Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
Americans deserve the truth and they deserve to hear from witnesses in the impeachment trial. The Republican Senate majority has cynically ignored overwhelming public support for witness testimony. Nationwide, support for witnesses has risen as more and more details have come out about President Trump’s shameful and illegal conduct in withholding vital military aid to Ukraine in order to coerce our endangered ally into launching an unfounded investigation to smear Trump’s political rival Joe Biden. Recent polls from Monmouth and Quinnipiac found 75% of Americans want to hear from witnesses – including 49% of Republicans, 75% of independents and 95% of Democrats.
Yet, another new revelation surfaced today from the manuscript of former national security advisor John Bolton in which he reveals that President Trump directed him to help in his campaign to pressure Ukrainian officials to dig up damaging information about his political opponents. Two months before the call that would trigger the whistleblower complaint, Trump instructed Ambassador Bolton to call then newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to convince him to meet with Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who was travelling to Ukraine to encourage their government to launch investigations to smear the President’s political opponents.
Senate Republicans attempts to ignore the truth and whitewash the disgraceful and illegal actions of President Trump will not make them go away. Donald Trump will forever be shadowed by the disgrace of his conduct and ultimately his impeachment. By voting to condone the President’s illegal actions, and condone foreign interference in our elections, Republican Senators have brought that same shadow of disgrace upon themselves. Like the Nixon’s apologists, they will forever bear that mark.
These votes are doing lasting damage to our democracy by normalizing presidential abuses of power and giving free reign to a president who has continued to invite foreign interference in our elections and will now see no reason to stop. The President’s abuses of power, and the Senate’s refusal to check them, tear at the very fabric of our democracy.
The men and women who make up the Senate Republican majority are voting solely in the interest of the Republican Party and ignoring the interests of the nation they took an oath to serve. They remain silent, allowing this president to undermine our free and fair elections for his own benefit. History and the American people will not forget.