Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) tore into Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday for how he maneuvered Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in favor of the president.
In his remarks before the final vote on the president’s impeachment, Brown spoke of how the Senate took an oath to act as impartial jurors, “but to some of my colleagues, that just appeared to be a joke.” From there, Brown tore into McConnell for admitting last year that he would work in “total coordination” with the Trump’s legal team throughout the trial
Quoting journalist Bill Moyers, Brown said, “What we’ve just seen is the dictator of the Senate manipulating the impeachment process to save the demagogue in the White House whose political party has become the gravedigger of democracy.”
“I challenge him to show me one trial in my state of Ohio or his state of Kentucky where the jury coordinated with the defense lawyers.”
Brown continued by saying Trump’s impeachment was a “sham trial” thanks to McConnell efforts to rush it through make sure his fellow Republicans voted to block witness testimony.
“The president said this is just hearsay. But he and the Republican leader, together with 51 of 53 Republican senators, blocked every single potential witness we wanted to call. We knew there were witnesses. The president says it was hearsay. We knew there were witnesses that were in the room with President Trump. We didn’t get to hear from them. We didn’t hear from Ambassador Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, Secretary Pompeo. The Republican leader denied the American people the chance to hear all of them testify under oath.”
After Brown denounced Republicans who vote to acquit Trump and enable his “cover-up,” he warned about the implications at stake and that Trump’s behavior will only get worse if not opposed.
“How do I know that?” Brown said. “I’ve heard it it from a number of my Republican colleagues when privately they’ll tell me, yes, we are concerned about what the president is is going to do if he is exonerated.”
“My colleagues think I’m exaggerating. We don’t have the option to vote in favor of some argues made during the trial and not others. Mr. Dershowitz’s arguments will live forever in the historical record. If they’re allowed to stand aside a not guilty verdict, make no mistakes, they’ll be used as precedent by future aspiring autocrats…I know some of my colleague agree this sets a dangerous precedent. Some of you have admitted to me that you’re troubled by the president’s behavior. You know he’s reckless, you know he lies, you know what did he was wrong and I’ve heard Republican senator after senator tell me that privately. If you acknowledged that. If said it to me, if you said it to your family, said it to your staff, if you’ve just said it to yourself, I implore you, we have no choice but to vote to convict.”