‘History must take note of the lessons we’ve learned…’
Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Marsha Blackburn gave the following statement after the United States Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress:
“Over the past three weeks, the Senate considered arguments for and against two articles of impeachment sent over by the House of Representatives: one, charging the President with abuse of power for asking Ukraine to assist him in investigating Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma, and a second, charging him with obstruction of Congress.
“To prepare for such a serious event, I read the House Managers’ brief and the reports prepared by the House Republicans and the President’s counsel. I identified gaps in the case and drafted over three dozen questions I believed required answers, including, How can we be sure the whistleblower’s account is accurate? What do public reports of the coordination between the whistleblower and Adam Schiff reveal about his political bias? What is the standard for impeachment in the House, and how does it compare to that for conviction in the Senate?
“Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the facts, the Democratic House Impeachment Managers tried to rely on the pandemonium and rage created by a historic moment to convince their colleagues—and the American people—that justice demanded a do-over.
“The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump was a moment in history that should have been shrouded in the gravity of its potential consequences; instead, day after day, we endured hyperbole in its most unserious form.
“One of my colleagues—who is running for President Trump’s position—seized an opportunity to pull a political stunt and belittle the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. How could something as serious as a presidential impeachment warrant forcing a soundbite on the Senate floor? This is exactly why I previously called on the four candidates running for the Democratic nomination to recuse themselves from the trial. Their ambitions prohibited their ability to view this trial through an objective lens—and we saw that on full display in the Senator’s question. While this is the first time impeachment has been used as a partisan political tool, it was unseemly that it made its way to the Senate chamber.
“The process was a waste of time and resources, its motivations completely divorced from reality. At taxpayer expense, President Donald Trump’s counsel spent weeks litigating a policy disagreement over the President’s foreign relations strategy; meanwhile, seven House Democrats shamelessly questioned whether American voters could be trusted to decide for themselves whether the President’s agenda and policies were appropriate. By the end of the trial, we’d heard about a cover-up, a quid pro quo, extortion and bribery—all despite the fact that no crime was alleged in the two articles the Senate was tasked with debating.
“History must take note of the lessons we’ve learned from these destructive methods.
“The House overstepped the bounds of its Article I oversight power, abused its authority and used impeachment for political gain. The House Managers’ actions ignored the fact that Congress is guided by history, precedent, and above all, the Constitution; we should thank the Framers for troubleshooting diligently enough that we could be prepared for this scenario.
“Fortunately, we saw that when the House ignores precedent in favor of partisan politics, the Senate will not hesitate to put the lower chamber back in its place.
“That’s exactly why today I voted to acquit President Trump—because lowering the high bar of impeachment such that any American could be found guilty is far more dangerous than anything the Democratic ‘resistance’ has asserted.
“My fellow Tennesseans saw right through the games and the intentional mishandling of the Democratic House Managers’ constitutional duty. They know this was nothing more than a dangerous and desperate attempt to pre-litigate the 2020 election, and remove President Trump from office—and the ballot. Thanks to the tireless leadership of Majority Leader McConnell, the Senate completed its task. The House Managers failed to prove their case, even by their own standard.
“Will this resolution put an end to Democrats’ seemingly endless efforts to remove President Trump from office? I’m not optimistic. But I do know this: It’s time we get back to work making everyday life better for Tennesseans.
“I am devoted to making 2020 a productive year for growth, health, and prosperity in the Volunteer State. We need to focus on expanding broadband connectivity, and implementing policies that will support health care delivery in rural communities. We will take new steps to protect online privacy and the ‘Virtual You,’ and build on the success of last year’s efforts to strengthen our national defense.
“The first three years of President Trump’s tenure have brought success in securing fairer trade agreements, lowering taxes, confirming rule-of-law judges, protecting life, and rolling back regulations—and believe me, we’re just getting started.
“The impeachment of President Donald J. Trump was not a matter of procedure—it was an attempted coup, brought forth at the expense of the safety and prosperity of the American people. Every member of Congress must now reflect, remember, and take to heart the real legacy of this dark moment in history, when ruthless partisanship undermined due process, trampled the rule of law, and very nearly erased from precedent those rules that underpin our democratic republic.”