Durbin Statement On Senator McConnell's Impeachment Trial Resolution

WASHINGTONU.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today gave the following remarks at a press conference with Senate Democratic leadership in response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Senate impeachment trial resolution proposal:

“From the very first day of this impeachment trial, we learned that for Senator McConnell political loyalty to this President is more important than respect for the Constitution, the integrity of the Senate, and common decency.

“With this resolution outlining the course of the trial, Senator McConnell and those who enable him demonstrate that Republicans believe that the American people are not entitled to judge for themselves whether President Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed this Congress in the discharge of its constitutional duties.

“Senator McConnell and those who enable him believe that if they hurry the proceedings, restrict the evidence, limit the witnesses, and force the whole enterprise into the midnight hour, they can conceal any misconduct by the President.

“They believe the American people will not take notice.  They are wrong.  The American people are not asleep at the wheel of this democracy.  They are wide awake to any Senator or President who disrespects their constitutional duties or claims to be above the law.

“Donald John Trump, the impeached President, insists he is the innocent victim of a witch hunt, a cruel hoax.  Yet this President is unable and unwilling to produce any evidence or any witness in his own defense.  Instead, America is subjected to an endless blizzard of mindless tweets from the White House and the ravings of the President’s trusted legal counsel, the former Mayor of New York City.  For Senator McConnell and those who enable him, this self-serving foolishness passes for a credible defense. 

“Under the principles of American justice, the accused, in this case the President, cannot be compelled to testify.  But the McConnell resolution goes to the extreme of attempting to limit the House managers from introducing into evidence the documents and sworn testimony that were produced in the House impeachment proceedings.  This McConnell resolution directly contravenes the rules followed in the Clinton impeachment trial.

“As of this morning, a majority of American people are calling for this President to be impeached and removed from office.  Even Senator McConnell’s loyalty to this President and corruption of this Senate trial cannot escape this stark reality.

“If Senator McConnell has his way, critical moments in this trial may not see the light of day, but they will not escape the light of history.”