by Annette Newell
Oregon’s two democratic U.S. Senators defend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They say it’s good she’ll delay sending the articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley says Pelosi is right to insist before she sends impeachment to the Senate, Republican Senators must show they’ll handle the trial fairly.
He says, “What’s important here? Fairness. Absolute fairness to the President as a defendant, and to the process. Full facts before the public. What do we have at the moment? We have a President who is locking up the documents.”
He says that Trump and Republican leader Mitch McConnell should be working to make sure the trial is fair. He tells CNN, “If the President thinks he did nothing wrong, he should be volunteering to expedite the process of getting us the documents and the witnesses. If Senator McConnell thinks the President did nothing wrong, he should in fact be expediting the process of getting those witnesses.”
Merkley also doubled down on his criticism of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s said he’s taking his lead from the White House. “Never before have we seen a situation where the leader of the Senate says to the public, I am in partnership with the President who is accused of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Oregon’s other U.S. Senator, Ron Wyden, takes a similar position, arguing that the Senators must be able to get all the witnesses and documents they need. “I urge all of my colleagues to think carefully about how history would judge a sham process designed by the person standing trial,” Wyden said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is pushing back against Democrats’ demands that the Senate trial allow more witnesses, saying he will not, “Try to fix the House Democrats’ failures for them.”