WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) submitted a statement into the Trial Record announcing her intention to vote to remove President Donald J. Trump from office during the impeachment proceedings.
“I didn’t come to the Senate expecting to sit as a juror in an impeachment trial,” said Senator Rosen. “I have participated in this trial with an open mind, determined to evaluate the President’s actions outside of any partisan lens, and with a focus on my constitutional obligations. I listened to the arguments, took detailed notes, asked questions, and heard both sides answer questions from my colleagues. After thorough consideration, based on the evidence presented, sadly I find I have no choice but to vote to remove the President from office.”
“No one is above the law, not this president or the next president,” Senator Rosen continued. “Having exercised my constitutional duty, I will continue what I have been doing over the course of this trial and have done since I first came to Congress – to look past partisanship and develop commonsense, bipartisan solutions that help hardworking families in Nevada and across the country.”
View the Senator’s full statement below:
I didn’t come to the Senate expecting to sit as a juror in an impeachment trial. I have participated in this trial with an open mind, determined to evaluate the President’s actions outside of any partisan lens, and with a focus on my constitutional obligations. I listened to the arguments, took detailed notes, asked questions, and heard both sides answer questions from my colleagues. After thorough consideration, based on the evidence presented, sadly I find I have no choice but to vote to remove the President from office.
The first article of impeachment charges the President with Abuse of Power, specifically alleging that the President used the powers of his public office to obtain an improper political benefit. I can now conclude the evidence shows that this is exactly what the President did when he withheld critically important security assistance from Ukraine in order to persuade the Ukrainian government to investigate his political rival. I understand that foreign policy involves negotiations, leveraging advantages, and using all the powers at our disposal to advance U.S. national security goals. But this was different: the President sent his personal attorney – whose obligation is to protect the personal interests of the President, not the United States – to meet and negotiate with foreign government officials from Ukraine to get damaging information about the President’s rivals, culminating in the July 25 phone call between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents, during which the President made clear his intent to withhold aid until a political favor was completed. In doing so, the President put U.S. national security and a key alliance against Russian aggression at risk, all so he could benefit politically from the potential fallout from an investigation into a possible opponent.
While I would like to hear more from witnesses and see the documents the Administration is withholding, the evidence presented is compelling and not in doubt. The President withheld military aid in order to coerce an ally to help him politically. This is no mere policy disagreement – this is about whether the President negotiates with foreign governments on behalf of the United States, or on his own behalf. No elected official, regardless of party, should use public office to advance his or her personal interests, particularly to the detriment of U.S. national security, and in the case of the President of the United States, such conduct is particularly dangerous. As elected officials, we have no more important responsibility than ensuring our national security, and that includes protecting the nation from future threats. The President’s conduct here sets a dangerous precedent that must not be repeated in the future and requires a firm response by the representatives of the people. After hearing evidence that the President held up Congressionally-approved military assistance to an ally fighting Russia in order to exact concessions from Ukraine that benefited him personally, we cannot trust the President to place national security over his own interests. It is therefore with sadness that I conclude that the President must be removed from office under Article I and I will vote to convict him of Abuse of Power.
With respect to the second article of impeachment charging Obstruction of Congress, the President’s behavior suggests that he believes he is above the law. Certainly, there may be documents and testimony that are subject to executive privilege or are confidential for some other reason. But here, the President directed every agency, office, and employee in the executive branch not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry conducted by the United States House of Representatives. As a Member of Congress, I take my oversight role seriously. It is how we ensure transparency in government, so the people of Nevada can know how their tax dollars are spent and whether their elected officials are acting legally, ethically, and in their best interests. The President’s refusal to negotiate in good faith with the House investigators over documents and testimony, and instead to impede any investigation into his official conduct, can only be characterized as blatant obstruction.
More importantly, it suggests that he will continue to operate outside the law, and if he believes he can ignore lawful subpoenas from Congress, it will be impossible to hold him accountable. For these reasons, I will vote to convict the President of Obstruction of Congress, as delineated in Article II.
Impeachment is a grave constitutional remedy, not a partisan exercise. To fulfill my constitutional role as a juror, I asked myself how I would view the evidence if it were any president accused of this conduct. Based on the facts and arguments presented, I conclude that no President of the United States, regardless of party, can trade Congressionally-approved and legally-mandated military assistance for personal political favors. No one is above the law, not this president or the next president. Having exercised my constitutional duty, I will continue what I have been doing over the course of this trial and have done since I first came to Congress – to look past partisanship and develop commonsense, bipartisan solutions that help hardworking families in Nevada and across the country.