(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after voting in favor of both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Senator Shaheen announced her decision in a speech on the Senate floor yesterday afternoon.
“The power to impeach is the most serious and consequential power granted to Congress by the Constitution after the power to declare war. When these proceedings began, I swore an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.’ Over the last couple weeks, I have carefully reviewed the charges in the articles of impeachment, the evidence presented by the House managers and the defense from the President’s counsel.
“The nature of the offenses outlined in the articles strike at the very heart of our democratic system. Our founding fathers were very concerned about both the President using the powers of the office for political gain in an election and foreign interference in our democracy. James Madison warned of a President that ‘might betray his trust to foreign powers,’ and George Washington, in his farewell address warned us all ‘to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.’
“The House managers presented an overwhelming case on both articles of impeachment: President Trump went to great lengths to both solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election in a way that would benefit him politically and obstruct the House investigation into his conduct. The President’s actions were illegal as determined by the Government Accountability Office and moreover, a threat to our national security interests. Not only did the President’s counsel fail to rebut the overwhelming evidence, they argued that a President cannot be impeached for any abuse of power – a claim that has very dangerous implications for our constitutional system.
“Further, I am deeply concerned by the refusal of my Senate colleagues to hear additional testimony and subpoena relevant documents in the Senate trial. This was the first impeachment trial of a President in the Senate’s history that did not call witnesses. In no way can these proceedings be understood as a fair trial. While this refusal to call witnesses and documents did not weigh on my ultimate decision to support the Articles of Impeachment, I believe it sets a very dangerous precedent.
“As a Senator, I never imagined I would have to participate in an impeachment trial of a sitting President. These proceedings cause strain and division, not just in Congress, but across the nation. I would greatly prefer that the Congress be engaged in the critical bipartisan work needed on important issues that can improve lives across the nation and move our country forward.”