Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
Americans deserved the truth, but they got a ham-handed coverup instead. The Republican majority in the United States Senate denied the American people the truth and violated their oaths of office in a fruitless attempt to sweep Donald Trump’s illegal acts under the rug. In a cowardly and disgraceful final act to their show trial, Senate Republicans – with the notable exception of Mitt Romney – buried their heads in the sand and voted to condone President Trump’s blatant abuse of the powers of the presidency. Make no mistake about it, this was nothing more than an attempted partisan coverup for the shameless and illegal conduct of Donald Trump.
In a GOP caucus that demands fealty to political party before fealty to our nation, Senator Romney’s vote took courage. But it is a sad commentary on Senator McConnell’s GOP majority that only Senator Romney – among 53 Senate Republicans – chose to put his nation before his party by voting to condemn the outrageous and illegal acts of President Trump.
Facts are stubborn things and Donald Trump will forever bear the mark of an impeached President. He will also forever be remembered by history as the president who withheld vital military aid to an endangered Ukraine in order to coerce our threatened ally into launching an unfounded investigation into Trump’s political rival Joe Biden. By extension, that same shame will be borne by every Senator who put the interests of their political party before the interests of the nation they swore to serve.
Americans aren’t buying the weak and preposterous excuses being offered up by Senators Collins, Rubio, Alexander, Murkowski, and their colleagues in the Republican majority. The Republican majority may be acting like a cowed Roman Senate before their scheming scofflaw Caesar, but the American people will not give up our democracy so easily. Thousands of Americans will be taking to the streets tonight to condemn this attempted Senate whitewash and stand up for our democracy. More than 280 protests are going on from Bangor, Maine to the Big Island of Hawaii and from Missoula, Montana to Miami, Florida.
We the American people are taking it upon ourselves to safeguard our elections and hold power accountable. Donald Trump will not keep our elections safe from foreign interference – in fact he continues to court foreign interference to help his own reelection effort. We must protect our elections. We must continue to organize and follow through to ensure a strong Election Protection program. We must volunteer as poll watchers and as poll workers. We must identify and report online voter suppression efforts on social media. We must work to ensure free and fair elections. We must all get involved and work to build a strong democracy. We must hold those in power accountable. We cannot wait, we must act now to save our democracy.