Menendez Statement on Republican Vote to Deny Impeachment Trial Witnesses

Menendez Statement on Republican Vote to Deny Impeachment Trial Witnesses


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez released the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to allow witnesses to be called in the impeachment trial of President Trump: 

“To prevent Congress from uncovering the full scope of his misconduct, President Trump engaged in an unprecedented effort to obstruct each and every attempt by Congress to investigate his abuse of office. Yet I never thought I would see the day when the Senate would take an active role in that obstruction.

“The outcome of tonight’s vote should shake all of us to the core, for Republicans in the Senate have abdicated our constitutional responsibility to conduct a fair trial out of blind loyalty to this President.

“It is clear that Republicans never wanted to know what President Trump told former National Security Advisor John Bolton regarding his efforts to extract political favors from Ukraine, or why a senior Office of Budget and Management official like Michael Duffey would direct the Department of Defense to withhold the aid just 90 minutes after President Trump’s so-called ‘perfect’ phone call with President Zelensky. 

“Simply put, Republicans don’t want to know the truth about President Trump’s gross abuses of power, and they believe that blinding themselves to the facts will somehow make it easier to swallow their eventual vote to acquit a President who behaves as if he is above the law.  

“Even if my Republican colleagues would rather bury their heads in the sand and be kept in the dark, they are denying the 330 million Americans we are collectively elected to represent the ability to hear and see the evidence for themselves.  Those Americans overwhelmingly want a fair trial with witnesses and documents.  We serve them—not the President—and they deserve to know the truth. 

“I had hoped the Senate would embrace its role as a co-equal branch of government, and send a message to the world that we don’t just preach about our democratic values, we also live by them even in the most trying of times. Instead, the Republican majority has made this impeachment trial the first in our history to never include documents and witnesses, undermining the very legitimacy of the verdict that will soon be rendered by the Senate.”