January 31, 2020

Duckworth Statement on Senate’s Failure to Call Witnesses for Impeachment Trial


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement after the Republican-led Senate voted to block witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump:


“28 years ago, I stood in camouflage, faced my superior officer and took the Army’s oath of enlistment, solemnly swearing that I would support and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God. Three years ago, I took a similar oath, raising both my hand and my voice under our great Capitol dome, and promising again to defend our nation’s most sacred document to discharge the duties of my office, no matter what. Those oaths have guided me every hour of every day that I’ve been lucky enough to call myself first a Soldier and then a Senator, helping me make choices and take actions that I felt were good and just everywhere from the Middle East to the Midwest to D.C.


“Two weeks ago, each of us took yet another pledge: to render ‘impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws’ throughout the course of this impeachment trial. I took that oath every bit as seriously as I have my others. I wish my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were willing to do the same instead of helping the White House perpetrate a cover-up. I don’t question how they will justify their votes politically, but I do not understand how they can justify them morally when all signs suggest that additional evidence—on top of the clear and convincing case presented by the House Managers—will come to light in the coming days, weeks and months that points towards the President’s guilt.


“Similarly, I do not understand why, if they believe Donald Trump is innocent they wouldn’t want to allow witnesses or documents that could have exonerated him. And to my colleagues who suggest that even if the President is guilty—and regardless of what witnesses with firsthand knowledge of what happened have to say—of these charges, they do not warrant removal from office: there is simply no way to know that without hearing from those very witnesses.


“Everyone understands that fair trials have witnesses, and everyone also understands that any acquittal in a sham trial is meaningless. I am deeply disappointed that Mitch McConnell and so many Republican senators cared more about protecting Donald Trump than protecting our Constitution and the rule of law. The American people will eventually be able to make up their own minds when all the evidence becomes public. I hope they make a better decision than the United States Senate did tonight.”