Durbin Continues To Call For Fair And Honest Impeachment Trial Including Key Witnesses & Documents

WASHINGTON – On the day that Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) once again called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to conduct a fair impeachment trial with key witnesses and documents directly related to the Trump Administration’s decision-making regarding the delay in military aid to Ukraine and the Administration’s requests that Ukraine conduct certain investigations. 

“As we noted yesterday at about 5:38 p.m. when the Clerk of the House arrived with the Articles of Impeachment, there was a change in the atmosphere and environment of this Chamber, and I can sense it even today.  We realize that we are only moments away from an historic meeting of this Chamber on the issue of presidential impeachment,” Durbin said in a speech on the Senate floor.  “When we take that oath of office, each and every one of us swearing impartial justice, we need to remember that not only is America watching, but history will hold us accountable.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a legal decision, which finds that the Trump Administration’s order to hold $250 million in defense aid to Ukraine violated the Impoundment Control Act, a law passed by Congress to rein in Nixon-era abuses.  The GAO ruling found that a president can only put a hold on congressionally-approved spending for very limited and temporary purposes, which was not the case with the White House’s orders in the summer of 2019.  Durbin’s statement on GAO’s legal decision is available here.

In December, Senate Democrats requested that the Senate issue subpoenas for testimony by the following four witnesses with direct knowledge of Administration decisions regarding the delay in security assistance funds to Ukraine and the requests for certain investigations to be announced by the government of Ukraine: Robert Blair, Senior Advisor to the Acting White House Chief of Staff; Mick Mulvaney, Acting White House Chief of Staff; John Bolton, former National Security Advisor; and Michael Duffey, Associate Director for National Security, Office of Management and Budget.