WASHINGTON (WATE) – President Trump was acquitted by the United States Senate Wednesday afternoon on both articles of impeachment he was charged with.
Here’s how Tennessee lawmakers are reacting:
Senator Lamar Alexander
“The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution clearly provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that began on Monday in Iowa.”Sen. Lamar Alexander
On Wednesday, Senator Lamar Alexander discussed his decision to vote for an acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.
“I worked with other senators to make sure that we had the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there was no need for more evidence to prove something that I believe had already been proven and that did not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense. There was no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine.”Sen. Lamar Alexander
Senator Marsha Blackburn
“Over the past three weeks, the Senate considered arguments for and against two articles of impeachment sent over by the House of Representatives: one, charging the President with abuse of power for asking Ukraine to assist him in investigating Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma, and a second, charging him with obstruction of Congress.
“To prepare for such a serious event, I read the House Managers’ brief and the reports prepared by the House Republicans and the President’s counsel. I identified gaps in the case and drafted over three dozen questions I believed required answers, including, How can we be sure the whistleblower’s account is accurate? What do public reports of the coordination between the whistleblower and Adam Schiff reveal about his political bias? What is the standard for impeachment in the House, and how does it compare to that for conviction in the Senate?
“Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the facts, the Democratic House Impeachment Managers tried to rely on the pandemonium and rage created by a historic moment to convince their colleagues—and the American people—that justice demanded a do-over.
“The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump was a moment in history that should have been shrouded in the gravity of its potential consequences; instead, day after day, we endured hyperbole in its most unserious form.
“One of my colleagues—who is running for President Trump’s position—seized an opportunity to pull a political stunt and belittle the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. How could something as serious as a presidential impeachment warrant forcing a soundbite on the Senate floor? This is exactly why I previously called on the four candidates running for the Democratic nomination to recuse themselves from the trial. Their ambitions prohibited their ability to view this trial through an objective lens—and we saw that on full display in the Senator’s question. While this is the first time impeachment has been used as a partisan political tool, it was unseemly that it made its way to the Senate chamber.
“The process was a waste of time and resources, its motivations completely divorced from reality. At taxpayer expense, President Donald Trump’s counsel spent weeks litigating a policy disagreement over the President’s foreign relations strategy; meanwhile, seven House Democrats shamelessly questioned whether American voters could be trusted to decide for themselves whether the President’s agenda and policies were appropriate. By the end of the trial, we’d heard about a cover-up, a quid pro quo, extortion and bribery—all despite the fact that no crime was alleged in the two articles the Senate was tasked with debating.
“History must take note of the lessons we’ve learned from these destructive methods.
“The House overstepped the bounds of its Article I oversight power, abused its authority and used impeachment for political gain. The House Managers’ actions ignored the fact that Congress is guided by history, precedent, and above all, the Constitution; we should thank the Framers for troubleshooting diligently enough that we could be prepared for this scenario.
“Fortunately, we saw that when the House ignores precedent in favor of partisan politics, the Senate will not hesitate to put the lower chamber back in its place.
“That’s exactly why today I voted to acquit President Trump—because lowering the high bar of impeachment such that any American could be found guilty is far more dangerous than anything the Democratic ‘resistance’ has asserted.
“My fellow Tennesseans saw right through the games and the intentional mishandling of the Democratic House Managers’ constitutional duty. They know this was nothing more than a dangerous and desperate attempt to pre-litigate the 2020 election, and remove President Trump from office—and the ballot. Thanks to the tireless leadership of Majority Leader McConnell, the Senate completed its task. The House Managers failed to prove their case, even by their own standard.
“Will this resolution put an end to Democrats’ seemingly endless efforts to remove President Trump from office? I’m not optimistic. But I do know this: It’s time we get back to work making everyday life better for Tennesseans.
“I am devoted to making 2020 a productive year for growth, health, and prosperity in the Volunteer State. We need to focus on expanding broadband connectivity, and implementing policies that will support health care delivery in rural communities. We will take new steps to protect online privacy and the ‘Virtual You,’ and build on the success of last year’s efforts to strengthen our national defense.
“The first three years of President Trump’s tenure have brought success in securing fairer trade agreements, lowering taxes, confirming rule-of-law judges, protecting life, and rolling back regulations—and believe me, we’re just getting started.
“The impeachment of President Donald J. Trump was not a matter of procedure—it was an attempted coup, brought forth at the expense of the safety and prosperity of the American people. Every member of Congress must now reflect, remember, and take to heart the real legacy of this dark moment in history, when ruthless partisanship undermined due process, trampled the rule of law, and very nearly erased from precedent those rules that underpin our democratic republic.”Sen. Marsha Blackburn
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said, “Let’s put impeachment behind us and get back to work,” after President Trump’s acquittal in the Senate trial.
“Finally. After months of hyper-partisan political grandstanding by the Democratic party, the President has been rightly acquitted of the charges against him. I am glad that Congress can finally get back to work on issues that matter to Americans across this nation. Make no mistake, the people of East Tennessee have waited for far too long for this moment. It is time for the Democrats to put their hatred of our President to rest and join me in getting to work for our constituents. I thank President Trump for not allowing this political stunt to distract him from his continued hard work on behalf of the American people.”Congressman Chuck Fleishmann
Congressman Steve Cohen
Congressman Steve Cohen saying he’s disappointed after President Trump was acquitted of both articles of impeachment that he was charged with.
“I voted for the articles of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee and on the House floor and believe the House managers proved their case in the Senate beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the Senate required a two-thirds vote to remove the President from office, he will remain. But his ignominious impeachment will always be the legacy of his reckless and lawless presidency. A bipartisan majority of Congress has voted to impeach or convict him, and that’s a blemish on his record that the American public should consider in evaluating his remaining time in office.”Congressman Steve Cohen
Representative Phil Roe
Representative Phil Roe saying he’s proud of the Senate trial’s result of acquittal of President Trump.
“Today, the Senate took a stand against the partisan impeachment charade and rightly acquitted President Trump. I am proud the Senate – unlike House Democrats – realized the seriousness of impeachment and rejected the baseless arguments for removing the president from office. Speaker Pelosi once said, ‘Unless you have a bipartisan consensus, impeachment is a divisive issue in the country. Many people would think it’s being done for political reasons.’ Speaker Pelosi was right but instead decided to do exactly what she warned against. House Democrats rushed through this impeachment without evidence and without bipartisan consensus. They are fueled by hatred for our president. Instead of working with him, they are doing everything they can to invalidate the votes of 63 million Americans. I hope from this day forward House Democrats will change their mindset and work with the president and Republicans to help the American people.”Rep. Phil Roe