McConnell: Democrats' Impeachment Has Been "Purely Political" From The Beginning
‘Today, it appears the House Democrat majority will finally stand behind their decision to impeach the President of the United States. Last year, the House of Representatives rushed through the least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in American history… It was not some earnest fact-finding mission that brought us here. This is not about the nuances of foreign assistance to Eastern Europe. This has been naked partisanship all along.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding impeachment:
‘Today, it appears the House Democrat majority will finally stand behind their decision to impeach the President of the United States. Last year, the House of Representatives rushed through the least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in American history. They took just 12 weeks.
‘There was more than a year of hearings before the impeachment of President Nixon. There were multiple years of investigation for President Clinton. When people are serious about compiling evidence and proving a case, these things take time.
‘But that’s not what happened this time. House Democrats performed a pale imitation of a real inquiry. They did not pursue their own subpoenas through the courts. They declined to litigate potential questions of privilege. They pulled the plug as soon as Speaker Pelosi realized she had enough Democrat votes to achieve a political outcome.
‘This isn’t really about Ukraine policy or military assistance money. It can’t be. Because, for one thing, prominent Democrats were promising to impeach President Trump years before those events even happened.
‘The day this president was inaugurated, the Washington Post said “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
‘More than two years ago, Congressman Jerry Nadler was campaigning to be the top Democrat on House Judiciary specifically because he was an impeachment expert.
‘And just a few weeks ago, when a reporter asked Speaker Pelosi why the Democrats were in such a hurry, here was her response: “Speed? It’s been going on for 22 months. Two-and-a-half years, actually.”
‘Now, that’s interesting. The events over which Democrats want to impeach happened about six months ago. So how has impeachment been underway for two-and-a-half years?
‘The Speaker tried to say she was referring to the Mueller investigation. Except the House couldn’t impeach on the Mueller investigation, because the facts let them down, remember?
‘The House impeached over events in Ukraine. Events that happened only six months ago. But they still admit this was years in the making.
‘It was not some earnest fact-finding mission that brought us here. This is not about the nuances of foreign assistance to Eastern Europe. This has been naked partisanship all along.
‘If that weren’t already obvious, our colleague the Senate Democratic Leader helpfully removed any shred of doubt this past weekend.
‘He told reporters that as long as he can try to use the trial to hurt some Republican Senators’ reelection chances, then whatever happens, quote, “it’s a win-win.”
‘That is a stunning statement.
‘Presidential impeachment may be the gravest process our Constitution contemplates. It undoes the people’s decision in a national election. Going about it in this subjective, unfair, and rushed way is corrosive to our institutions. It hurts national unity. And it virtually guarantees that future Houses of either party will feel free to impeach any future president they do not like.
‘Oh, but as long as our colleague the Democratic Leader can weaponize this process in the next election, he thinks “it’s a win-win.” That really speaks for itself.
‘This partisanship led House Democrats to cross a Rubicon that every other House of Representatives had avoided for 230 years. They passed the first presidential impeachment that does not even allege an actual crime under our laws. We had a 230-year tradition of rejecting purely political impeachments; it died last month.
‘So Speaker Pelosi and the House have taken our nation down a dangerous road. If the Senate blesses this unprecedented and dangerous House process by agreeing that an incomplete case and a subjective basis are enough to impeach a president, we will almost guarantee the impeachment of every future president of either party.
‘This grave process of last constitutional resort will be watered-down into the kind of anti-democratic recall measure that the founding fathers explicitly did not want.
‘The Senate was designed to stabilize our institutions. To break partisan fevers. To stop short-term passions from destroying our long-term future.
‘House Democrats may have descended into pure factionalism, but the United States Senate must not.
‘This is the only body that can consider all factors presented by the House, decide what has or has not been proven, and choose what outcome best serves the nation.
‘That is what we must do.
‘So, for the information of all senators: With the House signaling they will move forward later today, members can expect to receive further guidance about the logistics and practicalities of the next several session days in short order.’
Related Issues: Senate Democrats