL HIS PRESENCE AS OUR PRESIDING OFFICER CAME IN ADDITION TO, NOTPR INSTEAD OF H DAY JOB ACROSS THE STREET SO THE SENATE THANKS THE CHIEF JUSTICE AND HIS STAFF, WHO HELPED HIM PERFORM THIS UNIQUE ROLE LIKE HIS PREDECESSOR, CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST, THE SENATE WILL BE AWARDING CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS THE GOLDEN GAVEL

TO COMMEMORATE HIS TIME PRESIDING OVER THIS BODY, WE TYPICALLY AWARD A SENATOR AFTER ABOUT 100 HOURS IN THE CHAIR I BELIEVE WE CAN AGREE THE CHIEF JUSTICE HAS PUT IN HIS DUE AND THEN SOMEIC THE PAGE IS DELIVERING THE GAVELTH >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH >> OF OUCOURSE, THERE ARE COUNTLESS SENATE PROFESSIONALS WHOSE EFFORTS WERE ESSENTIAL

I HAVE MORE THOROUGH FACTS TO OFFER NEXT WEEK TO ALL OF THE TEAMS AND THE SECRETARY OF SENATE'S OFFICE,RE THE PARLIAMENTARIANS TO THE SERGEANT AT ARMS TEAM AND BEYOND BUT THERE ARE TWO MORE GROUPS I'D LIKE TOE SINGLE OUT NOW FIRST, THE TWO DIFFERENT CLASSES OF SENATE PAGES WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS TRIAL, THEIR FOOTWORK AND COOL UNDER PRESSURE LITERALLY KEPT THE RUNNING IT CAME ON THE THIRD PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY AND QUICKLY FOUND THEMSELVES HAND DELIVERING 180 QUESTION CARDS FROM SENATORS' DESKS TO THE DAIS NO PRESSURE, RIGHT, GUYS? SO THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR YOUR GOOD WORK

[ APPLAUSE ] A AND SECOND, FINE MEN AND WOMEN OF A THE CAPITOL POLICE WE KNOWIT THE SAFETY OF OUR DEMOCRACY LITERALLY RESTS IN THEIR HANDSES EVERY SINGLE DAY, BUT THE HEIGHTENED MEASURES SURROUNDING THE TRIAL MEANT EVEN MORE HOURS AND EVEN MORE WORK AND EVEN MORE VIGILANCE THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THIS BODY, AND TO THE COUNTRY [ APPLAUSE ] F >> THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER >> I JOIN THE REPUBLICAN LEADER IN THANKING THE PERSONNEL WHO AIDED THE SENATE OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, CAPITOL POLICE DO AN OUTSTANDING JOB DAY IN DAY OUT TO PROTECT THE MEMBERS OF THE CHAMBER, THEIR STAFF, THE PRESS, AND EVERYONE WHO WORKS IN AND VISITS THIS CAPITOL

THEY WERE ASKED TO WORK EXTRA SHIFTS AND IN GREATER NUMBERS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SECURITY OVER THE PAST THREE WEEKS THANK YOU TO EVERY ONE OF THEM I, TOO, WOULD LIKE TO THANK THOSE WONDERFUL PAGES I SO MUCH ENJOYED YOU WITH YOUR SERIOUS FACES, WALKING DOWN RIGHT HERE AND GIVING THE CHIEF JUSTICE OUR QUESTIONS, AS THE LEADER NOTED, THE NEW CLASS OF PAGES STARTED MIDWAY IN THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WHEN YOU TAKE A NEW JOB, YOU'RE USUALLY GIVEN A FEW DAYS TO TAKE STOCK OF THINGS, GET UP TO SPEED

THIS CLASS WAS GIVEN NO SUCH LEEWAY, BUT THEY STEPPED RIGHT IN,PP DIDN'T MISS A BEAT, FERRYG HUNDREDS OF QUESTIONS FROM US SENATORS TO U THE CHIEF JUSTICEN NATIONAL TELEVISION IS NOT HOW MOST OF US SPEND OUR FIRST WEEK AT WORK BUT THEY DID IT WITH APLUM I'D LIKE TO EXTEND MY THANK YOU TO DAVID HOUCK OF THE DISABILITY SERVICES, TYLER HUMPHREY, AND GREG RIDGEWAY, THE DIRECTOR OF CAPITOL FACILITIES

EVERYONE ON GRACE'S TEAM WORKED SO HARD TO MAKE SURE WE WERE READY FOR IMPEACHMENT GARY RICHARDSON KNOWN AFFECTIONATELY TO US AS TINY, THE CHIEF CHAMBER ATTENDANT, JIM HOOVER AND THE CABINET SHOP WHO BUILT NEW CABINETS TO DEPRIVE OF US OF THE USE OF OUR ELECTRONICS AND FLIP PHONES DURING THE TRIAL BRENDA BYRD AND HER TEAM DID A SPECTACULAR JOB OF KEEPING THE CAPITOL CLEAN AND LYDER WEBB AND HIS TEAM MOVED THE FURNITURE AND THEN MOVED IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN GRACE, WE APPRECIATE ALL YOUR HARD WORK PLEASE CONVEY OUR SINCEREST THANKS TO YOUR STAFF

THANK YOU ALL, THE WHOLE STAFF, FOR YOUR DILIGENT WORK THROUGH MANY LONG DAYS AND LATE NIGHTS DURING THIS VERY TRYING TIME IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY >> MR CHIEF JUSTICE? >> THE CHAIR ALSO WISHES TO MAKE A VERY BRIEF STATEMENT I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN BY THANKING THEIN MAJORITY LEADER D THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER FOR THEIR SUPPORT AS I ATTEMPTED TO CARRY OUT ILL-DEFINED RESPONSIBILITIES IN AN UNFAMILIAR SETTING THEY ENSURED THAT I HAD THE WISE COUNSEL OF THE SENATE ITSELF, THROUGH ITS SECRETARY, AND HER LEGISLATIVE STAFF

I AM ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL TO THE PARLIAMENTARIAN AND HER DEPUTY FOR THEIR UNSAILING PATIENCE AND KEEP INSIGHT I LIKEWISE AM GRATEFUL TO THE SERGEANT ATTE ARMS AND HIS STAF FOR THE ASSISTANCE AND MANY COURTESIES THAT THEY EXTENDED DURING MY PERIOD OF ACQUIRED RESIDENCY AND THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING MY PRESENCE HERE AT COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE AS I DEPART THE CHAMBER, I DO SO WITH AN INVITATION TO VISIT THE COURT BY LONG TRADITION AND IN MEMORY OF THE 135 YEARS WE SAT IN THIS BUILDING, WE KEEP THE FRONT ROW OF THE GALLERY IN OUR COURTROOM OPEN FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO MIGHT WANT TO DROP BY TOT SEE AN ARGUMENT OR TO ESCAPE ONE I ALSO WANT DEPART WITH SINCERE GOOD WISHES AS WE CARRY OUT OUR COMMON COMMITMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION THROUGH THE DISTINCT ROLES ASSIGNED TO US BY THATIG CHARTER

YOU HAVE BEEN GENEROUS HOSTS AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AGAIN UNDER HAPPIER CIRCUMSTANCES >> THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE MAJORITY LEADER >> I MOVE THAT THE SENATE SITTING AS THE COURT OF IMPEACHMENT ON THE ARTICLES AGAINST DONALD JOHN TRUMP ADJOURN >> WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE MOTION IS AGREED TO THE SENATE SITTING AS THE COUR OF S IMPEACHMENT STANDS ADJOURN

SINE DAI >> THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF PRESIDENT TRUMP IS OVER A PRESIDENT WHO HAS TRIUMPHED OVER SO MANY ETHICALLY, MORALLY AND PERILOUS MOMENTS WILL NOT BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE THE VOTE ON THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER, 52-48, ONE REPUBLICAN VOTING GUILT THE SECOND ARTICLE OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS, PARTY LINE VOTE 53-47

LET'S GO TO CHUCK TODD RIGHT NOW FOR SOME FIRST THOUGHTS CHUCK? >> WELL, LOOK, IT'S FUNNY THE WAY YOU INTRODUCED THAT, LESTER IT MADE ME THINK THIS IS THE STORY OF I DONALD TRUMP'S LIFE, OKAY, WHICH IS HE PUSHES THINGS UP H TO THE LINE, HE CROSSES TH LINE, HE GETS PUSHED BACK, AND HE SOMEHOW SURVIVES I GUESS THE QUESTION ON THIS, HE HAS SURVIVED THIS BUT THE REQUEST HE IS DOES HE SURVIVE SS NOVEMBER? HAS THIS DONE MORE DAMAGE LONG-TERM OR HAS HE UNITED HIS PARTY? I WILL SAY THIS, I THINK THE MITT ROMNEY DECISION TO VOTE TO CONVICT DOES DENY THE PRESIDENT SORT OF THE ABILITY TO CALL IT A BIPARTISAN ACQUITTAL, THAT'S NOT AN INSIGNIFICANT THING, BUT IN MANY WAYS, THE FACT THAT THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT, THE LAST ONE BEFORE DONALD TRUMP BECAME LEADER OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, DECIDED TO DO THIS I THINK SERVES AS JUST AS MUCH OF A REBUKE AS A CENSURE WOULD DO AND THERE'S BEEN SOME TALK OF THAT

IN MANY WAYS THE FACT THAT THE FIRST TIMET WE'VE REALLY HAD AN IMPEACHMENT IN THE MODERN ERA THAT SOMEBODY FROM THE SAME PARTYY VOTED TO CONVICT, I THIN IT DOES SERVE AS SORT OF AN ADDED EXCLAMATION POINT TO THE IMPEACHMENTO ITSELF AND WHILE IS ACQUITTAL HAS BEEN GOOD FOR HIS BASE POLITICS SO FAR, I DO THINK THISNK THIS IMPEACHMENT VOTE WILL LIVE FOR A LONG TIME WITH THESE SENATORS AND TH QUESTION HOW LONG WILL IT LIVE WITHHE THEM A WHICH T ONE WILL HAUNT THEM MOR THOSE THAT O VOTED TO ACQUIT OR THOSE THAT VOTED TO CONVICT I THINK OF THIS LIKE THE IRAQ WAR VOTE YOU DON'T KNOW TODAY HOW THIS IS GOING TO PLAY TOMORROW >> ANDREA MITCHELL WATCHING ALONG WITH USMI IN WASHINGTON, GOT TO STEP INTO YOUR WORLD YESTERDAY, BOTH OF YOUR WORLDS, SPENDING SOME TIME AT THE WHITE HOUSE ANDME THE CAPITAL, AND CA AWAY WITH THEND BIG QUESTION OF WHETHER THIS CONGRESS, THIS GOVERNMENT AS WE SEE IT IN THIS SITUATION RIGHT NOW ISN GOING T GET ANYTHING DONE HERENG IN THE NEXT YEAR

>> I THINK LAST NIGHT'S SPEECH ANSWERS THAT QUESTION EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCY MEASURES, IT SEEMS VERY UNLIKELY BECAUSE I HAVE NEVERAU SEEN THE HOUSE CHAMBER AS DIVIDED AS PARTISAN AS IT WAS LAST NIGHT I SPENT YEARS ON THE HILL, COVERED THE WHITE HOUSE AS WELL IN FOREIGN POLICY AND I'VE NEVER SEEN THIS GOVERNMENT SO RIDDLED WITH ANGER AT THE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS, THE CABINET DIVIDED, AS WELL AS THE CENTRAL CORPS OF THIS IMPEACHMENT WAS OVER FOREIGNME POLICY, UKRAINE, OVER THE ACCUSATION OF COURSE OF ABUSE OF POWER INVITING FOREIGN INTERFERENCE INTO THE AMERICAN ELECTION SO THERE'S ALMOST NO PART OF GOVERNMENT THAT IS TOGETHER IT'S LOY OF CRITICISM FROM THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

THE CIA DIRECTOR, PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE WAY ONE NETWORK POOL WAS NOT SHOWING OPPOSITION, COMES TO MY RECOLLECTION TWO CAREER PROFESSIONALS AND FORMER REPUBLICAN CIA DIRECTORS, THE FIRSTOR DIRECTOR TO STAND AND APPLAUSE AND CHEER WITH THE REPUBLICAN HOUSE MEMBERS ON DOMESTIC ISSUES, ON POLITICAL ISSUES AND IT SEEMS AS THOUGH EVEN IN THAT TYPICALLY NON-POLITICAL, NON-POLICY-MAKING PART OF GOVERNMENT, THAT ALSO WAS SWEPT UP, SHE WAS SWEPT UP, THE CAREER PROFESSIONALS SWEPT UP IN THE POLITICS OF THE MOMENT YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT WITH THE MILITARY THE JOINT CHIEFS THEIR HANDS FOLDED, THE SUPREME COURT AS WELL BUTLD THERE'S SO MUCH DIVISION OBVIOUSLY NANCY PELOSI, THE PRESIDENT, NOT TAKING HER HAND THE PRESIDENT CLAIMING INCORRECTLY THAT HE WOULD SIGN A DRUGN PRESCRIPTION DRUG LOWERIN COST-LOWERING BILL THE MINUTE IT HIT HIS DESK THERE IS AT BIPARTISAN BILL IN THE SENATE

MITCH McCONNELL HAS BROUGHT IT UP THERE ARE BILLS YOU HEARD THE CRIES OF HR-3, THE CLAIM THAT THE MEDICAL ISSUES HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND ARE SITTING ON THE DESK AND THE FACT THAT THE PRESIDENT CLAIMS THAT HE AND REPUBLICANS WANT TO PROTECT PREEXISTING CONDITIONS FROM BEING ELIMINATED FROM HEALTH CARE, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS FIGHTING ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT SO I DON'T SEE ANYTHING GETTING DONE IN AN ELECTION YEAR >> KRISTEN WELKER IS STANDING BY ON CAPITOL HILL KRISTEN, IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE WE WON'T HEARGI FROM THE PRESIDENT SOON

WHAT IS YOUR READ? >> Reporter: WELL, I ANTICIPATE WE WILL HEAR FROM HIM, LESTER, IF NOT IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT, ON TTCAMERA, IF NOT TODAY CERTAINLY IN THE COMING N DAYS ABOUT THISHE BUT LOOK, WE KNOW WE'RE GOING TO GET G SOME TYPE OF REACTION FRO THE PRESIDENT AND FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TODAY AND ALREADY, WE ARE SEEING DEFIANCE FROM THE PRESIDENT'S INNER CIRCLE, AND FRANKLY, THEY ARE BOTTOM LINING YES, THIS WAS NOT THE VICTORY THEY WERE LOOKING FOR THEY WANTEDG REPUBLICANS TO VO IN LOCK STEP THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN WITH MITT ROMNEY BREAKING WITH HIS PARTY

THEY H DIDN'T WIN OVER DEMOCRAT BUT LET ME READ YOU JUST A SAMPLING OF WHAT WE ARE SEEING FROM THE PRESIDENT'S INNER CIRCLE KELLEYANNE CONWAY TWEETING "ACQUITTED FOREVER" HUCKABEE SANDERS TWEETING "PRESIDENT TRUMP ACQUITTED, VINDICATED AND MORE STRONGER POSITIONED THAN EVER TOOR WIN RE-ELECTION" I THINK THAT IS WHAT YOU CAN ANTICIPATE SEEING, THE BACKDROP TO ALL OF THIS IS OF COURSE THE PRESIDENT WHO IS GOING TO BE HEADING OUT ONTO THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL FIGHTING FOR RE-ELECTION, AND HE IS GOING TO BE BOTTOM LINING THIS, FOCUSING ON THE FACT HE'S BEEN ACQUITTEDQU WE'VE ALREADY SEEN THAT IN FROM HIS CAMPAIGN WHICH SAYS IT HAS SEEN SOME OF ITS HIGHEST DAYS OF FUND-RAISING IN AND AROUND THIS ENTIRE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

AT THE SAME TIME, LESTER, I THINK YOU'RE GOINGOC TO SEE HIM TRY TO TURN THE PAGE, SO THAT HE CAN FOCUS ON WHAT HE BELIEVES HE'S BACCOMPLISHED WE SAWAW THAT LAST NIGHT IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS AND WHAT HE PLANS TOE DO OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS IF HE DOES, IN FACT, WIN RE-ELECTION >> KRISTEN, THANK YOU CAROL ANN OUR NBC NEWS ANALYST IS HERE ISSIMPLY A RELIC AS A USEFUL TOOL DOES IT EXIST ANYMORE? >> I THINK IT DOES

AS I WAS WATCHING THE SENATE VOTE TO A CONCLUSION THAT EVERYBODY EXPECTED I WAS STRUCK BY HOW I FAMILIAR A FEELING IT S TO ME IN THE SENSE THAT IT WAS SORT OF A HUNG JURY, IF YOU WILL, AND SOMETIMES EVEN DURING A TRIAL YOUN RECOGNIZE THAT YOU DON'THA HAVE ALL THE JURORS WIT YOU AND IT'S NOT GOING TO — OR MAYBE THE CASE WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO BEGIN WITH YOU KNOW, I DOND THINK THAT THE ARE TIMES WHEN ONE FEELS THAT YOU KNOW, THE BODY THAT IS IN CHARGES OF BRINGING A CASE FEEL THAT THEY MAY NOT WIN IT'S A TOUGH CASE, BUT THE MESSAGE HAS TO BE SENT THAT SOMETHING WILL BE DONE IF SOMETHING IS WRONG, AND IN THIS CASE, I THINK THAT'S HOW NANCY PELOSI FELT, AND I THINK THAT THE FACT THAT SEVERAL SENATORS SAID THAT THIS CONDUCT WAS INAPPROPRIATE, WRONG, AND SHAMEFUL DOES HAVE SOMETHING OF AN EFFECT ON PEOPLE, MAYBE NOT THIS PRESIDENT, BUT MAYBE THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM >> LET ME GO TO MICHAEL BESCHLOV, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN WE HEARD A LOT GOING INTO THIS PROCESS ABOUT THE CLINTON MODEL

TELL ME ABOUT THE TRUMP MODEL WILL THIS BE A REFERENCE POINT GOING RFORWARD, IF WE EVER WAL THIS ROAD AGAIN? >> WELL, I THINK IT MIGHT BE, AND I THINK I DISAGREE A LITTLE BIT WITH CAROL LAM I THINK IMPEACHMENT HAS PROVEN TO BE A MORE TOOTHLESS DEVICE THAN MAYBE THE FOUNDERS INTENDED, BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT THAT WE'DND BE IN A SITUATION WHERE THE SENATE WOULD ACT AS A JURY WITHOUT REGARD TO POLITICS THEY DID NOT KNOW THAT THE SENATE WOULD BE DIVIDED INTO TWO PARTIES WHO WERE STANDING UP TO ONE ANOTHER AS TERSELY AS THEY ARE TODAY WE'VE HAD PRE-IMPEACHMENTS, THREE TIMES THE IMPEACHMENT HAS RESULTED IN ACQUITTAL

IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE A SITUATION IN THE FUTURE WHERE A PRESIDENT IS GOING TO BE EASILY REMOVED WITH THIS KIND OF PARTY SITUATION, AND THE FACT THAT THE JURORS ARE ABOVE ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE IN POLITICAL LIFE THAT'S ONE REASON WHY MITT ROMNEY'S NOT GUILTY VOTE ON THE FIRST ARTICLE WAS SUCH A HISTORICAL STANDOUT A PRESIDENT'S PARTY HAS A MEMBER WHO VOTED AGAINST HIS ACQUITTAL >> CHUCK TODD, ARE YOU STILL WITH US? NO, WE C DON'T HAVE CHUCK LET ME GO TO ANDREA ON THIS QUESTION

WHAT IS THE MESSAGE HERE? THE PRESIDENT HAS SHOWN NO CONTRITION HE CONTINUES TO SAY READ THE TRANSCRIPT, NOTHING WRONG HERE EVEN AS MEMBERS OF HIS OWN PARTY DISAGREE WITH THAT IN TERMS OF THE KIND OF PRESIDENT WE'LL CSC SEE GOING FORWARD, WHAT'S THE WORRY, ESPECIALLY AMONG DEMOCRATS? >> WELL, THE WORRY GOES BACK TO ADAM KSCHIFF'S CLOSING ARGUMENT THAT HE WILL DO IT AGAIN LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE MUELLER TTESTIMONY, THE NEXT D WAS THAT T PHONE CALL ON JULY 2h TO PRESIDENT ZELENSKY AND UKRAINE THAT IS OF COURSE WHAT THE PROSECUTION SAID, WHAT THE HOUSE MANAGERS SAID

WE DON'T KNOW HOW THIS PRESIDENT WILL REACT EXCEPT FROM THE WAY HE'S REACTED IN THE PAST PRESIDENT CLINTON WENT INTO THE ROSE GARDEN AND APOLOGIZED AFTER HIS ACQUITTAL HE EXPRESSED REMORSE WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS REMORSEFUL, YOU CAN'T READ SOMEONE'S HEART BUT IT WAS EXPECTED PUBLICLY THERE WAS APOLOGIES FROM PAST PRESIDENTS, RONALD REAGAN YOU THINK AVOIDING THIS PROSECUTION BY HIS VERY PUBLIC APOLOGY OVER IRAN-CONTRA IN HIS SECOND TERM WHICH COULD HAVE GONE A LOT WORSE IF HE HAD NOT DONE THAT AND NOT HAD THE WISE COUNSEL OF HIS CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE TIME

SO THIS PRESIDENT DOES NOT HAVE ANYONE RUNNING AROUND HIM ADVERTISING HIM TO BE REMORSEFUL, CHANGE HIS BEHAVIORS AND WHETHER OR NOT HE'S LEARNED A LESSON FROM THIS ABOUT WHAT IS APPROPRIATE, WHAT IS NOT APPROPRIATE, STILL SAYING WHAT HE DID WASE, PERFECT, A PERFECT CALL ANDRF IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE HIM CHANGING >> KASIE HUNT, YOU'RE WATCHING THE MOOD THERE AS THE SENATORS LEAVE THE CHAMBERS AMONG THE REPUBLICANS, AS WE NOTED, SOME OF THEM HAD MADE STATEMENTS SUGGESTING THEY BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS WERE INAPPROPRIATE, AND THAT BEING THE CASE, WE EXPECT TO SEE A SPIKING OF THE FOOTBALL OR WILL IT BE KIND OF A SOMBER BUT PLEASED REACTION? >> WELL, LESTER, I THINK SO FAR REPUBLICANS HERE ARE TRENDING TOWARD THAT SOMBER KIND OF REFLECTIVE MOOD MORE THAN A FOOTBALL SPIKE I'M NOTLL SURE THAT SERVES THE PRESIDENT'S PEOPLEPR THE NUMBER APPEARS POLITICAL SUPPORTERS WERE IN THE CHAMBER FOR T THIS VOTE, INCLUDING CORY LEWANDOWSKI WHO RAN HIS CAMPAIGN IN 2016, BUT THE SENATE DOES NOT NECESSARILY FEEL LIKE — WE'LL HEAR FROM MITCH McCONNELL IN A SECOND, BUT I DON'T THINK PEOPLE ARE GLOWING ABOUT IT

A LOT OF REPUBLICANS SURPRISED ABOUT MITT ROMNEY'S DECISION AND THAT REALLY I THINK HAS PASSED SOMETHING OF APPALL OVER SOME OF THE REPUBLICANS WHO ULTIMATELY VOTED TO ACQUIT THE PRESIDENT OF THIS NTCHARGE THEY HAVE NOT COME OUT AGAINST HIM AS FORCEFULLY HERE IN THE SENATE, OTHER REPUBLICANS HAVE, AS SOMER OF THE PRESIDENT'S SUPPORTERS, HIS SON ON TWITTER, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CALLS TO THROW HIMEX OUT O THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT WOULD BE AN EXTRAORDINARY MEASURE HERE ONRY CAPITOL HILL, AND SENATORS SO FAR ARE SIMPLY SAYING WHEN ASKED THAT THEY DISAGREE WITH WHAT ROMNEY DID, BUTNE THEY'RE NOT NECESSARILY COMMENTING FURTHER OR CALLING FOR ANY SORT OF PUNISHMENT, AND YOU KNOW, LESTER, I'VE BEEN REFLECTING TODAY ON THIS LONG RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MITT ROMNEY ANDET DONALD TRUMP IT GOES BACK A DECADE TO WHEN ROMNEY WAS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012, AND DONALD TRUMP ULTIMATELY ENDORSED HIM AT AN EVENT AT A HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS, AND ROMNEY AT THE TIME SAID HE COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS HAPPENING THEY ARE TWO FIGURES WHO ARE INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT

DONALD TRUMP THE REALITY TV STAR, OFTEN INDULGES IN WHAT HIS CRITICS WOULD SAY ARE HUMANITY'S WORST INSTINCTS MITT ROMNEY HE TALKED ABOUT HIS MORMON FAITH TODAY ON THE FLOOR, SOMEBODY WHO VALUES POLITENESS ABOVE MANY THINGS, IN A WAY THAT DONALD TRUMP DOESN'T NECESSARILY THEY ARE OPPOSITE CHARACTERS IN SO MANY WAYS AND TRUMP HAS MOCKED ROMNEY AS A LOSER ROMNEY DENOUNCED HIM IN 2016 ULTIMATELY, THOUGH, SAT DOWN WITH HIM FOR DINNER, THOUGHT ABOUT TAKING A JOB AS TRUMP'S SECRETARY OF STATE, WHEN THAT WAS ON THE TABLE BRIEFLY, AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP WON HIS ELECTION

THIS IS REALLY AN EXCLAMATION POINT, A FINAL TURN FOR ROMNEY AWAY FROM WHAT HIS PARTY HAS BECOME UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP IT'S JUSTNT A VERY REMARKABLE MOMENT FOR TWO MEN WHO HAVE LED REALLY OPPOSITE CORNERS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THROUGH THE LAST TEN YEARS >> KASIE, THANK YOU SOE, AGAIN, THE PRESIDENT HAS BN IMPEACHED, AS NANCY PELOSI LIKES TO POINT OUT AND WILL REMAIN IMPEACHED THROUGHOUT HISTORY HOWEVER, HE HASST ESCAPED REMOV FROM OFFICE BY THESE VOTES TODAY, THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

PETE WILLIAMS IS ALONG WITH US TODAY PETE, I'M SURE THE CHIEF JUSTICE WILL BE HAPPY TO GET BACK TO HIS REGULAR JOB NONETHELESS, DID HE PERFORM IN THE ROLE IN A MANNER THAT WAS LARGELY EXPECTED? >> YES, I THINK SO PRETTY MUCH FOLLOWING THE ROLE THAT WAS SET UP BY WILLIAM REHNQUIST, AND NOTABLY SAID, CORRECTED THE RECORD OR MADE IT CLEAR FOR ALL-TIME THAT THE CHIEF JUSTICE AS PRESIDING OFFICER IS THE NO GOING TO BREAK ANY TIE VOTES DURING THE PROCEDURAL TERMS OF — HE OBVIOUSLY CAN'T NO, SUGGESTION OF AO, TIE DURING THE FINAL VOT ON WHETHER TO ACQUIT OR CONVICT ALL THE VOTES LEADING UP TO IT, THERE WAS QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT HE'D BREAK A 50/50 TIE AND MADE IT CLEAR T AT END OF LAST WEEK, THE L UNELECTED MEMBER OF ANOTHER BRANCH, IT WOULDN'T BE APPROPRIATE FOR HIM TO DO SO

IT WAS TRUE BEFORE THIS PROCESS THAT NO PRESIDENT HAS EVER BEEN REMOVED FROM OFFICE BY IMPEACHMENT IT'S STILL TRUE, BUT YOU KNOW, ASKED ARU QUESTION WHETHER IT'S LOSING ITSS VITALITY JUST LOOK AT THIS, THE NUMBER OF DAYS THE SENATE WAS IN SESSION IN IMPEACHMENT TRIALS 34 DAYS FOR ANDREW JOHNSON, 23 DAYS FOR BILL CLINTON THIS ONE JUST 13 DAYS

IT'S STILL OF COURSE A POWERFUL TOOL REMEMBER, THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT WERE REMOVED FROM OFFICE BY IMPEACHMENT ARE JUDGES, BUT FOR PRESIDENTS, I THINK YOU RAISE A GOOD POINT THE TREND SEEMS TO BE THAT THESE THINGS ARE SHORTER AND SHORTER >> PETE, THANK YOU KRISTEN WELKER, I ASKED YOU A LITTLE BIT AGO IF THE PRESIDENT HAD T COMMUNICATED, SAID ANYTHI AND APPARENTLY HE'S TWEETING

>> Reporter: HE'S TWEETING, LESTER, A LITTLE BIT CRYPTICALLY ESSENTIALLY AN IMAGE, A VIDEO OF A "TIME" MAGAZINE COVER THAT SHOWS TRUMP CAMPAIGN SIGNS RAFTING INTO S ETERNITY, YOU SE 2036, 2040, 2044, AND ON AND ON, ESSENTIALLY MAKING THE CASE THAT HE CANNOT BE DEFEATED, WILL NOT BE, DEFEATED BY HIS POLITICAL RIVALS SOSO IT IS A STATEMENT OF DEFIANCE HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY PUBLIC EVENTS ON HIS SCHEDULE RIGHT NOW LESTER, WILLLL HE ADD SOMETHING? THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF WE SAW ATE THE LEAST MORE TWEETS FROM THIS PRESIDENT TODAY AND LIKELY SOMETHING A FROM PRESS SECRETARY STEPHANIE GRISHAM

THEY'VE BEEN WATCHING THIS CLOSELY AT THE WHITE HOUSE AND WHEN A ROMNEY CAME OUT AND MADE THAT ANNOUNCEMENT, ALL OF THE TVs WERE TRAINED TO THAT WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS WATCHING THE PROCEEDINGS IN REAL TIME, AND SO THAT UNDOUBTEDLY HAPPENING NOW, AS THEY TRY TO DETERMINE EXACTLY HOW THEY'RE GOING T TO RESPOND TODAY FURTHE >> AND OF COURSE HE DIDN'T MENTION THE IMPEACHMENT AT ALL IN YESTERDAY'S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH AND SOME WONDERED IF THAT WAS SETTING THE TONE FOR BREAKING WITH THE PAST AND MOVING FORWARD >> I THINK THAT'S RIGHT I THINK HIS GOAL IS GOING TO BE TO TURN THE PAGE

HE DIDN'T MENTION THE WORD IMPEACHMENT YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT IT CERTAINLY DID LOOM OVER EVERYTHING AND IT REALLY FUELED SO MANY OF THOSE TENSIONS THAT WE SAW LAST NIGHT PARTICULARLY BETWEEN HIM AND HOUSE SPEAKER NP NANCY PELOSI WHEN SHE RIPPED UP HIS SPEECH AT THE END OF THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS THE PRESIDENT TWEETED ABOUT THAT TODAY,UT LESTER I THINK WHEN WE HEAR FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP, HE WILL PROCLAIM VICTORY UNDOUBTEDLY HE WILL, FOCUS ON THAT WORD "ACQUITTED" AND WILL VERY QUICKLY LOOK TO 2020 AND THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL AND HIS RE-ELECTION

>> AND CAROL, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE LEGAL HOOK A LOT OF THE REPUBLICANS HUNG THEIR HOOK ON ORIR HUNG THEIR HATS ON, WHI WAS THIS IDEA IT WAS NOT IMPEACHABLE DO YOU THINK IN THE AFTERMATH, DEMOCRAT ALSO GO BACK AND LOOK AT HOW THEY A DRAFTED THESE ARTICLES ANDED THINK AGAIN AND MAYBE THERE WAS ANOTHER WAY? >> I THINK WHAT ANY PARTY BRINGING AN IMPEACHMENT CHARGE WILL DO IN THE SFUT REALLY LOOK AT A LOT OF THE DEFENSES THAT WERE RAISED BY THE WHITE HOUSE TEAM IN THIS CASE AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY DO THINGS IN A WAY THAT THOSE DEFENSES AREN'T GOING TO CARRY MUCH WATER I JUST THINK THAT PEOPLE HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM THIS IMPEACHMENT, BECAUSE THEY'VE NEVER HAD AAU WHITE HOUSE TEAM THAT REALLY DID A DEFENSE LIKE A CRIMINAL CASE DEFENSE, WHERE ANY TECHNICALITY THEY WERE WILLING TO NIASSERT SO I DO THINK THE SIDES HAVE MOVED FARTHERES APART IN TERMS HOW THE PROCESSES WILL TAKE PLACE BUT I DON'T THINK THAT IMPEACHMENT ISHA DEAD I THINK IT'S STILL OUT THERE AS A DETERRENT

>> CERTAINLY A DIFFICULT CHAPTER FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AS WE COME TO THIS POINT NOW THE TRIAL OVER THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN ACQUITTED ON EACH OF TWO COUNTS BY A DEEPLY DIVIDED SENATE, ENDING A PROCESS THAT BEGAN JUST FIVE MONTHS AGO, A LITTLE OVER FIVE MONTHS AGO WITHE AN ANONYMOUS WHISTLEBLOWER'S COMPLAINT THE ACRIMONY AND POLITICAL FALLOUT ARE FAR FROM OVER IN THIS ELECTION YEAR I'LL SEEAR YOU SHORTLY WITH A COMPLETE WRAP UP IN ON "NIGHTLY NEWS

" FOR MIU, I'M LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS IN NEW YORK GOOD DAY, EVERYONE >>> HEY, EVERYONE, I'M ALISON MORRIS YOU'RE WATCHING "NBC NEWS NOW" BREAKING NEWS OUT OF WASHINGTON TODAY, THETO REPUBLICAN-LED SENE ACQUITTING PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, THAT MEANS THE THIRD PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY ISID NOW OV

HOW WILL HISTORY VIEW TRUMP'S TRIAL NOW THAT IT IS FINISH HISTORIAN DOUG WEED IS WITH ME AND FIRST IF YOU COULDST WEIGH ON MITT ROMNEY THE ONLY SENATOR VOTING TO CONVICT ON THE ABUSE OF POWER ARTICLE TODAY, WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF THAT? >> VERY INTERESTING THEY HAVE LONG RELATIONSHIP AND A CONTENTIOUS RELATIONSHIP BUT PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP DIDN'T HAVE A POLITICAL ARMY, HE WON ALL OF THOSE PRIMARIES IN 2016 AND HAD HAD NO PEOPLE TO ASSUME THOSE POSITIONS AS DELEGATES

IT MEANT THAT A LOT OF THE DELEGATES ELECTED TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION WERE FORMER ROMNEY DELEGATES FROM 2012 ROMNEY NOW THAT AND MADE A FACE TOWARD, HEY, IF THIS GOES INTO A SECOND BALLOT, I COULD GET THE NOMINATION AGAIN AND THAT STARTED OR PROLONGED A BITTER EXPERIENCE AND THEN IT ENDED AT TRUMP TOWER WHERE THE PLACE — PRESIDENT-ELECT AND SAID HE MIGHT CONSIDER HIM AS SECRETARY OF STATE AND THAT WAS HUMILIATING AND THAT CAME BACK TO RUSE TODAY >> DOES ROMNEY'S VOTE TODAY CHANGE YOUR MINDE AT ALL? >> NO LET ME SAY THAT THE VOTE IN THE HOUSE, YOUOT ACTUALLY HAD A HOU MEMBER WHO SWITCHED PARTIES AND BECAME A REPUBLICAN

SO, NO, IT IS STILL CLEARLY A PARTISAN EVENT WHICH MAKES IT — TO SOME A FALSE IMPEACHMENT NOW IF IT CAUSES DONALD TRUMP TO LOSE THE ELECTION IN 2020 AND IT IS SEEN AS HELPING TO CAUSE THAT, YOU COULD END UP IN A SITUATION WITH A MODERN-DAY CORRUPT BARGAIN WHERE YOU HAVE PEOPLE CLAIMING THIS IS A PARTISAN THINGPE AND IT AFFECTE THE ELECTION I HOPE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN >> PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL THE FIRST WITHOUT WITNESSES I WOULD LIKE TO SHOW SOME OF WHAT CHUCK SCHUMER SAID ON THE SENATE FLOOR AND GET YOUR REACTION ON THER OTHER SIDE

>> BY REFUSING THE TACTS, BY REFUSING WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS, THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY HAS PLACED A GIANT ASTERISK, THE ASTERISK OF A SHAM TRIAL NEXT TO THE ACQUITTAL PRESIDENT TRUMP WRITTEN IN PERMANENT INK ACQUITTAL IN AN UNFAIR TRIAL WITH THIS GIANT ASTERISK, THE ASTERISK OF A SHAM TRIAL IS WORTH NOTHING AT ALL WE'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE FAMERS OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, ABOUT THE IMPEACHMENT CLAUSE AND THE SEPARATIONS OF POWERS THEY WROUGHT AND THE CONDUCT THEY FEARED IN OUR CHIEF MAGISTRATE BUT THERE IS SOMETHING THE FOUNDERS CONSIDERED MORE FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR REPUBLIC — TRUTH >> DOES THE LACK OF WITNESSES IN YOURSS VIEW LESSEN THE ACQUITTA IS THERE AN ASTERISK NEXT TO IT? >> NO

THEY WOULD HAVE HAD ALL OF THE WITNESS WITHES W THEY WANTED AN OF COURSE THE PRESIDENT HAD THE RIGHT TO EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND THEN THEY COULD TAKE IT TO COURT THEY DIDN'T WANT TO DO THAT THEY SAID THEY WERE IN A HURRY AFTER THEY GOT THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, THEY SAT ON THEM FOR WEEK O AFTER WEEK AND EXPECD THE SENATE TO DO THEIR BUSINESS >> SO LET ME ASK YOU THIS, WE TOUCHEDE A LITTLE BIT ON HOW TH IMPEACHMENT TRIAL COULD POTENTIALLY PLAY WITH VOTERS IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER, BUT WHATN ABOUT THE HOUSE AND SENATE AND STATE AND LOCAL RACES, WHAT KIND OF POTENTIAL IMPACT DO YOU THINK THAT WILL HAPPEN? >> YOU KNOW, IT IS A THOUSAND YEARS AWAY

>>AN IT FEELS LIKE IT DOESN'T IT? NOVEMBER FEELS REALLY FAR OFF >> SO MANY THINGS WILL HAPPEN, SO MANY OCTOBER SURPRISES WILL BE COMING THERE IS SO MUCH TO COME IT IS LIKE ROSE AN, ROSANNA DANA SAID THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING

>> ADOUG, THAT IS OUR FIRST OFFICIAL ROSANNA ROSANNA DANA HUGE FAVORITE OF THAT SNL CHARACTER GOOD TO SEE YOU >> GOODD TO SEE YOU >> HOW IS G THE TRUMP TEAM RESPONDING TO THE T PRESIDENT'S ACQUITTAL

KELLY O'DONNELL IS WITH ME NOW AND WHEN YOU'RE OUTSIDE OF THE WHITE HOUSE, WHAT ARE WEWH HEARG FROM INSIDE? >> WELL WE DO EXPECT IN THE NEXT FEW MINUTES THERE WILL BE A WRITTEN STATEMENT COMING FROM THE PRESS SECRETARY AND THIS IS THE FIRST OFFICIAL REACTION FROM THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AFTER THE ACQUITTAL WE HAVE ALREADY HEARD FROM THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, FROM THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE AND TONA A CERTAIN EXTENT FROM E PRESIDENT'S TWITTER FEED WHERE HE PUT OUT SORT OF A GRAPHIC IMAGE OF — AND I MEAN THAT IN THE SENSE AS IN CARTOON-LIKE IMAGE OF HIMSELF ON A "TIME" MAGAZINE COVER AND SO PEOPLE COULDO INTERPRET THAT AS THEY WISH I WAS IN THE WEST WING WHILE THE FINAL VOTES WERE BEING CAST ON THE SENATE FLOOR IT WAS RELATIVELY QUIET

WE HAVE THOUGHT YET HEARD A RESPONSE AS TO HOW OR WHETHER THE PRESIDENT WAS WATCHING AS THIS UNFOLDED OF COURSE THE PRESIDENT WAS ALSO RELYING ON HIS LEGAL TEAM OVER AT CAPITOL HILL WHO COULD SPEAK ON HIS BEHALF AS WELL AND THEN WE HEARD FROM MITCH McCONNELL, THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER WHO SORT OF BACKED UP THE PROCESS OF THE POLITICAL SIDE OF THIS SAYING HE DOES NOT BELIEVE, AS THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, THAT THIS PROCESS WILL HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE PRESIDENT'S ELECTIONT' ONE WAY OR THE OTHERR ON SENATES UP FOR ELECTION MEANING HE DOESN'T THINK IMPEACHMENT IS AHI FACTOR BY TH TIME WE GET TO NOVEMBER DEMOCRATS MAY DISPUTE THAT OF COURSE BUT THAT IS SORT THE INITIAL TAKE HERE

THERE ISTA CERTAINLY RELEASE BU ALSO DISAPPOINTMENT BECAUSE THE WHITE HOUSE HAD FORECAST TO US TO TOP OFFICIALS, EVEN THE VICE PRESIDENT SAYING PUBLICLY THAT THEY HAD HOPED FOR A BIPARTISAN VOTE OF ACQUITTAL MEANING THERE COULD BE AT LEAST ONE OR POSSIBLY TWO DEMOCRATS WHO WOULD CHOOSE TO VOTE ALONGSIDE REPUBLICANS THAT DID NOT HAPPEN SO SOME OF THE REPUBLICANS FROM — I'M SORRY, DEMOCRATS FROM REPUBLICAN STATES OR STATES WHERE THE PRESIDENT HAD BEEN VICTORIOUS AND REMAINS POSSIBLE, FOR EXAMPLE WEST VIRGINIA'S JOE MANCHIN, HE VOTED TO CONVICT

OR THOSE UP FOR ELECTION LIKE KIRSTEN CINEMA WHO VOTED TO CONVICT AND THE HEADLINE OF THE DAY IS THAT MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN OF UTAH, FORMER NATIONAL PARTY STANDARD BEARER AS THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, HE VOTED TO CONVICT ON THE FIRST ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT WHICH WAS ABUSEE OF POWERUS CHOOSING TO VOTE NOT GUILTY ON THE OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS SOST THAT TAKES FROM THE WHITE HOUSE THE ABILITY TO SAY THAT THIS WAS A BIPARTISAN VOTE AND, IN FACT, THE ONLY BIPARTISANNL ASPECT WAS THOSE VOTING TOHO CONVICT, NOT TO– NT TO ACQUIT THE PRESIDENT SO THEY USED TO THAT THEIR ADVANTAGE ON THE HOUSE SIDE WHEN IMPEACHMENT WAS FIRST TASKED W BEFORE IT CAME TO THE SENATE TRIAL AND THAT MAY HAVE BEEN A FACTOR IN HOUSE DEMOCRATS HAVING A COUPLE OF PEOPLE PEEL OFF TO PUT MORE O PRESSURE ON SENATE DEMOCRATS TO REMAIN UNIFIED WE SAW THAT COME TOGETHER

AND UNITY BUT NOT COMPLETE UNITY AMONG REPUBLICANS BECAUSE MITT ROMNEY HAS A LARGE VOICE AND CERTAINLY CAST A SHADOW ON THIS TODAY BY SAYING THAT WHILE HE AGREES WITH THE PRESIDENT ON MANY ISSUES, VOTES WITH HIM ON MANY ISSUE, HIS CONSCIOUS REQUIRED HIM TO LIVE UP TO HIS OATH AND VOTE T TO CONVICT AND BELIEVING THAT THE CASE WAS MADE IN HIS WORDS THAT THE PRESIDENT DID SOMETHING THAT WAS GRIEVOUSLY WRONG >> DEMOCRATS SAID THEY WILL LIKE SUBPOENA JOHN BOLTON WHAT ISNA THEM FOR THE WHITE HOUSE? WE GOTTH THE ACQUITTAL BUT PERHS THE TESTIMONY B OR INVESTIGATIO MAY NOT BE OVER >> Reporter: WELL IT GOES TO A DIFFERENT LEVEL

T THE HOUSE COULD USE OVERSIGHT POWERS AND INVESTIGATIVE POWERS TO TRY TO GET MORE INFORMATION OUT IT WOULD BE CERTAINLY THE POSITIONRT YOU WILL HEAR FROM T WHITE HOUSE THAT THIS IS AN UNWILLINGNESS OF DEMOCRATS TO MOVE ON THATAT THERE WAS A RUSSIA INVESTIGATION, THE IMPEACHMENT THAT WENT ON FOR FOUR MONTHS AND BOTH OF THOSE ENDED WITH THE PRESIDENT, ALTHOUGH POLITICALLY BATTERED IN SOME WAYS, ENHANCED BY IT AND REPUBLICANS WILL SAY HE HAS GOTTEN THROUGH THESE THINGS AND NOT BEEN REMOVED FROM OFFICE OR CHARGED WITH A CRIME AND DEMOCRATS WILL SIMPLY TRY AGAIN THEY WILL ARGUE THAT FACTS WERE LEFT ON THE TABLETS AND THAT IMPORTANT VOICES LIKE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER AT THE TIME JOHN BOLTON COULD COME FORWARD TO SAY MORE

HE'S TRYING TO GET A BOOK PUBLISHED TO SPEAK IN THE PUBLIC REALM ANY WAY AND THERE IS MORE TO BE KNOWNS ITIT RAISES THE ISSUE OF HOW CA THE PRESIDENT WORK WITH DEMOCRATS ON ISSUES WHERE THERE IS A LOT OF COMMONALITY LIKE WITHY INFRASTRUCTURE OR DRUG PRICES IMPORTANT POLICY THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE INVESTIGATION CAN THERE BE ACTUAL WORK DONE ON THOSE ISSUES IN THIS ENVIRONMENT, THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS WE'LL BE WATCHING CLOSELY DEMOCRATS CAN CERTAINLY USE THEIR POWERS OF THE GAVEL TO TRY TO GET MORE INFORMATION BUT THE WHITE HOUSE WILL SAY THAT THIS IS OVER, TRYING TO PUT IT BEHIND THEM AND ACCUSE DEMOCRATS OF NOT GIVING UP ON THIS

>> KELLY O'DONNELL AT WHITE HOUSE AS WE AWAIT AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE ON THE PRESIDENT'S ACQUITTAL THANK YOU SO MUCH >> YOU BET >>> AS WE'VE BEEN SAYING, IT IS OFFICIAL THE PRESIDENT ACQUITTED BY THE SENATE IN THE FINAL IMPEACHMENT VOTE TODAY

N SO LET'S HEAD OUT TO OUR LEGAL ANALYST ONE LAST TIME ON IMPEACHMENT IT SEEMS HERE WITH ME ON SET, DEFENSE ATTORNEY ANDEF NBC NEWS LEGAL ANALYST, DANNY SEBBAL AND FORMER FEDERAL PRESCRIPTION CYNTHIA DANNY AND WE WERE EXPECTING AN ACQUITTALN FROM THE MOMENT THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS STARTED BUT I WOULD LIKE TO ASK IF EITHER OF YOU WERE SURPRISED TODAY BY ANYTHING? CYNTHIA? >> I WASN'T SURPRISED BY ANYTHING I THINK MANY OF US WHO HAVE BEEN WATCHING HIM KNEW THAT ROMNEY HAD A CORE WHICH HE DES PLAYED TODAY P BEAUTIFULLY AND ARTICULATED AT SOME POINT WE HOPE TO BE THE REBUILDING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY DALLAS VERYRE IMPORTANT FOR THE COUNTRY TO HAVE A FUNCTIONING TWO-PARTY SYSTEM AND RIGHT NOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS ESSENTIALLY COLLAPSED BECAUSE OF TRUMP AND WHILE ROMNEY WILL GET A LOT OF CRITICISM FROM THE TRUMPERS, AT SOME POINT HE IS THE WAY FORWARDNT FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AN IT IS NICE TO SEE THAT CORE BE DISPLAYED, SOMETHING PEOPLE CAN STUDY AND LEARN FROM AND CONTRAST WITH THE TRUMPERSHE OF TODAY

>> DANNY, ARE YOU SURPRISED OR WERE YOU EXPECTING THAT AS WELL >> NO SURPRISED BUT OTHER THAN ROMNEY AND THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE PAGES GET SO MANY SHOUT OUTS BY THE SENATE AND NOBODY CARED IF I WAS ALIVE BUT THESE PAGES ARES THE SUBJEC OF A LOT ATTENTION THEY SHOULD FEEL VERY HONORED >> WELL I HAVE TO ASK — >> EVERYBODY LOVES YOU, DAVE

>> WHEN I WAS AN INTERN, I'M NOT SURE ANYBODY KNEW WHO I WAS WERE THE PAGES THIS OUTSTANDING A QUESTION WE DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER THERE IS TALK ABOUT WHETHER THE PRESIDENT NEEDED TO COMMIT AN ACTUAL CRIME TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE AND DOES HIS ACQUITTAL NOW SET A PRECEDENT THAT A US

PRESIDENT PRESSURING A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT IS NOT A CRIME? >> NO AND MAYBE I'M NOT ALARMIST ENOUGH BUT I DON'T KNOW THAT IT SETS AT PRECEDENT BECAUSE I MAINTAIN THAT PRIOR IMPEACHMENTS HAVE NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE WHATSOEVER THAT IS IN THE COURTS AND EVEN I THE TWO PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENTS PRIOR TO THIS THE FIRST ONE OF ANDREW JOHNSON IS SCARCELY PRESIDENTIAL BECAUSE THERE WERE SO MANY DIFFERENT CULTURES ANDNY NORMS BACK THEN D ONE OF THE ARTICLES WERE MAKING NASTY SPEECHES ABOUT OTHER FOLKS AND THAT WOULDN'T BE IMPEACHABLE TODAY >> YOU COULD IMAGINEAB IF IT WA? WE'D IMPEACH LEFT AND RIGHT

>> AND MAYBE CYNTHIA WILL AGREE BUT THE BIG TAKEAWAY IS IMPEACHMENT IS THE PRODUCT OF THE RIGHT NOW IT MAY NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH HISTORY EVEN JUST 20 YEARS AGO THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT TRIAL FEATURED MANYIA DIFFERENCES AND IT MAY BE THE CASE THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENCES, EACH TRIAL IS SOH UNIQUE THAT HISTORY IS INTERESTING BUT NOT REALLY GUIDING IN THE END >> CYNTHIA, LET ME ASK, DO YOU AGREEU WITH DANNY THERE? >> WELL, I DO THINK WE HAVE LOWERED THE BAR ON WHAT BEHAVIOR IS ACCEPTABLE

NOT JUST THROUGH THE IMPEACHMENT BUT THROUGH THE WHOLE PRESIDENCY WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE IN SPEECHES, JUST THERE IS A COURSENING THAT SEEMSIN TO BE GOING FASTER AND FASTER ANDTE FASTER WITH THIS PRESIDENT THAT I FIND VERY DISTRESSING I DO THINK THERE WILL BE A BIG TIME OF STUDY ABOUT THESE ARTICLES AND THIS ISSUE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOTUE YOU HAVE TO HA AN ACTUAL FEDERAL OFFENSE MY GUESS IS THAT HISTORY WILL SAY NO YOU DO NOT AND THERE D WILL BS BE A BIG STY OF THE ALAN DERSHOWITZ ARGUMENT IF THE PRESIDENT THINKS IT IS IN THE COUNTRY'S INTEREST TO BE RE-ELECTED, NOTHING HE DOES IS IMPEACHABLE

I THINK THAT HAD BE ROUNDLY LAUGHED AT IN LEGAL AND NONLEGAL CIRCLES AND THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS >> CYNTHIA — >> DANNY DID YOU WANT TO ADD SOMETHING >> I THINK THERE IS ANADD RELAT ISSUE OF THE MIXED MOTIVE ISSUE AS WE MOVE FORWARD WHEN PRESIDENT'S ACT AND ALL I CAN COMPARE IT TO AS WHAT EVE DEFENDED AS A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY IFL I'M A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL D ANM CONTRACTOR WANTS A CONTRACT AND I HAVE THE POWER TO AWARD THAT, IF I ACCEPT — IF I GIVE HIM THAT CONTRACT, HALF BECAUSE I THINK HE'S A REALLY GOOD CONTRACTOR, BUT THE OTHER HALF IS BECAUSE HE GAVE ME A BAG OF CASH, WELL THAT FACT THAT HALF OF IT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS A GOOD CONTRACTOR CENTURY GOING TO SAVE ME FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION BUT GOING FORWARD WE HAVE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS OFUN WHAT HAPPENS WHE THE PRESIDENT ASKED WITH WHAT IS CALLED MIXED MOTIVES AND ALAN DERSHOWITZ THREW A MONKEY WRENCH INTO THAT AND THAT IS STRUGGLING GOING FORWARD BECAUSE PRESIDENT ALWAYS HAVE MIXED MOTIVE PARTLY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE COUNTRY AND PARTLY O FOR THEIR OWN INTEREST >> I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HOW THE LAW PROFESSORS HANDLE THIS ONE GOING FORWARD

IT IS VERY INTERESTING CYNTHIA, I SAID IN JEST WHEN I INTRODUCED YOU BOTH, IT MIGHT BE THE LAST TIME WE BRING YOU IN TO TALK ABOUT IMPEACHMENT JERRY NADLER IS EXPECTING ONE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEES TO SUBPOENA JOHN BOLTON TO TESTIFY WHAT LEGAL OPTIONS DO THE DEMOCRATS HAVE GOING FORWARD TO THEY WANT TO CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE AND TRY TO GET TESTIMONY? >> WELL, IN A TRIAL, THE PRESIDENT'S ATTORNEY SPENT A LOT OF TIME BASICALLY TAUNTING THE DEMOCRATS FORLL NOT FALLING THROUGH ON THE — FOLLOWING THROUGH ON THE OTHER SUBPOENAS AND IT LOOKS LIKE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IS THEY'RE GOING TO CALL THEM ON THEIR BLUFF AND STARTLU SENDING OUT SUBPOENAS I THINK THEY SHOULD

I THINK SUBPOENAS SHOULD FLY LIKE LIES FROM THE PRESIDENT'S MONTH AND FROM NADLER AND SCHIFF WHERE THERE IS A LOT — AND FOR BOLTON TO TESTIFY THERE AREON ALL OF THESE DOCUMES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THEY'VE BEENAR WITH HOLDING, TH OMB EMAILS, THERE IS — BOLTON HAS MADE ACCUSATIONS ABOUT TRUMP DOING FAVORS FOR AUTOCRATS THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT NEED TO BE INVESTIGATED AND BE — CONGRESS B NEEDS TO ESTABLISH ITSELF AS AN OVERSIGHT BODY IT IS ESSENTIALLY LOST NOW BECAUSE THEY TRIED TO ENFORCE SUBPOENAS AND THE PRESIDENT STIFF-ARMED THEM AND THEY NEVER GOT THE INFORMATION AND THEY HAVE TO RE-ESTABLISH THAT

IN ADDITION TO SUBPOENAS IF I COULD SAY VERY QUICKLY, I DON'T WANT TO HOG ALL OF THE TYPE, BUT IN ADDITION TO THE SUBPOENAS, I THINK THEY NEED TO SET UP A LEGAL STRUCTURE AS A WAY TO ENFORCE THE SUBPOENAS I BELIEVE THEY NEED A DEDICATED COURT SO THAT IF SOMEBODY SUBPOENAS SOMETHING FROM THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH T STIFF-ARMS THERE IS A QUICK WAY TO RESOLVE THAT NOT ONLY IN THE INITIAL RESOLUTION BUT UP TO THE QUICK APELLAT PROCESS BECAUSE OTHERWISE CONGRESS IS NOT AN EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AND PART THATL KEEPS US FROM HAVIN ANY SECTION OVERPOWER THE OTHER IN THE THREE BRANCHES THERE IS THE ABILITY OF CONGRESS TO GET INFORMATION AND DOS OVERSIGHT AD THATGH HAS BEEN SEVERELY WEAKEN BY THIS PRESIDENT AND WE NEED TO RE-ESTABLISH IT AS AN EQUAL FORCE >> DANNY AND CYNTHIA, THANK YOU BOTH FOR NOT ONLY BEING HERE WITH US TODAY BUT THROUGHOUT THE INQUIRY, THE TRIAL, THANK YOU I HAVE A FEELING WE MAY BE TALKING ABOUT THIS AGAIN IN THE FUTURE

>> YES >> AND WE ARE JUSTRE HEARING FR THE PRESIDENT ON TWITTER SOPR LET'S GO BACK TO KELLY O'DONNELL AT THE WHITE HOUSE WHAT IS THE PRESIDENT SAYING TONIGHT? >> Reporter: SO THIS IS PART OF THE UPDATE WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THE PRESIDENT HAS ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER FEED HE WILL MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT AT NOON TOMORROW FROM THE WHITE HOUSE AND HE SAIDM THAT HE WILL DISCS THE COUNTRY'S, ALL CAPS, VICTORY ON THE IMPEACHMENT HOAX WITH AN EXCLAMATION POINT ANDEX IN THAT TWEET THERE IS IMPLICIT IN THE SENTIMENT WE'VE SEEN PLAY OUT FROM THE WEZ OVER TIME

WHERE A VICTORY IS WHAT HE WAS AFTER AND BEING ACQUITTED AND HE'S ALWAYS DE RIDED THIS INVESTIGATION, THE PROCESS IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE AS A HOKE HE'S USED THAT TERM OF RIDICULE TO UNDERCUT THE WORK OF THE SENATE IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS AS WELL AS THE HOUSE AND THE HOUSE MANAGERS WHO PRESENTED THEIR CASE SO THISIR ALLOWS FOR THE PRESIDT IN SOME WAYS TO HAVE TWO DAYS OF HEADLINES ABOUT THIS SO AS WE GO INTO THE EVENING HOURS, THERE IS THE RESULTS FROM THE TRIAL, WHICH AS WE DISCUSSED WAS MIXED WITH MITT ROMNEY, THE SOLE REPUBLICAN VOTE TO CONVICT ON ONE OF THE TWO COUNTS AND NOW TOMORROW THE PRESIDENT WILL BE ABLE TO ADD HIS VOICE IN A SPEECH AND TO TALK ABOUT THIS ANDBO PERHAPS TO SET SOME COURS GOING FORWARD AFTER IMPEACHMENT SO THAT IS WHAT WE'RE GETTING FROM THE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW

HEIG EXPECTED THIS COULD BE THE OUTCOME SO THIS IS A CHOICE NOT TO DO AN IMMEDIATE STATEMENT BUT TO WAITUT UNTIL A NEW DAY AND NS CYCLE FOR THE PRESIDENT TO APREPARE TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF HIS CHARGES IN THE IMPEACHMENT COURT, HISN ACQUITTAL IN THE IMPEACHMENT COURT, AND WHAT COMES NEXT SO EXPECT TO HEAR FROM THE PRESIDENT PEOPLE AT NOON EASTERN ALISON >> I KNOW IT WAS A BRIEF TWEET BUT THE PRESIDENT B CALLING IT R COUNTRY'S VICTORY ON THE IMPEACHMENT HOAX I KNOW THERE WAS SOME THOUGHT PERHAPS THAT THE WHITE HOUSE MIGHT NOT SEE THIS AS MUCH OF A VICTORY BECAUSE IT WAS NOT A BIPARTISAN EFFORT ALSO BECAUSE MITT ROMNEY BROKE WITH THE REPUBLICANS BUT THE PRESIDENT USING THE TERM VICTORY IMPLYING NOW THAT PERHAPS HE DOES NOT FEEL OR NOT EXPRESSING DISAPPOINTMENT JUST YET >> Reporter: HE WOULD CERTAINLY CLAIM VICTORY BECAUSE THE OUTCOME IS AN ACQUITTAL MIKE PENCE THE VICE PRESIDENT WAS T ASKED TODAY ABOUT THE EXPECTATIONS AND THEY REALLY — HEEA DOWNPLAYED THE ROMNEY IMPA SAYING AT THE END OF THE DAY THE HEADLINET WOULD BE THE PRESIDE ACQUITTED AND OVERTAKEN BECAUSE MITT ROMNEY IS NOTABLE AND AS ENDURING AS THAT VOTE MAY BE, THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT FOR THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE IS THAT THE PRESIDENT WILL NOT BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE

IMAGINE IF THAT HAD BEEN THE SCENARIO AND WE'D BE IN A WHOLE NEW TERM OF HOW WOULD A NEXT STAGE GO THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN AND THAT IS THE THREAT HANGING OVER THE PRESIDENT AS UNLIKELY AS IT WAS, HE IS FREE OF THAT NOW MANY WILL ASK WILL THE PRESIDENT BE DIFFERENT AND CHASENED BY THIS PROCESS OR EMBOLDENED BY THIS PROCESS CERTAINLY BY SAYING IT IS A VICTORY, IT IS A SIGNAL THAT THE PRESIDENTNA FEELS THAT HE IS HEADING FORWARD AND THE ELECTORAL CHALLENGE AHEAD IN NOVEMBER WHERE WHERE HE WILL FACE SOME H UNKNOWN DEMOCRAT WI BE A PLACE WHERE THIS WILL ULTIMATELY BE DECIDED

MANY HAVE AGREED THAT THE PEOPLE IN THEIR VOTES WILL ULTIMATELY DECIDE A VERDICT ON THE PRESIDENT'SDI CONDUCT THE PRESIDENT PERHAPS EMBRACING THAT AND SAYING HE'S ARE READY TO TAKE THAT ON, CLAIMING A VICTORY IT IS A VICTORY WITH AN ASTERISK HE WILL ALWAYS BE IMPEACHED BUT AS KELLYANNE CONWAY SAID TODAY HE'LLID ALSO FOREVER BE ACQUITT >> THANK YOU VERY MUCH

THE PRESIDENT SAYING HE WILL MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT TOMORROW AT NOONC FROM THE WHITE HOUSE THANKS SO MUCH >> YOU'RE WATCHING NBC NEWS NOW >> GOOD AFTERNOON FROM THE SPIN ROOM >> NEWS MADE FOR YOUR STREAMING WORLD

LI WEEK DAYS 3:00 TO 11:00 PM EASTERN ♪♪ ♪♪ >> TO START AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY >> NEED THE TRANSCRIPT

>> THEY WANT TO MOVE QUICKLY >> REMOVING THE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE >> WE'RE GOING INSIDE IMPEACHMENT WITH THE REPORTERS OF NBC NEWS, ARTICLE TWO INSIDE IMPEACHMENT HOSTED BY ME, STEVE KORNACKI >>> ALL EYES ON THE 2020 ELECTION FOLLOW THE LATEST ON THE CANDIDATES WITH THE NBC NEWS MOBILE APP

STAY CONNECTED WITH BREAKING NEWS, TOP STORIES, LIVE VIDEO, AND YOUR FAVORITE NBC NEWS SHOW TEXT "NBC NEWS" TO 66866 TO GET THAPP >> THE JOURNEY HAS BEGUN IT WILL TAKE US THROUGH THE DEBATE STAGES ALONG THE TRAILS OF IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE

ON WARD TO THE TOWN HALLS AND CONVENTION HALLS, INTO THE SPIN ROOMS AND BALLROOMS AND AS THIS JOURNEY UNFOLDS WE'LL BE ON THE GROUND, AT THE BIG BOARD, NAVIGATING THE TWISTS AND TURNS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY >> WE HAVE FEARLY TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES OF EXAMPLES WHERE THE CHECKS AND BALANCES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM HAVE WORKED >> THE FRAMERS DESIGNED THE GOVERNMENT FOR A MOMENT LIKE THIS WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO JUST GIVE A PASS TO SOMEBODY WHOSE TEAM WE DECIDED TO BEAT ON

WE WERE SUPPOSED TO ACTUALLY THINK FOR OURSELVES THAT IS REQUEST WE FOUGHT THE REVOLUTION THAT IS WHY WE STRUGGLES AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN TO MAKE REAL THOSE PROMISES >> DATELINE EPISODES ARE NOW AVAILABLE AS PODCASTS LISTEN ANY TIME, ANYWHERE

SUBSCRIBE NOW SO YOU DON'T MISS IT >> WASHINGTON FEELING MORE CHAOTIC THAN EVER IT IS MY JOB TO ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS, LEFT AND RIGHT, AND HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL >> THE "MEET THE PRESS" CHUCK TODD CAST WITH SOME OF MY FAVORITE REPORTERS GET IT FOR FREE WHEREVER YOU GET YOUR PODCASTS

>> YOU'RE WATCHING "NBC NEWS NOW" >> WE HAVE SOME BREAKING NEWS >> FOR NEARLY 90% — >> IT IS NEWS MADE FOR YOUR STREAMING WORLD LIVE WEEK DAYS 3:00 TO 11:00 PM

EASTERN >>> WE ARE GOING TO START WITH SOMETHING DIFFERENT TONIGHT THIS IS ONE OF THOSE THINGS YOU HAVE NOT BEEN OTHERWISE HEARING ABOUT IN THE NEWS BUT STICK WITH ME >> FEED YOUR MIND WITH FRESH PERSPECTIVE GET YOUR FAVORITE MSNBC SHOWS NOW AS PODCASTS

>>> PRESIDENT TRUMP'S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL NOW IN THE HISTORY BOOKS SO HOW ARE WILL IT BE REMEMBERED OVER TIME? IMPEACHMENT EXPERT JOE WINE BANKS SERVED AS A WATERGATE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR AND JOINS ME NOW AND I WANT TO START WITH MITT ROMNEY MAKING HISTORY TODAY, THE ONLY REPUBLICAN TO STAND WITH THE DEMOCRATS AND VOTE TOHE CONVICT THE PRESIDENT WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT? >> IT WAS WONDERFUL TO SEE THAT THERE WAST AT LEAST ONE SENATOR WHO PAID ATTENTION TO THE FACTS WHO WAS NOT A DEMOCRAT AND HE'S HISTORIC IN SEVERAL WAYS BECAUSE HE'SER ALSO THE FIT MEMBER OF THE PRESIDENT'S PARTY TO ACTUALLY VOTE FOR IMPEACHMENT IN THE PAST IMPEACHMENT, NO ONE FROM THE OPPOSING PARTY OR FROM THE SAME PARTY HAS VOTED TO CONVICT

SO HIS TAKE OF A HISTORIC STAND AND I THOUGHT HIS STATEMENT WAS BRILLIANT I THOUGHT HE REALLY SPOKE TO MY HEART WHEN HE TALKED ABOUT THE FACTKE THAT HE TOOK AN OATH ANDO BE FAITHFUL TO HIS OATH HE HAD TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FACTS AND I ALSO THOUGHT IT WAS REMARKABLE THAT HE SAID I VOTED FOR A WITNESS, JOHN BOLTON, NOT BECAUSE I WANTED MORE EVIDENCE, THE EVIDENCE IS CLEAR, I VOTED FOR A WITNESS BECAUSE I WAS HOPING THAT HE WOULD GIVE ME SOMETHING THAT WOULD GIVE ME A RIGHT TO SAY HE'S NOT GUILTY, SOMETHING THAT WOULD RAISE A REASONABLE DOUBT BUT I DIDN'T GET TO HEAR THAT BECAUSE NO WITNESSES WERET ALLOWED >> WERE YOU SURPRISED — I GUESS LET ME ASK YOU IN A COUPLE OF WAYS WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT ROMNEY TOOK THAT STANCE AND ALSO WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT HE WAS ALONE? DID YOU THINK ANYBODY ELSE MIGHT JOIN HIM? >> I AM POLLYANA

I'M ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC AND I HOPED THAT FACTS WOULD MATTER AND HERE THE FACTS ARE CLEAR, I WAS SHOCKED WHEN THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE WHO SAID, WELL, HE'S PROVED HIS CASE BEYOND BELIEF THAT THE DEMOCRATS, THE HOUSE MANAGERS HAVE PROVED THE CASE BEYOND ANY DOUBT SO YOU HAD BEN SASSE SAYING THAT AND LAMAR ALEXANDER SAYING THAT AND THEN THEY SAID NOT GUILTY IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT TO REFUSE TO VOTE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT TO SAY I DON'T WANT HIM REMOVED, BUT HOW CAN YOU SAY NOT GUILTY AND THAT IS N THE WORDS THEY AL HAD TO SPEAK

NOT GUILTY WHEN THEY ADMITTED HE WAS GUILTY SO I GUESS I AM SHOCKED THAT ONLY ROMNEY HAD A SPINE THE REST OF THEM WERE SPINELESS AND DID NOT CARE ABOUT THE TRUTH I WAS ALSO VERY PROUD OF THE DEMOCRATS WHO ARE IN TOUGH RACES WHO WENT AHEAD, MANCHIN AND JONES AND CINEMA ARE ALL IN TOUGH RACES BUT THEY DID WHAT IS THE MORALLY COMPULSORY THING SO I THINK THEY SHOULD BE GIVEN BIG KUDOS FOR THAT ALONG WITH ROMNEY

>> SO JILL, THAT IS IT THE THIRD PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN US HISTORY NOW ENOVER I KNOW IT IS REALLY EARLY TO TELL HOW HISTORY WILL JUDGE THIS ACQUITTAL

BUT WHAT STANDS OUT MOST TO YOU? >> I THINK SOME OF THE SIMILARITIES TO THE NIXON CASE FOR EXAMPLE, THE ARGUMENT THAT THE PRESIDENT MADE AFTER HE WAS OUT OF OFFICE — AFTER HE HAD HAD THE DIGNITY TO RESIGN HE SAID IF THE PRESIDENT DOES IT, IT IS NOT ILLEGAL AND EVERYONE LAUGHED AND WAS APPALLED BY THAT AND NOW ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE, THAT WAS SAID TO — TO AN INTERVIEWER, MR

FRAUGHT, THIS WAS SAID ON THE SENATE FLOOR BY HIS LAWYER SAYING BASICALLY IF HE THINKS IT IS IN THE COUNTRY'S BEST INTEREST, NOTHING HE DOES CAN BE IMPEACHABLE B THAT HE COULD DO WRONG, THAT IS THE SCARIEST THING I'VE HEARD DURING THIS ENTIRE TIME BECAUSE ANY WHAT THAT MEANS THAT MEANS THAT HE HAS NO GUARDRAILSIN AND HE WILL FEEL FE TO DO WHATEVER HE WANTS TO DO HE ALSO SAID THAT THE CONSTITUTION ARTICLE TWO SAID I COULD DO ANYTHING IIC WANT I HAVE TOTAL POWER

THAT IS WHAT A DICTATOR SAID THAT IS NOT WHAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE SAYING AND CONGRESS GAVE IT TO HIM THE SENATE HAS BASICALLY SAID THERE ISAS NO IMPEACHMENT POWER AND NOTHING WE'LL EVER DO TO STOP THIS PRESIDENT NOO MATTER HOW HORRIBLE HIS BEHAVIOR WE ADMIT THAT HE TRIED TO CHEAT ONO THIS ELECTION

WE ADMIT HE ASKED FOR FOREIGN HELP WHICH IS AGAINST LAWS BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO PUNISH HIM SO THAT IS MY FEELING, THIS WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS A REAL STEPPING AWAY FROM DEMOCRACY >> I HAVE TO ASK BEFORE YOU GO, IT IS NOT THE LAST PIN BUT THE LAST PIN DURING THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WHAT I YOU HAVE GOT FOR US TODA >> WELL, THIS RELATES TO THE STATE OF THE UNION IT ISIO PINOCCHIO BECAUSE HE TO SO MANY LIES IN THAT HOW HE COULD WITH A STRAIGHT FACE SAY I'M F PROTECTING PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS WHILE HE'S SENDING HIS DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO COURTF TO TRY TO KILL ALL PRE-EXISTING CONDITION COVERAGE

THERE WAS SO MANY LIES I JUST HAD TO WEAR PINOCCHIO TODAY >> JILL,OC YOU ALWAYS MAKE US SMILE AND LAUGH WITH YOUR PINS AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR IMPEACHMENT EXPERTISE >>EA THANK YOU >> PRESIDENT TRUMP ACQUITTED LARGELY ALONG PARTY LINES

MITT ROMNEY THE ONLY REPUBLICAN VOTING TO CONVICT SO COULD EITHER PARTY HAVE DONE MORE TO SWAY THE OUTCOME POLITICAL ANALYST SUSAN DELL PERCIO IS WITH ME ALONG WITH DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST AND CONTRIBUTE KWOR FOR MILLENNIAL POLITICS MAXI BURNS SUSAN, LET'S START WITH YOU THE PRESIDENT ACQUITTED TODAY, A VICTORY FOR THE REPUBLICANS? >> NO

ACTUALLY I THINK THAT — HOW JOE FORCE — OR NATIONAL FAILURE — ORLU NIGHTMARE IS OVER I THINK OUR NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS JUST BEGINNING TODAY >> WHY IS THAT? >> BECAUSE I THINK WHAT THE REPUBLICANS DID, THEY'RE POWER AND GIVING INTO THIS PRESIDENT WHO BELIEVES ANYTHING GOES THAT HE'S ALLOWED TO DO ANYTHING JUST TO ECHO WHAT JILL SAID AND IS SO AGAINST OUR FOUNDATION AS A COUNTRY IT IS AGAINST WHAT THE PILLARS THAT MAKE US WHO WE ARE AS A NATION AND THE FACT THAT THEY DID THAT SETS A PRECEDENT FOR BOTH PARTIES GOING DOWN THE ROAD I JUST HOPE THAT PEOPLE HAVE A LONG ENOUGH MEMORY NOT JUST FOR 2020 BUT 2022 AND 2024 WHEN THESE REPUBLICAN SENATORS ARE UP FOR RE-ELECTION

NOT ONLY WAS MITT ROMNEY OUT STANDING IN HOW HE SPOKEY AND TE REASONS WHY HE CHOSE TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT, BUT DOUG JONES WHO DID SHARE AS WELL FROM ALABAMA, HE REALLY VOTED AGAINST HIS BEST POLITICAL INTEREST BY FAR AND HE STEPPED UP FOR THE SAME REASON HE TOOK AN OATH TO THIS COUNTRY >> MAX, YOUR RESPONSE PARTICULARLY TO DOUG JONES >> I THINK ANY TIME YOU'RE IMPEACHING A PRESIDENT THAT IS A TOUGH VOTE TO TAKE AND I THINK THERE ARE A SENATORS THAT MAY CE BACK TO BITE THEM HARD

SENATOR CINEMA AND JONES MITT ROMNEY, I MEF WHAT HE SAID THAT THIS CAME FROM HIS HEART AND HIS RELIGION AND POINTING OUT JUST HOW CLEAR AND HOW CORRUPT THE PRESIDENT WAS SHINE A LIGHT ON ALL OF THE REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE ENABLED THIS THIS STORYBL IS NOT JUST ABOUT LISA MURKOWSKI OR SUSAN COLLINS, EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN WHO VOTED TO ACQUIT DONALD TRUMP TODAY BEARS THAT ON THEIR SHOULDERS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES >> LET ME ASK YOU THIS, SO MANY PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE TRIAL COMPLIMENTED THE JOB THAT THE HOUSEED MANAGERS DID IN PRESENTG THE CASE AND LINDSEY GRAHAM SAYING TO ADAM SCHIFF THAT HE DID A GOOD JOB BUT IN THE END THAT DIDN'T I MATTER THOUGH

IS THERE ANYTHING THE DEMOCRATS COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY TO INCREASE THEIR CHANCES EVEN THOUGH WE'REHA IN A REPUBLICAN-D SENATE >> I THINK IT IS EASY FOR THE HOUSE MANAGERS TO TELL THE TRUTH AND T LAY OUT THE DOTS THAT ARE RIGHT THERE ASAS PAR AS PARTISANSHIP IN THE SENATE, I THINK WE'RE IN A COMPLETELY NEW WORLD WE'VE BEEN SINCE DONALD TRUMP AND EVEN SOMEWHAT BEFORE I THINK NANCY PELOSI TEARING UP PRESIDENT TRUMP'S STATE OF THE UNION O SYMBOLIZES WHERE WE ARET A COUNTRY RIGHT NOW

SO I DON'T SEE A WAY ANYBODY ADDITIONALLY WOULD HAVE MOVED >> DO YOU THINKTI WITNESSES WOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE OBVIOUSLY WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE SAID BUT DO YOU THINK THAT COULD HAVE SWAYED ANYTHING OR IS THATLD JUST A FOREGONE CONCLUSION >>NE I THINK WITNESSES WOULD HA MADE IT HARDER AND SEE LISA COLLINS OR MURKOWSKI MOVE BUT INSTEAD REPUBLICANS CHOSE PARTY OVER COUNTRY AND THEY CHOSE PRESIDENT TRUMP OVER THE COUNTRY AND NOT TO GIVE AMERICANS THE TRIAL THEY MEDESERVE >> I KINDD OF DISAGREE

>> I WAS JUST HAVING A FEELING YOU — SUSAN, TELL ME >> I DON'T THINK IF THE WITNESSES TESTIFIED IT WOULD HAVE CHANGEDED ANYTHING ALL OF THE PROOF WAS THERE AS MAX SAID EARLIER, THE CASE WAS MADE THEIR JOB WASS EASY

THEY JUST PRESENTED THE FACTS SO IT'S CLEAR BASED ON ALL OF THE SENATORS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MITT HROMNEY, THEY DIDN'T CARE THEY SIMPLY DID NOT CARE OR OTHERWISE THEY WOULD HAVE AT LEAST ON THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT VOTED TO CONVICT OR HAD MORE OF A DIALOGUE THERE WAS NOTHING THAT COULD BE DONE TO CHANGE THEIRBE MINDS MITCH McCONNELL SET THE TONE

HE CARRIED OUT THE ORDERS AND WAS ACTUALLY KIND OF SHOCKING TO ME IS HE PUT THE INTEREST OF THE PRESIDENT GETTING RE-ELECTED BEFORE HIM KEEPING THE MAJORITY WHICH IS CLEAR BECAUSE THERE WERE A LOT OF TOUGH VOTES AND THERE IS ONLY THREE VOTES THAT IT COMES DOWN TO, THREE SEATS, RATHER AND I THINK THAT WILL REALLY HURT HIM COME NOVEMBER HE CONTRIBUTED TO THAT SO I ALMOST WANT TO KNOW WHAT DOES DONALD TRUMP DO TO THESE PEOPLE THAT MAKES THEM FALL UNDER THIS SPELL

IT JUSTT CAN'T BE FEAR HE CAN'T MAKE EVERYONE SEEM LIKE — AND I THINK THIS IS A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM IN OUR POLITICS AS A IWHOLE >> WE'VE A BEEN TALKING ABOUT MT ROMNEY BEFORE HE T MADE THE DECISION, BEFORE HE T ACTUALLY VOTED HEUA TALKED ABOUT THE CONSEQUENS OF BEING A LONE REPUBLICAN TO VOTE TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY THAT AND THEN GET YOURHA REACTION

>> I'M AWARE THERE ARE PEOPLE IN MY PARTY AND STATE WHO HAVE STRENUOUSLY DISAPPROVE OF MY DECISION ANDF IN SOME QUARTERS WILL BE VEHEMENTLY DENOUNCED I'M SURE THE ABUSE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND HIS SUPPORTERS DOES ANYONE SERIOUSLY BELIEVE THAT I WOULD CONSENT TO THESE CONSEQUENCES OTHER THAN FROM AN INESCAPABLE CONVICTION THAT MY OATH BEFORE GOD DEMANDS OF ME >> SUSAN, AS A REPUBLICAN, I'LL GO TO YOU FIRST, YOUR REACTION BOTHAC TO WHAT ROMNEY SAID AND THOSE PRESSURES AND HOW THEY PLAYED OUT IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY >> LOOK AT THE VOTEAN TALLY

THAT IS HOW IT PLAYED OUT PURE AND SIMPLE MITT ROMNEYMP HAS HIS OWN PATH, HIS OWN COURSE HE'S RUN FOR PRESIDENT HE DIDN'T WIN AND THEN HE SAID HE WOULDN'T DO WHAT DONALD TRUMP DID BUT THEN AGAIN HE DIDN'T WIN SO HE ACCEPTS THOSE CONSEQUENCES

HE'S A UNITED STATES SENATOR BECAUSE HE BELIEVES IN CONSIDERATION TO THEIE COUNTRY PUBLIC SERVICE AND HE DOESN'T NEED THE AJOB SO HE WAS THERE TO FOLLOW OUT HIS RESPONSIBILITY, HIS OATH AND WHAT I THOUGHT WAS ESPECIALLY INTEREST IS WHEN HE THOUGHT HE HAD TO EXPLAIN TO HIS CHILDREN OR THEIR H CHILDREN, HIS GRANDCHILDREN, HOW DO YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO SHOW YOU ARE MORALLY UPRIGHT AS A PERSON IF YOU VOTE FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS >> I WAS TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE PRESSURES THAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE FACED BUT IS IT AND YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE FEAR OF TRUMP, IS IT THE FEAR OF TRUMP? IS IT THE FEAR AT THE BALLOT BOX? ARE YOU ABLE TO SEPARATE WHAT IT IS THAT SORTE OF STOPPED THEM AD ONE THAT YOU THINK THAT TRUMPS THE OTHER? >> I DO THINK AT THE BALLOT BOX AND I THINK IT IS JUST THE PURE FEAR OF WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, NOT JUST AT THE BALLOT BOX BUT THE MEDIA STYLE THAT WE LIVE IN NOW AND THE WAYOW DONALD TRUMP GOES AFTER SOMEBODY ON TWITTER AND CONSERVATIVE MEDIA AND LIBERAL MEDIA AND IT PLAYS BOTH WAYS TO BE FAIR AND YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH SO MUCH PRESSURE THAT THEY SEEK TO DESTROY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND MAKE IT SO PERSONAL THAT IT IS NOT JUST A TAKEDOWN FOR A VOTE WHETHER YOU THINK THE ISSUE IS RIGHT OR WRONG, IT BECOMES YOUR WHOLE LIFE AND I THINK THAT IS MORE OR LESS WHAT PEOPLEOR DON'T WANT TO FACE WHI IN MY OPINION IS GOING TO HAVE HURT US HAVING BETTER ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THE FUTURE >> MAX, LET ME GET YOUR REACTION TOMORROW EVERYBODY HAS TO WAKE UP ANDRR GO BACK TO WORKING TOGETHER AND WE DISCUSSED THIS BEFORE AND PEOPLE SAID THESE ARE POLITICIANS, THEY COULD HANDLE IT BUT YOU'VE ALLUDED TO THIS FEELS LIKE A DIFFERENT TIME

WE DID SEE EVIDENCE OF THAT AT THE STATE OF THE UNION JUST LOOKING AT PRESIDENT TRUMP AND SUPREMER PELOSI AND STS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT MOVING ON FROM TODAY >> THERE IS TO F GOING BACK FRO HERE THEFR CHALLENGE WITH DEMOCRACY NO ONE COULD FORCE CONGRESS TO GIVE UP OVERSIGHT AND ONLY THOUGH COULD SURRENDER IT AND ONCE YOU SURRENDER THAT THERE IS NO TAKING IT BACK SO EVEN IN DONALD TRUMP AGAINST ALL ODDS BEHAVES HIMSELF FOR THE REST OF THE TERM, IT IS A QUESTION OF WHAT DOES DEMOCRACY AND EXECUTIVE POWER LOOK LIKE IN TWO OR THREE OR FOUR PRESIDENTS? BECAUSE WE'VE NEVER SEEN IT GO BACKWARDS ONLY FURTHER

AND F THAT IS A DANGEROUS POSITN TO BE IN FOR A COUNTRY THAT IS SO POLARIZED >> MAX, THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING HERE NOT ONLY TODAY BUT WITH US THROUGHOUT THE TRIAL THROUGHOUT THE INQUIRY I APPRECIATE IT >> HAPPY LAST DAY OF IMPEACHMENT

>> HAPPY LAST DAYF OF IMPEACHMENT, EVERYBODY LET'S HEAD BACK OVER TO CAPITOL HILL T WHERE THE PRESIDENT WAS ACQUITTED BY THE SENATE TODAY THAT IS OF COURSEAT WHERE WITH FIND LEIGH ANN CALDWELL AT WORK EVER SINCE WHAT JUMPED OUT MOST TODAY NO DOUBT THE ACQUITTAL IS NOT A SURPRISE

>> THE ACQUITTAL WAS NOT A SURPRISE BUT HOW PEOPLE WOULD COME DOWN UNTIL THE LAST MONTH AND WHEN ROMNEY GOT TO THE FLOOR TO DELIVER HIS FLOOR SPEECH AND THAT DIFFICULT SPEECH THAT HE DID GIVEEC SAYING HE WAS GOING VOTE TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT AND SO WHILE NOT — IT IS A BIG DEAL BECAUSE IT DENIES THIS PRESIDENT UNANIMITY AMONG HIS REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT A MEMBER OF THE PRESIDENT'S PARTY HAS VOTED TO CONVICT A PRESIDENT THIS A AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL AND THE FACT THAT THE DEMOCRATS, ALL OF THE DEMOCRATS STAYED UNITED AND VOTED TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT, IT DENIES THE PRESIDENT A BIPARTISAN ACQUITTAL ON THE CHAMBER FLOOR JUST BEFORE THIS AFTERNOON STARTED, ONE OF THOSE DEMOCRATS, SENATOR KYRSTEN SINEMA OF EVIDENCE WALKED UP TO SENATOR U SCHUMER AND SHE'S IN TOUGH STATE IN ARIZONA AND SENATOR SCHUMER PUT HIS ARM AROUND HER ANDIS GAVE HER A HUG AND THEY STAYED IN THAT POSITION FOR ABOUT TEN SECONDS AND THEN AFTER THE EMBRACE ENDED HE HAD A HUGE SMILE ON HIS FACE AND MOMENTS BEFORE SHE SAID SHE WAS GOING TO VOTE TO CONVICT THE PRESIDENT

SO WHILE DEMOCRATS SAY IT IS A SAD DAY TODAY BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT WAS ACQUITTED, THERE ARE SOME MINOR VICTORIES HERE FOR THEM THE FACT THAT THEY KEPT THEIR PARTY TOGETHER AND THE FACT THAT MITT ROMNEY VOTED WITH THEM ON ONE ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, ALISON >> LET'S TALK MORE ABOUT MITT ROMNEY HE SAID BEFORE THE VOTE, WE PLAYED IT BEFORE,VO HE WAS WELL AWARE OF THE CONSEQUENCES THAT HIS VOTE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT WOULD BRING WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU'RE HEARING FROM HIS COLLEAGUES? THEY HAVE BEEN COMMENTING ALREADY? >> C WELL THE PRESIDENT'S ALLIE ARE VERYLL HARSH ON MITT ROMNEY SAYING THAT HE SHOULD LEAVE THE PARTY

HE SHOULD BE EXPELLED FROM THE PARTY AND THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOR HIM BUT INSIDE THE CAPITOL AS REPUBLICAN SENATORS ARE MORE LENIENT THEY'RE SAYING THAT THEY'RE DISAPPOINTED IN HIS DECISION, THAT ISN EXACTLY WHAT SENATOR MITCH McCONNELL SAID ABOUT IT BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS NOT GOING TO BET ANY HUGE REPERCUSSIONS LIKE KICKING HIM OUT OF THE CONFERENCE AT IT MOMENT THERE DIDN'T SEEM — A BIG APPETITETE FOR THAT, AT LEAST PUBLICLY BEHIND THE SCENES JUST YET BECAUSE IT IS SO NEW AND IT IS A BIT OF A SURPRISE FROM REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES THAT HE DID ULTIMATELY COME DOWN THIS WAY

>> DEMOCRATS HAVE WARNED THE INVESTIGATIONS WON'TAR STOP DO WE HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT IS NEXT?S >> WELL, THE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TODAY SAID THAT ONE OF THE COMMITTEES IN THE HOUSE COULD,EE IN FACT, SUBPOEN JOHN BOLTON SO THIS MIGHT BE CONTINUED, ALISON I DID ASK SENATOR SCHUMER ABOUT THAT,UM IF THE HOUSE SHOULD SUBPOENAOU BOLTON JUST MOMENTS O AND HE SAID THAT IS UP TO THE HOUSE THAT'S THEIR JOB

SO HE WOULDN'T REALLY COMMENT ON IT YET SO IT MIGHT NOT BE OVER, ALISON >> LEIGH AN, IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE SO HERE WE ARE, THE ACQUITTAL HAS HAPPENED THE TRIAL IS OVER

I CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME THAT WEME SPOKE TO YOU ON THE CAPITOL ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THANNG IMPEACHMENT DOES EVERYONE JUST WAKE UP TOMORROW AND GOT BACK TO BUSINS AS USUAL I FEEL LIKE WE FORGOT WHAT THAT IS LIKE >> THAT IS A GOOD TQUESTION I'VE BEEN TALKING TO SENATORS ABOUT HOW THEYG GO FROM A DIVISIVE STATE OF THE UNION LAST NIGHT, THISAS DIVISIVE IMPEACHMT TRIAL AND THEN JUST WAKE UP AND GO BACK TO WORK

YOU KNOW, THEY SAY THAT IT CAN BE DONE THERE HAVE BEEN TOUGH MOMENTS BEFORE THEY POINT TO THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS OF JUSTICE KAVANAUGH AND THE DOUBT WAS AS WELL AND THEY CAME TOGETHER AND DID THEIR JOBS AGAIN BUT IT IS GOING TO BE — REALLY DIFFICULT AND ALSO THE SENATE HASN'T DONE T A LOT OF LEGISLATG OVER THE PAST YEAR ESPECIALLY SINCE JUSTICE KAVANAUGH IS IN A LEGISLATIVE GRAVEYARD ACCORDING TO SOME L DEMOCRATS OR MANYOM DEMOCRATS HERE

McCONNELL HASN'T DONE A LOT OF — PUT A LOT OF BILLS ON THE FLOOR JUST MOMENTS AFTER THEY WRAPPED UP WITH THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL McCONNELL WENT TO THE FLOOR AND PUT THIS PROCEDURAL THINGS TO NOMINATE — OR GO THROUGH THE CONFIRMATION PROCESSHE OF MANY MORE JUDGES SO THAT IS REALLY WHAT THE SENATE HAS BEEN DOING FOR THE PASTOI TWO YEARS IS NOMINATING CONSERVATIVE JUDGESSE AND CONFIRMING THEM AN THE SECOND THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESSMP ENDED McCONNELL WAS BK ON THE FLOOR DOING THAT BECAUSE THAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO HIM AS FAR AS LEGISLATION IS CONCERNED, WE'LL SEE WHAT COMES DOWN THE PIPELINE

THERE HASN'T BEEN A HOT OF LEGISLATING BEFORE THIS AND IT IS HARD TO SEE IN AN ELECTION YEAR THERE IS MORE AFTER THIS, ALISON >> IN TERMS OF SCHEDULING, DO WE HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT IS COMING UP NEXT OR WHAT WE'LL SEE TOMORROW OR IS IT STILL SO FRESH THAT WE DON'T KNOW WHAT KIND OF A SCHEDULE IT S COMING UP AHEAD F CONGRESS? >> THERE IS A CHANCE THEY COULD TAKE THE REST OF THE WEEK OFF WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN FINAL CONFIRMATION ON THAT >> I COULD SEE THEM LEANING IN THAT DIRECTION >> I DO TOO

SO WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE BUT THEY MIGHT BE THE REST OF THE WEEK OFF AND COME BACK ON MONDAY AND SEE HOW THINGS GO AFTER THEY'VE BEEN HOME FOR A FEW DAYS TALKING TO CONSTITUENTS, ALISON >> LEIGH ANIS IN AGREEMENT, EVERYBODY COULD USE A BREAK AND WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK SO WE'LL SEECK WHAT CONGRESS DECID TO DO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR UPDATING US ON CAPITOL HILL >> GREAT, THANK YOU

>>> PRESIDENT TRUMP IMPEACHED BUTES ACQUITTED BY THE SENATE TODAY THE SAME OUTCOME AS PRESIDENT CLINTON BACK IN 1999 SO WHAT WAS THAT DAY YEARS AGO? LET'S LOOK BACK >> THE SENATE MEETS TODAY TO CONCLUDE THIS TRIAL BY VOTING ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT THERE BY FULFILLING THE OBLIGATION AN THE CONSTITUTION AND I BELIEVE WE'RE READY TO PROCEEDLI TO THE VOTE ON THE ARTICLESE AND I YIELD THE FLOOR >> THE QUESTION IS ON THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU, IS THE RESPONDENTHE WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY? A ROLL CALL VOTE IS REQUIRED THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL

>> MR BIDEN MR BIDEN, NOT GUILTY MISS COLLINS

MISS COLLINS, NOT GUILTY MR McCONNELL MR McCONNELL, GUILTY

MR MURKOWSKI MR MURKOWSKI, GUILTY MR

SCHUMER MRUM SCHUMER, NOT GUILTY AN THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 45 SENATORS HAVING PRONOUNCED WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES GUILTY ASFFID CHARGED, 55 SENAT HAVING PRONOUNCED HIM NOT GUILTY TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT NOT HAVING PRONOUNCED HIM GUILTY, THE SENATE ASKRUJS THAT THE RESPONDENT WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, IS NOT GUILTY ASS CHARGED IN THE FIRST ARTIC OF IMPEACHMENT

IS ON THE SECOND ARTICLEN OF IMPEACHMENT SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU? IS THE RESPONDENT WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON GUILT OR NOT GUILTY THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL >> MR BIDEN

MR BIDEN, NOT GUILTY MISS COLLINS, MISS COLLINS, NOT GUILTY MR McCONNELL

MR McCONNELL, GUILTY MR MURKOWSKI MR

MURKOWSKI GUILTY MR SCHUMER MR SCHUMER NOT GUILTY

>> ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 50 SENATORS HAVE PRONOUNCED WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES GUILTY AS CHARGED 50 SENATORS HAVE PRONOUNCED HIM NOT GUILTYD TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATES PRESENT NOT HAVING PRONOUNCED HIM GUILTY, THE SENATE AJUDGES THAT THE RESPONDENT WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOT GUILTY ASER CHARGED IN THE SECOND ARTIE OF IMPEACHMENT THE CHAIR DIRECTS JUDGMENT TO BE ENTERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JUM AS FOLLOWS, THE SENATE HAVINGEN TRIED WILLIAM JEFFERSO CLINTON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES UPON TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED AGAINST HIM BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT NOT HAVING FOUND HIM GUILTY OF THE CHARGESLT CONTAINED THEREIN IT THEREFORE ORDERED AND AJUDGED THAT WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGES IN THE SAID ARTICLE I LEAVEVE YOU NOW A WISER BUT N A SENATORUT MAN

I'VE BEEN IMPRESSED BY WHICH THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY LEADER HAVE NDAGREED ON PROCEDURAL RUL IN SPITE OF THE R DIFFERENCES TT SEPARATE THE PARTIES ON MATTERS OF SUBSTANCE AND I'VE BEEN IMPRESSED BY THE QUALITY OF DEBATE IN CLOSED SESSION, ON THE ENTIRE QUESTION OF IMPEACHMENT AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE CONSTITUTION AGREED UPON PROCEDURES FOR AIRING SUBSTANTIVE DIVISIONS MUST BE THE HALLMARK OF ANY GREAT DELIBERATIVE BODY OUR WORK AS COURT OF IMPEACHMENT IS NOW DONE I LEAVE WITH THE HOPE THAT OUR SEVERALHA PATHS MAY CROSS AGAIN UNDER HAPPIER CIRCUMSTANCES >> YOU'RE WATCHING "NBC NEWS NOW

" >> GOOD AFTERNOON >> NEWS MADE FOR YOUR STREAMING WORLD, LIVE WEEK DAYS 3:00 TO 11:00 PM EASTERN ♪♪ ♪♪ >> THE JOURNEY HAS BEGUN

IT WILL TAKE US THROUGH THE DEBATE STAGES, ALONG THE TRAILS OF IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE, ON WARD TO THE TOWN HALLS AND CONVENTION HALLS, NO THE SPIN ROOMS AND BALLROOMS AND AS THIS JOURNEY UNFOLDS, WE'LL BE ON THE GROUND, AT THE BIG BOARD, NAVIGATING THE TWISTS AND TURNS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY >> START AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY >> THE PERSON CLAIMS TO LOOK INTO THE BIDENS >> THE TRANSCRIPT

>> THEY WANT THEM QUICKLY >> REMOVING THE PRESIDENT FROM OFFICE >> WE'RE GOING INSIDE IMPEACHMENT WITH THE REPORTERS OF NBC NEWS, ARTICLE TWO, INSIDE IMPEACHMENT HOSTED BY ME, STEVE KORNACKI >>> ALL EYES ON THE 2020 ELECTION FOLLOW THE LATEST ON THE CANDIDATES WITH THE NBC NEWS MOBILE APP

STAY CONNECTED WITH BREAKING NEWS, TOP STORIES, LIVE VIDEO, AND YOUR FAVORITE NBC NEWS SHOW TEXT "NBC NEWS" TO 66866 TO GET THE APP ♪♪ ♪♪ >>> FOR MORE RESULTS IN THE IOWA CAUCUS COMING IN, WE'RE NOW AT 86% CARRIE DEN JOINED ME NOW HAT HAVE WE LEARNED FROM THE LATEST RELEASE? >> WELL WITH 86% IN WE'VE SEEN A CONTINUATION OF SOME OF THE TRENDS THAT WE SAWME FROM EARLI RELEASED FROM THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY

PETE BUTTIGIEG STILL LEADS ON THE METRIC OF DELEGATE EQUIVALENCE THAT IS WHAT NBC NEWS AND MOST NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ARE REFERRING TO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT VICTORY IN THE IOWA CAUCUS SINCE HE IS UP ABOUT 13%, A VERY NARROW LEAD OVER BERNIE SANDERS ACCORDING TO THE NEW RESULTS WE'RE SEEING THAT BERNIE SANDERS LEADS ON ANOTHER METRIC, WHICH IS THE — WHEN THEY ARRIVED AT THE CAUCUS SITE AKIN TO A POPULAR VOTE AND SANDERS IS LEADING BY 2

7% BUT AGAIN PETE BUTTIGIEG LOOKING LIKE HE HAS A NARROW LEAD OVER BERNIE SANDERS WITH 86% OF THE PRECINCTS REPORTING >> CARRIE, CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG IT SOUNDS LIKE THE NEW REPORTING CONFIRMING WHAT WE HEARD BEFORE, THERE HASN'T BEEN ANY MAJOR CHANGES AND THOUSAND THAT WE HAVE 86%, IS THAT CORRECT >> THAT IS RIGHT ANDTH WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY — WE NEED TO KEEP TRACK OF WHAT IS STILL OUT POLK COUNTY HAS A BIG GROUP OF PRECINCTS THAT HAVE NOT YET REPORTED AND THE SATELLITE CAUCUSES HAVE NOT REPORTED YET THAT IS GOING TO BE A GROUP OF — OF VOTERS WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE EVENING CAUCUS, OR MAY HAVE PARTICIPATED AT A PRECINCT THAT WAS NOT THEIR REGULAR ONE

>> I KNOW THIS MAY BE THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION BUT DO WE HAVE ANY SENSE WHEN WE MIGHT GET THOSE RESULTS? >> DEPENDING ON THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THE FAITH IN THE IDP HAS NOT BEEN RESTORED BY TODAY'S EVENTS ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF AGO THEY — THEY RELEASED A NEW TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRECINCTS AND ANNOUNCED A MINOR CORRECTION HAD TO BE MADE AND RE-RELEASE THE DATA AND DELVE PATRICK WAS A LATE ENTRANCE TO THE RACE, BARELY CAMPAIGNED IF AT ALL IN THE STATE OF IOWA AND CALLED OUT AS AN ERROR AND CALLED OUT BY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BUT THE PARTY EXPRESSED FRUSTRATION AND THE DEMOCRATIC ABILITY TO RECORD THESE RESULTS WAS NOT UNDERSCORED BY THE CORRECTIONAS THAT HAD TO BE MADE EARLIER TODAY >> WE'RE STILL AWAITING FINAL RESULTS BUT THANK YOU SO MUCHIN FOR THE UPDATE >>FO THANK YOU >>> WE'RE JUSTHA SIX DAYS AWAY FROM THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY BUT WE STILL DON'T T HAVE THE FL IOWA CAUCUS RESULTS AS WE'VE BEEN SAYING

JOE BIDEN IS CURRENTLY FOURTH IN IOWA TOLD NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTERS TODAY THAT THE CAUCUSES WERE A BUNCH IN THE GUT >> WHEN A STRUGGLING BILL CLINTON CAME S BACK AND FINISHE IN THE PRIMARY IN 1992 HE DECLARED HIMSELF THE COMEBACK KID AND NOW THAT JOE BIDEN AND HIS CAMPAIGN HAVE HAD TIME TO DIGEST THE DISAPPOINTING NUMBERS FROM IOWA THEY'RE TRYING TO BUILD A SIMILAR NARRATIVE LET'S TAKE A LISTEN TO HOW THE VICE PRESIDENT CAST THOSE VOTES THIS MORNING >> I'M HERETH TO SAY THAT EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY VOTE IS GOING TO MATTER IN THIS PRIMARY YOU KNOW, 24 HOURS LATER THEY'RE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN IOWA

AT THIS RACE, NEW HAMPSHIRE WILL BE THE FIRST IN THE COUNTRY TO GET THE VOTE [ APPLAUSE ] I'MM NOT GOING TO SUGAR COAT IT WE TOOK A GUT PUNCH IN IOWA THE WHOLE PROCESS TOOK A GUT PUNCH BUT, LOOK, THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME IN T MY LIFE I'VE BEEN KNOCKED DOWN

>> BUT THAT IS THOUGHT ALL JOE BIDEN WENT ON TO TALK ABOUT THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS LAST NIGHT AND THAT DEMOCRATS NEED TO GET REAL ABOUT BEATING TRUMP WATCHING THAT STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS HE SAID TWO THINGS WERE CLEAR, ONE THAT DEMOCRATS HAVE TO BEAT HIM AND TWO THAT DOING SO WILL NOT BE EASY AND HE WENT ON TO LAUNCH SOME OF THE TOUGHESTLA ATTACKS ON HIS RIVAL SO FAR NAMELY BERNIE SANDERS AND PETE BUTTIGIEG LET'S TAKE A LISTEN TO THOSE

>> BUT SENATOR SANDERS IS A NOMINEE AND EVERY DEMOCRAT COMING DOWN THE BALLOT, BLUE STATES, ARE RED STATES, PURPLE STATES AND EASY DISTRICTS AND COMPETITIVE ONE, EVERY DEMOCRAT WILL HAVE TO CARRY THE LABEL SENATOR SANDERS CHOSE FOR HIMSELF HE CALLS HIM — I DON'T CRITICIZE HIM HE CALLED HIMSELF A DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST IS HE SAYING THAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WAS A FAILURE JUST SAY IT OUT LOUD

I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR MAYOR PETE AND THE SERVICE TO THE NATION BUT I DO BELIEVE IT IS A RISK TO BE STRAIGHT UP AND NOMINATE SOMEBODY WHO NEVER HELD OFFICE HIGHER THAN MAYOR OF A TOWN OF A HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE IN INDIANA I DO BELIEVE THIS IS A RISK >> SO WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? THE CAMPAIGN INSISTS WITH THE DISAPPOINTING T SHOWING IN IOWAE STILL HAS A VERY REAL CHANCE TO WIN THE NOMINATION AND HE SAID HE HAS THE FIRE WALL IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA AND AS THE ELECTORATE WILL TRANSLATE INTO DELEGATES COME SUPER-TUESDAY AND BEYOND BUT THEY ALSO KNOW THAT THEY REALLY DON'T EVEN GET THAT FAR IF HE HAS ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING SHOWING HERE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE SO WHAT THEY REALIZE IS THAT THEY HAVE TO HAVE AT LEAST A SECOND PLACET SHOWING IF NOT A OUTRIGHT WIN AND ONE OF THEIG REASONS HE'S GOING SO HARD AGAINST BERNIE SANDERS IN PARTICULAR IS REFLECTED IN THE NEW REGISTRATION OF VOTER INFORMATION WE GOT OUT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

COMPARED TO THE 2016 PRIMARY THERE ARE MORE UNDECLARED VOTERS WHAT DOES THAT MEAN THOSE ARE THOSE THAT DON'T REGISTER ATON DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN BUTER THEY COULD CHOE WHICH PRIMARY THEY WANT TO VOTE IN ANDO SINCE THERE ISN'T MUCH F A CHALLENGE TO DONALD TRUMP THIS TIME AROUND, THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY SO MAKING CLEAR HAD A CONTRAST WITH BERNIE SANDERS ON MEDICARE FOR ALL ARGUING HE'S TOO FAR TO THE LEFT WILL HAVE REAL APPEAL WITH THEL MIDDLE OF THE ROAD VOTERS AND THAT IS WHYE HE NEED TO MAKE THAT CONTRAST CLEAR WITH PETE BUTTIGIEG C AS WELL SO NOW LET'S LOOK AHEAD TO BIDEN'S SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

HE HAS A TELEVISED TOWN HALL TONIGHT AND THE DEBATE ON FRIDAY WHICH HE'LL BE SPENDING TIME OFF THE TRAIL UNTIL THEN AND THEN IT ISHE REALLY A FINAL SPRINT HERE AHEAD OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY NEXT TUESDAY TO TRY TO FINISH STRONG THE LAST THING, WE STILL HAVE TO TALK ABOUT FUNDRAISING MAYOR BLOOMBERG IS STILL OUT THERE IN THE WINGS ANNOUNCING HE WILL SPEND EVENNN MORE MONEY UNITE THE COUNTRY WHICH IS THAT PRO-BIDEN SUPERPAC ARE ADDING $900,000 IN TV SPENDING AND THE BIDEN CAMPAIGN ONE OF THE LOWEST SPENDERS AND IF THEY COULD GET THE MONEYHE TO DO IT, THEY'LL B DOING THATLL AS WELL >> IN NEW HAMPSHIRE TULSI DPAB ARD HOPES TO STAND OUT FROM THE OTHER CANDIDATES WITH A LESS CONVENTIONAL CAMPAIGN STYLE

JULIA JESTER HIT THE SLOPES WITH GABBARD AHEAD THE PRIMARIES >> CONGRESSWOMAN TULSI GABBARD HAS BEEN ACTIVE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL FROM REPORTING HER DAILY WORKOUT VIDEOS TO MMA FIGHTING HERE ON THE SLOPES IN NORTH CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE >>>> HOW WOULD YOU SAY THIS IS FORM OF CAMPAIGNING? >> WE WERE O ABLE TO INVITE PEOE FROM ACROSS NEW HAMPSHIRE AND I THINK THERE AREIR A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAME FROM ACROSS NEW ENGLAND TODAY TOE BOTH HAVE SO FUN AND TO CONNECT I RODE UP THE LIFT WITH A FEW DIFFERENT GROUPS OF PEOPLE AND TALK ABOUT DIFFERENT ISSUES AND CHALLENGES AND IS THIS GREAT TO GET OUT OF THE NORMAL GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE WHO GO TO TOWN HALLS AND CONNECT WITH PEOPLE WHO NORMALLY WOULDN'T GO TO A TOWN HALL MEETING AND YET STILL REALLY CARE ABOUT WHERE WE'RE GOING AS A COUNTRY SOMETHING THAT I HEAR A LOT FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTERS IS THAT THEY'RE DISAPPOINTED THAT THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE AS MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE KINDS OF PERSON TO PERSON CONNECTIONS THAT THEY'VE APPRECIATED FOR A REALLY LONG TIME AND THEY'RE SEEING MORE CANDIDATES WHO ARE RELYING ON TELEVISION ADS AS THEIR FORM OF CAMPAIGNING RATHER THAN HAVING THEIR BOOTS ON THE GROUND ANDTH REALLY CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE

IT IS SOMETHING THAT I'M REALL GRATEFUL TO BE ABLE BE HERE AND TO EXPERIENCE I TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY PLATFORM POSSIBLE WHETHER IT IS HERE IN PERSON OR THROUGH TELEVISION OR OTHER MEANS TO BE ABLE TO GET OUR MESSAGE OUT TO VOTERS ONCE AGAIN SO THEY COULD MAKE THEON BEST INFORMED DECISION POSSIBLE AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THESE ELECTIONS ACTUALLY BEGINNING >>> ALL PERSONS ARE COMMANDED TO BE SILENCED ON PAIN OF IMPRISONMENT WHILE THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES IS SITTING FOR THE TRIAL OF THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED BY THE HOUSE OFT REPRESENTATIVES AGAINT DONALD JOHN TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

AS A REMINDER TO EVERYONE IN THE CHAMBER,TA AS WELL AS THOSE IN E ZBALERIES, DEMONSTRATIONS OF APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL ARE PROHIBITED >> THE MAJORITY LEADER IS RECOGNIZED >> CHIEF JUSTICE, THE SENATE IS NOW READY TO VOTE ON TH

Source: Youtube

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar