House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who helped shepherd two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump through her chamber and onto the Senate floor, last night deplored a Senate vote against additional witnesses and evidence in the Senate trial.
In a statement, Pelosi said: "The Senate Republicans’ vote against calling witnesses and compelling documents in the impeachment proceedings makes them accomplices to the president’s cover-up."
In language she's invoked before as a caution against anyone claiming Trump has been vindicated, she added this: “The president was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He is impeached forever."
She also said: "There can be no acquittal without a trial. And there is no trial without witnesses, documents and evidence."
On Friday, the Senate voted 51-49, largely along party lines, to shut the door on calling witnesses in the impeachment investigation. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah were the only Repubicans to break with their party.
“It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell require the chief Justice of the United States to preside over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Pelosi.
The House impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December over dealings with Ukraine. Democrats said Trump inappropriately pressured that nation's leader to investigate his political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden, a frontrunner in the 2020 presidential race on the Democrats' side, while obstructing Congress in its efforts to further probe Trump's conduct."
Attention had recently been focused on Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, who in a soon-to-be-published memor asserted that the president had directly tied the withholding of some $391 million in military aid to Ukraine to Kyiv's willingness to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Republican senators criticized the House for sending over articles of impeachment while still needing to call more witnesses. They and Trump's legal team also argued that even if the president's conduct raised questions, it didn't rise to the level of illegality and didn't justify removal from office.
Trump now seems all but certain to be acquitted, and Republican senators are aiming for a Wednesday vote on the impeachment articles and a speedy end to the trial.
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