Senate Democratic Whip: Colleagues Have ‘Gone Too Far’ in Saying How They’ll Vote on Impeachment Trial

December 23, 2019 Updated: December 23, 2019
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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that both Republican and Democratic senators shouldn’t be commenting on how they will vote in the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

“I’m going to take an oath of office when it comes to this impeachment on the floor of the Senate,” Durbin, the Senate Democratic Whip, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“In that, I promise impartial justice, so help me God, and I want to stick by that,” he added. “I basically want to hear the evidence, read the documents, make a decision that’s right for America.”

Durbin responded to a question from CNN about whether it’s a mistake for several Democratic senators—namely the few who are running for president—to say they will vote to remove President Donald Trump from office.

“I really think it is,” Durbin said. “I think they’ve gone too far.” He added: “How can they hold their hands up and say, ‘I swear impartial justice?’ They should not have done that.”

He added: “As far as I’m concerned, they can tell which way they’re leaning or how they feel in terms of the probability, but when it comes to saying, ‘I’ve made up my mind, it’s all over’—for goodness sake that’s not what the Constitution envisioned.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who are running for the Democratic presidential nomination, have indicated they are prepared to vote to remove the president.

The longtime member of Congress also called out Republicans in the Senate who have said they will not be impartial jurors in the impeachment process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he will be in “total coordination” with the White House, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stated that he will vote against the president’s removal before the process enters the Senate.

On Monday, McConnell implied that Warren, Sanders, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are also not impartial jurors.

“Do you think Chuck Schumer is impartial? Do you think Elizabeth Warren is impartial? Bernie Sanders is impartial?” the Kentucky senator told “Fox & Friends” on Monday. “So let’s quit the charade. This is a political exercise. All I’m asking of Schumer is that we treat Trump the same way we treated Clinton.”

While Schumer last week said he would be an impartial juror in the pending trial, he previously claimed that Trump “knows he’s guilty.”

“The president refuses the right to be heard, and it seems quite likely it’s because he knows he’s guilty,” Schumer told CNN on Dec. 17.

House Democrats voted last week in favor of two articles of impeachment, which are alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.