WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez released the below statement after Senate Republicans refused to hold President Trump accountable for abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress. Sen. Menendez found the President guilty of the two articles of impeachment, voting to convict him on each charge.
“President Trump was impeached for abusing his power and obstructing Congress, and the American people expected and our Constitution demanded that the Senate conduct a fair trial to determine the veracity of those serious charges. Instead, by ignoring the facts, covering up new evidence, and refusing testimony from witnesses with direct knowledge of President Trump’s misconduct, Senate Republicans willingly eviscerated our role as a co-equal branch of government and set this nation on a dangerous path toward a completely unitary and unaccountable executive.
“A trial that lacks witnesses and documents is not a fair trial, and the verdict rendered today is not an exoneration of a president, but a coronation of a king. For if a president, from either party, can deny all witnesses, withhold all relevant documents, openly threaten ambassadors and Members of Congress, and illegally misuse congressionally-appropriated funding for their own political gain, then the very essence of our democracy is broken and our system of government has forever changed.
“It is a dark day for American democracy when out of sheer loyalty to this President, a political party tells future presidents that they may act as kings. I fear the consequences of the President’s actions and I fear the consequences of the Senate’s own inaction, for our constitutional order, for the security of our nation, for the integrity of our elections and for the credibility of the United States on the world stage.
“When a foreign adversary like Russia interferes in our elections, it is not for the benefit of United States. It is for the benefit of Russia. And when Ukraine, an ally on the front lines of the fight against Russian aggression, is told that in order to get the Oval Office meeting the Ukrainian President wants and the U.S. security assistance they urgently need, they must first announce investigations into President Trump’s political opponents, that is not for the benefit of the American people and our national security either.
“If we do not rein in this conduct, if we do not call it the abuse of power that it is, then we have let the Republic down.
“I pray for the day our nation’s leaders once again have the courage to put patriotism over partisanship and the backbone to stand up for our Constitution. It is now up to the American people to hold President Trump accountable for his abuses of power, because it’s clear that Republicans in Washington will not, even in the face of overwhelming evidence."