Feb 5, 2020
Donald Trump Impeachment Trial Final Day Transcript: February 5, 2020 Key Moments
Read the transcript of key moments from the final day of the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial. Senators continued to explain the reasons for their votes and reveal their decisions. This was the same day Trump was acquitted in the Senate. Read the transcript of Rev’s key moments right here.
Key Moment 1
Kamala Harris: (00:00)
Speaker 2: (00:01)
Senator from California.
Kamala Harris: (00:02)
Thank you. Mr. President, when the framers wrote the constitution, they didn’t think someone like me would serve as the 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.
Kamala Harris: (00:34)
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 rivals. And then he refused to comply with congressional investigations into his misconduct. And unfortunately a majority of United States senators, even those who concede that what Donald Trump did was wrong, are nonetheless going to refuse to hold him accountable.
Kamala Harris: (01:30)
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’s 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.
Kamala Harris: (02:25)
So let’s speak the truth about what are 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.
Kamala Harris: (03:41)
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 Two of the United States constitution gives him as president the right to do whatever he wants. Trump has shown us through his words and actions 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 understandably 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.
Kamala Harris: (04:54)
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.
Kamala Harris: (05:41)
Frederick Douglas, 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 yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle.
Kamala Harris: (06:05)
The impeachment of Donald Trump has been one of those earnest struggles for liberty. And 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 confirms something they’ve always known that the real power in this country lies not with them, but with just a few people who advance their own interest 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 Douglas 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.
Kamala Harris: (07:19)
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 ideals that are the foundation for our system of democracy. We can never give up on the meaning of true justice and it is part of our history, our past, clearly our present, 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, in history where we experienced 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 who we have been. That is the strength of our nation.
Kamala Harris: (08:51)
So after the Senate votes today, Donald Trump will want 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.
Key Moment 2
Chuck Schumer: (00:00)
Now, 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 his 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 it some combination of a pep rally leader, a reality show host, and a carnival barker. It’s not what presidents are. President Trump to credit for inheriting an economy that’s been growing at about the same pace in the last 10 years.
Chuck Schumer: (00:57)
The bottom line is in the last three years of the Obama administration, more jobs were created than under these 33 years of the Trump administration, and yet he can’t resist digging at the past president, even though the past president on that economic numbers better than him. He boosted about how many manufacturing jobs he created. Manufacturing jobs have gone down in part because of president’s trade policies for five months this year or late last year, a five month long recession last year. Farmers have struggled mightily. Farm income is way down. Bankruptcies are the highest they’ve 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 longterm contracts.
Chuck Schumer: (01:58)
President Trump talked at length about healthcare 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 the 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. Says on 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 American’s healthcare. He’s even hoping to drag out the resolution of the lawsuit past the next election.
Chuck Schumer: (02:59)
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 healthcare, he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth. And when he talks about being the blue collar president, he doesn’t understand blue collar families. It’s true. Wages went up three percent. If you’re making $50,000 a year, that’s a good salary. That’s about my by 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 three, $4,000 to fix it, and you don’t have that money, that $30 a week doesn’t mean much. When asked, have Americans made it? When asked, is it easier for you to pay your bills today or the day Trump became president?
Chuck Schumer: (04:07)
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 healthcare 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. They’re three percent 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 healthcare, 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.
Chuck Schumer: (05:05)
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’ll happen, but it didn’t get at the real ways China hurts us. He spoke about a desire for a bipartisan infrastructure bill. We sent it. Democrats put a trillion dollar bill three years ago. The president hasn’t shown any interest in discussing it. In fact, when leader, speaker Pelosi and I went to visit him about infrastructure, he walked out. So this is typical of Donald Trump. Here at 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.
Chuck Schumer: (06:11)
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 anti Maduro. Same thing with North Korea. Same thing with China. Same thing with Russia. Same thing with Syria. The matter of fact is, when the president Trump gets over an hour to speak, the number of mistruths, mischaracterizations, exaggerations, contradictions is breathtaking. No other president comes close. 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.
Chuck Schumer: (07:13)
In the past he’s cut money for healthcare, 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. 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 non-reality 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. Working people are not happy. The middle-class is struggling to stay in the middle class. Those struggling to get to the middle-class, find it harder to get there. Their path is steeper. 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.
Key Moment 3
Speaker 1: (00:00)
The Senator from Alabama.
Doug Jones: (00:02)
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.
Doug Jones: (00:35)
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.
Doug Jones: (01:09)
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. He 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. I think of him, his patriotism, his principles and how he raised me.
Doug Jones: (02:08)
I’m 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 rarer 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.
Doug Jones: (02:49)
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 the 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.
Doug Jones: (03:17)
Many did, but so many did not. Even the media continually view 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 oaths that I have taken have been my guides during what has been a difficult time for the country, my state, and for me personally.
Doug Jones: (03:48)
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 either charge against the President.
Doug Jones: (04:24)
I believe that my votes later today will reflect that commitment. With the eyes of history upon us, I’m acutely aware of the precedence 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.
Doug Jones: (05:07)
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 as like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. When you open the box and spread all the pieces on the table, it’s just an incoherent jumble.
Doug Jones: (05:47)
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.
Doug Jones: (06:35)
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 two 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 toward Ukraine and Congress.
Doug Jones: (07:07)
The sum of what we’ve seen and heard is unfortunately a picture of a President who has 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.
Doug Jones: (07:45)
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, Randall Cole. Judge Cole used to say about judges who strayed from the canons 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 Ukrainian President.
Doug Jones: (08:21)
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.
Doug Jones: (08:48)
However, after careful consideration of the evidence developed in the hearings, the public disclosures, the legal precedents in the trial, I believe that the President deliberately and unconstitutionally obstructed Congress by refusing to cooperate with the investigation in any way. While I am 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.
Doug Jones: (09:22)
Here it was clear from the outset that the President had no intention whatsoever of accommodating Congress when he bought both witnesses and documents from being produced. In addition, he engaged in a course of conduct to threaten potential witnesses and smear the reputations 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.
Doug Jones: (09:55)
That belief, unprecedented in history of this country, simply must not be permitted to stand. To do otherwise risks guaranteeing that no future whistleblower 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.
Doug Jones: (10:22)
Accordingly, I will vote to infect 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 fail to impeach and remove a President. Such is the moment in history that we face today. The gravity of this moment, the seriousness of the charges and the implication for future presidencies and congresses all contributed to the difficulty with which I’ve arrived at my decision.
Doug Jones: (11:05)
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. 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.
Doug Jones: (11:46)
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 domestically and internationally, but it remains my firm belief that united we can conquer them and remain the greatest hope for the people around the world. Mr. President, I asked unanimous consent that my full statement be printed in the record.
Speaker 1: (12:25)
Doug Jones: (12:27)
Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.
Key Moment 4
Mitt Romney: (00:00)
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.
Mitt Romney: (00:59)
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, the Bidens can conduct justified the President’s actions and third, that the judgment of the President’s actions should be left to the voters.
Mitt Romney: (01:40)
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 reason judgment convinced me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they’re 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.
Mitt Romney: (02:14)
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 Ukrainian 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 a Hunter Biden taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory, but also not a crime. Given that 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’d be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There’s no question in my mind that were their names, not Biden, the President would never have done what he did.
Mitt Romney: (03:15)
The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that 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 founder’s 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 fulfill our duty. The grave question the Constitution task 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.
Mitt Romney: (04:13)
Yes, he did. The President asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The President withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. 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 on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.
Mitt Romney: (05:10)
In the last several weeks, I’ve received numerous calls and texts, many demanded in their words that I stand with the team. I can assure you that that thought has been very much in 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 required 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 history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience. I’m aware that 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?
Mitt Romney: (06:29)
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 a 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 active conviction. We’ve come to different conclusions, fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.
Mitt Romney: (07:17)
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 and 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.
Mitt Romney: (08:08)
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.
Mitt Romney: (08:22)
Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.
Key Moment 5
Lamar Alexander: (00:00)
Thank you, Madame President. Madame President, in this impeachment proceeding I worked with other 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 3rd, 2019, and he said it during his July 25th, 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 “Mountain of overwhelming evidence.” One of the managers said it was proved beyond the 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.
Lamar Alexander: (01:45)
But Madame 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 began on Monday in Iowa.
Lamar Alexander: (02:20)
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 senator’s questions and the House record. Even if the house charges were true, they don’t meet the Constitution’s “Treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” 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 shallow, hurried and Holy partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exists. 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, “With the consent of the govern,” not at the pleasure of the United States Congress. Let the people decide.
Lamar Alexander: (03:41)
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 the border wall. I believe 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.”
Lamar Alexander: (05:13)
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.
Lamar Alexander: (06:15)
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, “Every 10 horn 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 or the majority or no confidence vote.
Lamar Alexander: (07:17)
The principle 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 his 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 oath to base our decisions on the provisions of our constitution, which is what I have endeavored to do during this impeachment proceeding.
Lamar Alexander: (08:19)
Now Madame President, I ask consent to include a few documents in the record following my remarks. They include an editorial February 3rd from the Wall Street Journal, an editorial from the National Review, also dated February 3rd, an opinion editorial by Robert Doar, president of the American Enterprise Institute on February 1st, article from the Knoxville News Sentinel yesterday, and a transcript from my appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, February 2nd, 2020. These documents illuminate and further explain my statement today. Thank you, Madame President.
Key Moment 6
Mitch McConnell: (00:00)
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.
Mitch McConnell: (01:41)
Leaders in the opposite party increasingly argue that if our institution 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 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 presidents said. And members of Congress have used similar rhetoric, a disinformation campaign, weak and incompetence in our democracy.
Mitch McConnell: (02:54)
The very real issue of foreign election interference was abused to fuel conspiracy theories. Three years, prominent voices said it had been a secret conspiracy between the president’s campaign and a foreign government, but when the Mueller investigation on the Senate Intelligence Committee debunked that, the de-legitimizing 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 saying if the American people reelect president Trump this November, that election will be presumptively invalid as well.
Mitch McConnell: (03:59)
So they still don’t accept the American voters 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 their 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 that 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 ranker, we can easily do that work for them.
Mitch McConnell: (05:05)
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 precedents 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 attack the Senate and called us treacherous. Then the far left tried to impugn the Chief Justice or remaining neutral during the trial. And now, for the final act, the Speaker of the House is trying to steal the Senates sole power to render a verdict. Speaker says she will just refuse to accept this acquittal. Speaker of the House says she refuses to accept this acquittal, whatever that means.
Mitch McConnell: (06:16)
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? An acquittal isn’t an acquittal? Attack institutions until they get their way? Even my colleagues who may not agree with this President, most see the insanity of this logic. It’s like saying 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.
Mitch McConnell: (07:09)
There is no sign this attack on our institution will end here. In recent months, democratic presidential candidates and Senate leaders have toyed with killing a 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 did not decide a case the way they want it. 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.
Mitch McConnell: (08:12)
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.
Mitch McConnell: (09:05)
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 Republic. That Mr. President, is what we will do when we end this precedent breaking impeachment. I hope we will look back on this vote and say, this was the day the fever began to break. I hope we will not say, this was just the beginning. As unanimous consent, the Senate stand and recess, subject to the call of the chair.
Key Moment 7
Lindsey Graham: (00:00)
Thank you very much. So let me just begin with a note of optimism. You’re going to get to pick the next president not a bunch of politicians driven by sour grapes. I don’t say that lightly. I didn’t vote for President Trump. I voted for somebody I wouldn’t know if they walked in the door but I accepted the fact that he won. That’s been hard for a lot of people [inaudible 00:00:30] to get it.
Lindsey Graham: (00:31)
I supported the Mueller investigation. I had democratic colleagues come to me and say, “We’re afraid he’s going to fire Mueller. Will you stand with us to make sure Mueller can complete his investigation?” And I did; two years, $32 million dollars, 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.
Lindsey Graham: (01:09)
This sham process is the low point in the Senate for me. If you think you’ve done the country a good service by legitimizing this impeachment process, what you have done is unleashed the partisan forces of hell. This is sour grapes. They impeach 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 pins when it was over. If you can’t see through that, you’re hatred of Donald Trump has blinded you to the obvious. This is not about protecting the country. This is about destroying the president.
Lindsey Graham: (01:58)
There are no rules when it comes to Donald Trump. Everybody in America can confront the witnesses 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.
Lindsey Graham: (02:33)
In 78 days, you took due process as we 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; the Clinton impeachment had Ken Starr who looked at President Clinton for years before he brought it to Congress. The Mueller investigation went on for two years. I trusted Bob Mueller and when he rendered his verdict, it broke your heart and you can’t let it go.
Lindsey Graham: (03:11)
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 a wholesale assault on the presidency. It is 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. They said that.
Lindsey Graham: (03:48)
The reason the president never was allowed to go to court and challenged the subpoenas that were never issued is because the House managers understood it might take time. President Clinton and President Nixon were allowed to go to Article Three Court and contest the House’s action. That was denied this president because it would get in the way of impeaching him before the election and 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’re willing to deal out the Article Three Courts because you hate Trump that much.
Lindsey Graham: (04:31)
What you’ve done is you’ve weakened the institution of the presidency and be careful what you wish for because it’s going to come back your way. So abuse of Congress should be entitled abuse of power by the Congress. If you think Adam Schiff is trying to get to the truth, I got a bridge I want to sell you. These people hate Trump’s guts. They rammed it through the House in a way you couldn’t get a parking ticket and they achieved their goal of impeaching him before the election.
Lindsey Graham: (05:02)
Well, the Senate is going to achieve its goal of acquitting him in February and the American people are going to get to the side 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 ahead of schedule, to leverage an investigation that never happened.
Lindsey Graham: (05:46)
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 did not the subvention until September. They didn’t feel any pressure and if you’re okay with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden doing what they did, it says more about you than it does anything else. The point of the abuse of power article is that you’ve 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.
Lindsey Graham: (06:27)
He was talking about corruption in the Ukraine with the past president and the Biden’s conduct in the Ukraine undercut our ability to effectively deal with corruption by allowing his son to receive $3 million for the most corrupt gas company in the Ukraine.
Lindsey Graham: (06:48)
Can you imagine how the Ukrainian parliament must’ve failed to be lectured by Joe Biden about ending sweetheart deals? What you have done is impeached the president of the United States and willing to remove him because he’s 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 Ukrainian people than Barack Obama did in his entire eight years. If you’re looking for somebody to help the Ukrainian people fight the Russians, how about giving them some weapons?
Lindsey Graham: (07:21)
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 a overwhelming rejection of both articles. We’re going to pick up the pieces and try to go forward but I can say this with any hesitation; I worry about the future of the presidency after what’s happened here.
Lindsey Graham: (07:45)
Ladies and gentlemen, you will come to regret this whole process and to those who have these pens, I hope you will understand history will judge those pins as a souvenir of shame.
Lindsey Graham: (08:00)
Key Moment 8
Chuck Schumer: (00:00)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (00:25)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (00:55)
The facts are not seriously in dispute. In fact, several Republican senators admitted they believe the president committed this offense with varying degrees of opprobrium. Inappropriate. Wrong. Shameful. Almost all Republicans will argue, however, that this reprehensible conduct does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.
Chuck Schumer: (01:21)
The founders could not have been clearer. William Davie, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, deemed impeachment “an essential security, lest the president spare no efforts or means whatever to get himself reelected.” 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.
Chuck Schumer: (01:52)
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 “foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican government.” It seemed so far fetched. Who would dare? But, the foresight and wisdom of the founders endures.
Chuck Schumer: (02:29)
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 into helping him win an election, is unforgivable.
Chuck Schumer: (03:13)
Now, does this rise to the level of impeachable offense? 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.
Chuck Schumer: (03:44)
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 hearings testified, “If this is not impeachable, nothing is.” I agree. I judge that President Trump is guilty of the first article of impeachment.
Chuck Schumer: (04:13)
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 coverup 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.
Chuck Schumer: (04:55)
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 council 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.
Chuck Schumer: (05:28)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (06:15)
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. Instead of maintaining the president’s innocence, the president’s council 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, “Abuse of power is not an impeachable offense.” “The president can’t be impeached for noncriminal conduct, but he also can’t be indicted for criminal conduct.” “If a president believes his own reelection is essential to the nation, then a quid pro quo is not corrupt.”
Chuck Schumer: (07:06)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (07:31)
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 believe 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.
Chuck Schumer: (08:03)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (08:30)
Let future generations know that only a fraction of the Senate swallow these fantasies. The rest of us condemn them to the ash heap of history, and the derision of first-year law students everywhere. We are only the third Senate in history to sit as a court of impeachment for the president. 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.
Chuck Schumer: (09:08)
The Republican caucus trains its outrage 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 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 the impeachment of the president, making this the first impeachment trial in history that heard from no witnesses.
Chuck Schumer: (10:04)
A simple majority of senators, in deference 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 in an 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.
Chuck Schumer: (11:09)
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 “whether societies are really capable of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or forever destined to depend on accident and force.”
Chuck Schumer: (11:59)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (12:39)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (13:01)
Republicans walk through the halls with their heads down. They didn’t see the tweet. They can’t respond to everything he says. They hope he learned his lesson this time. Yes, maybe this time he learns 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 them. “Ukraine interfered in our elections.” “You must attempt to normalize his behavior.” “Obama did it too.” They falsely claim Democrats are just as bad.
Chuck Schumer: (13:42)
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, its failure, reflects the central challenge of this presidency and maybe the central challenge of this time in our democracy.
Chuck Schumer: (14:13)
You cannot be on the side of this president and be on the side of truth. 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 us, then the hope for the future is lost.
Chuck Schumer: (14:40)
The eyes of the nation are upon this Senate. 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.
Chuck Schumer: (15:03)
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.
Chuck Schumer: (15:45)
The Senate’s opening prayer. Yesterday was Amos 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 years to make this country what it is today. Americans of every age, and color, and creed who marched and protested, who stood up and sat in, Americans who defended this democracy, this beautiful democracy, in its darkest hours.
Chuck Schumer: (16:30)
On Memorial day in 1884, Oliver Wendell Holmes told his war-weary audience that, “Whether one accepts from fortune her 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 mighty heart.” I have confidence that Americans of a different generation, our generation, will bring to our work a mighty heart to fight for what’s right, to fight for the truth, and never, never lose faith. Yield the floor.