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President Donald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Statements on the impeachment of President Donald Trump

By David Wildstein, December 18 2019 9:10 pm

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez

“I hope that all Americans appreciate the true gravity and solemnity of this moment. Tonight, the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment charging the President with abusing his power to extract political favors from a foreign power and then obstructing congressional investigations by refusing to produce documents and blocking critical witnesses.

“Now that the House has acted, we in the Senate must perform our constitutional duty. We must respect the will of the framers, who entrusted in the Senate the sole and awesome power of conducting a trial, and if necessary, removing a President. As one of 100 jurors, I pledge to treat this responsibility with the utmost seriousness and professionalism.

“As a trial gets underway in the Senate, I am gravely concerned that Majority Leader McConnell, far from remaining an impartial juror, is coordinating with the President, the defendant in this case, and injecting politics in the process instead of holding a fair trial that honors the Constitution. By dismissing a reasonable requests to hear from witnesses with direct knowledge of President Trump’s conduct, Senate Republicans are not only denying the American people the opportunity to know all the facts, but denying the President the due process he says the House has denied him.

“It is not the role of the Senate to partake in a massive cover up out of loyalty to any President. It is the role of the Senate to hear all the evidence, including testimony from key witnesses, in order to make a solemn determination. I implore my Republican colleagues to take this process seriously and to listen to the evidence without a predetermined decision. It’s time we act as patriots rather than partisans, and put our oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution above partisanship.

“Regardless of the Senate trial’s outcome, one thing is clear. The House’s impeachment of President Trump sends a strong message to all future Presidents, whether Republican or Democrat, that corrupting our foreign policy and national security priorities in order to invite foreign interference in our democracy is not only unlawful but downright un-American.”

Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt

“As America’s economy roars under President Trump’s leadership, liberal elites in Washington let out a whimper today with their partisan impeachment vote. Fake New Jersey moderates Andy Kim, Josh Gottheimer, Tom Malinowski and Mikie Sherrill turned their backs on their constituents, thumbed their noses at democracy and put their partisan political interests ahead of the country’s interests, and voted to impeach the President. Meanwhile, the issues they were elected to address, like keeping our economy strong, repairing our healthcare system and fortifying our national security, have gone months without attention. The road to a Republican majority in the house runs through New Jersey and, right now, I like our odds.”

U.S. Senator Cory Booker

“Today is a sad and sobering moment for the country. Three months ago, the House of Representatives embarked on a solemn path to gather the facts, uncover the truth, and uphold the rule of law — and what has been revealed is disturbing. We have been presented with alarming evidence that an American president abused the powers of his office for personal gain, compromised U.S. national security interests, and indiscriminately defied and obstructed the investigation into his misconduct.”

“This is not a moment for celebration or glee but one that must be treated with the seriousness and gravity that this difficult chapter in American history demands. When I entered the U.S. Senate in 2013, I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and I’ll uphold that sacred oath as this process moves to the Senate for a trial. That trial should have no more important objective than a fair and thorough review of the evidence — and that means we must hear directly from the relevant witnesses and see the relevant documents. Trials are about following the evidence where it leads, and this trial must be no different.”

Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York)

Tonight, I cast my vote in favor of two articles of impeachment, Article I: Abuse of Power and Article II: Obstruction of Congress. The duty to impeach was granted to the House of Representatives as the final check on a leader who has violated his oath to faithfully execute the Office of President and preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. It is a duty that rises above individuals and political parties. My vote comes after careful consideration of the evidence that was presented during the House’s formal impeachment inquiry. Beyond what was revealed by the witnesses, documents, and transcripts, the President’s extreme lack of cooperation and his blatant disregard for congressional authority make it clear that the President has abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson)

“We are here today because of the failure of so many to cast aside narrow ambition to confront the threat standing before us. Offered the chance to investigate this government together, the other side stonewalled and obstructed. We are here today because they choose comfort over courage and avarice over republic. This is the ongoing tragedy of our age. And it is ongoing. But the matter is now solely in Congress’s hands and belongs to us and us alone. The buck has stopped. Many have invoked the judgment of history as an antidote to this threat. But the threat to democracy is here today – not tomorrow. We need not – we must not – await the verdict of time for Donald Trump’s abuse of power and obstruction. We can offer that verdict right now. And we are.”

Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden)

“Today’s events are a solemn reminder of our duty as Americans to protect the great democracy that our founders built.

“This past weekend, I traveled with a bipartisan delegation to Belgium and Luxembourg for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, where 19,000 Americans gave their lives. Today, we were called to preserve the democracy that they so bravely defended.

“I believe there is overwhelming evidence, well beyond a reasonable doubt, that President Trump is guilty of both articles of impeachment – Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. Therefore, I upheld my oath to defend the Constitution and voted in favor of impeachment.

“It is our responsibility to honor all those who have fought to uphold this fundamental truth: In America, no one is above the law.”

Democratic State Chairman John Currie

“Democrats in New Jersey can be proud that our representatives have chosen to defend our Constitution and our values by holding President Trump accountable for his blatant corruption, crimes and betrayal of our country by seeking the assistance of a foreign government to attack a political rival.  I am especially proud of our House freshmen, each of whom represents a competitive district, for putting country over personal interests and doing the right thing for our nation’s future. Their courage stands in stark contrast to Republicans Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith, who have sold out our democratic principles by refusing to stand up to President Trump. Voters in New Jersey will remember who stood with the Constitution and who stood with Trump next November, and I believe this vote will come back to haunt both Van Drew and Smith.”

State Senator/New Jersey Trump Campaign Chairman Joseph Pennacchio

“Some members of the House including Speaker Pelosi wore black to mark the, “solemnity”, of today’s impeachment vote. They would be wise to hold onto to their wardrobes. They will need them for their collective political funerals next November. To no ones surprise, the strictly Party Line vote reinforced a central dogma of the Democrat Party. They believe that Americans  whom they refer to as deplorable are not capable in engaging in Democracy. Democrats believe that the deplorable votes were en mass a mistake. Heaven forbid Democrats allow those misguided Americans to participate in next years election. Like small children, we Americans, have to be saved from themselves. Pelosi is not a stupid person. She does however lack a moral compass and a political spine to to stand up to the off the wall radicals within her own Party. She is the Speaker, but have no doubt who is in charge, and it ain’t her ! Democrats will be reminded next November how very wrong and condescending they were to the American people, to our tradition of fairness and due process, and to our Democratic Constitutional principles. Shame on them.”

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton)

“The US Constitution is clear and unambiguous: impeachment of any president is permitted only for treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors.  Undoing the will of the people expressed in a free and fair election with the proposed articles of impeachment, totally fails to meet the legal standard prescribed by the U. S. Constitution. Despite hearings and a process that were egregiously flawed and unfair, there is still no direct evidence whatsoever of any crime. Disagreement with or intense dislike for this or any other president of the United States is not now– nor should it ever be — grounds for impeachment.”

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