After the Senate vote to impeach fell along mostly partisan lines, New Jersey’s senators defended their votes to remove President Donald J. Trump.
The vote fell below the 67-vote threshold necessary for removal. Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez voted to impeach on both articles, one charging abuse of power due to President Trump attempts to coerce Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and the charge of obstruction of Congress for an across-the-board denial of House subpoenas and oversight requests.
Sen. Menendez chided Senate Republicans for refusing to hold President Trump accountable for abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress.
“[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,” stated Menendez.
He decried the Senate did not have a fair trial due to a lack of witnesses and documents, resulting in a verdict rendered “not being 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,” stated Menendez.
Powers Were Abused
Sen. Booker (D-NJ), said based on the evidence presented, he believed the president abused the powers of his office for personal and political gain to pressure a foreign power to interfere in U.S. elections.
“[Presidents Trump] engaged in a concerted, far-reaching, and categorical effort to cover up his transgressions and block any effort to learn the truth,” said Booker in a statement after the vote. “It brings me no satisfaction to come to this conclusion. And yet we all swore an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States’.”
Booker warned that when the story is written of the trial, it will tell how the Senate abdicated its constitutional responsibilities to partisan tribes.
“They will read about how the Senate shut its doors to the truth, even though it was easily within reach; how, for the first time in history, the world’s greatest deliberative body conducted an impeachment trial without demanding a single witness and without subpoenaing a single document; how, even as new evidence continued to be uncovered, its members failed to view it and failed to pursue even the faintest effort that would have more perfectly revealed the breadth and depth of this President’s misconduct,” declared Booker.
Both Senators said the ultimate decision will lay to those entering to cast their ballot this November.
“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,” pronounced Menendez.
“The hope of this nation lies with the people. And how we the people respond,” Booker concluded.