Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
The impeachment of President Donald Trump was unfortunate but absolutely necessary to safeguard our democracy and curb the President’s ongoing and blatant abuse of the powers of his office. The American people deserve a president who puts what’s best for the nation before what’s best for them politically. President Trump refused to do that. Instead the President tried to bully and coerce Ukraine into smearing one of his political rivals by withholding U.S. military aid to the imperiled U.S. ally.
The American people also deserve a fair trial of the impeached and disgraced President in the United States Senate – not a show trial to attempt to excuse the abuses of office which led to President Trump’s impeachment. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP colleagues must put the interests of the nation before the interests of their political party. If Senator McConnell honestly believes that President Trump is innocent of the high crimes for which he was impeached by the House then he should agree a fair trial.
Common Cause, and our 1.2 million members, strongly urge Senator McConnell to ensure a fair trial for the good of the nation by agreeing to the following terms detailed in our recent impeachment report.
- Reach bipartisan agreement before the trial begins on procedures to supplement existing Senate impeachment trial rules, including subpoenaing witnesses and admission of evidence.
- Allow to be admitted into the Senate trial record as evidence all House impeachment inquiry materials designated by the House Judiciary Committee as publicly available, including transcripts of depositions, public hearing testimony and other documents.
- Allow full presentation of the House managers’ case before any votes on motions to dismiss or other motions that could terminate the Senate impeachment trial.
- Senators must return any and all political contributions raised by President Trump for any political committee with which Senators are affiliated or demand they recuse themselves from the trial.
- Permit public access to the Senate trial to the greatest extent possible, limiting transparency only in furtherance of compelling interests, such as protection of classified information, whistleblower anonymity, and confidentiality of final deliberation of articles of impeachment following closing arguments.
Americans deserve nothing less than the full truth. They deserve to see a fair trial and they are watching closely to see if Senator McConnell delivers one.
To view the Common Cause report on impeachment, click here.