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AUDIO: As Senate Impeachment Trial Begins, Udall Urges Senators to Uphold Constitutional Oath, Ensure Full and Fair Trial

January 21, 2020

Udall: “To uphold our oath, we must hear all the information before we give judgment. It’s what we owe to the American people”

AUDIO: Udall Holds Press Conference Call on the First Day of Trump Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) held a press conference call with New Mexico reporters to discuss the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump. During the call, Udall highlighted the importance of conducting a full and fair impeachment trial in accordance with the oath that all senators took to “do impartial justice.” 

“Last week, all senators were sworn in for the impeachment trial of President Trump,” Udall said. “What I want New Mexicans to know is this: I take this oath seriously. And I will seriously consider the arguments by both the House managers and the president’s defense team. I hope my Republican colleagues will do the same.”

Let me be clear: the evidence that has already been presented by the House is, no doubt, strong and disturbing,” Udall continued. “But I believe we need to have a full and fair trial in the Senate, to fully uncover the truth. A trial at its essence is a search for the truth. The Senate—and the American people—must hear from these witnesses if we are to have anything more than a sham trial. To uphold our oath, we must hear all the information before we give judgment. It’s what we owe to the American people.”

Listen to the audio HERE.

Below are Udall’s remarks:

0:00 Hello this is Tom Udall here. Thank you all for joining us today.   

0:06 Last week, all senators were sworn in for the impeachment trial of President Trump. And we all took an oath, and I will quote from that oath now:

0:17 “That we shall do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.”

0:23 What I want New Mexicans to know is this: I take this oath seriously. And I will seriously consider the arguments by both the House managers and the president’s defense team.

0:33 I hope my Republican colleagues will do the same.

0:37 Starting today, I will be in the Senate chamber, hearing evidence about President Trump’s alleged abuse of power.

0:44 Let me be clear: the evidence that has already been presented by the House is, no doubt, strong and disturbing.

0:53 Many witnesses – members of the president’s own administration – have testified that the president abused his power to benefit himself politically.

1:03 But I believe we need to have a full and fair trial in the Senate, to fully uncover the truth. 

1:11 A trial at its essence is a search for the truth.

1:14 So what does a fair trial look like?

1:18 Well, anyone who has ever sat on jury duty knows that a fair trial includes relevant witnesses and relevant documents.

1:26 A cover-up, on the other hand, does not. 

1:30 So I find it troubling that some of my Republican colleagues are suggesting that they oppose hearing from witnesses. That they oppose obtaining documents.

1:40 As a former federal prosecutor and New Mexico Attorney General, I find that approach contrary to the principles of our justice system. 

1:51 If the president has a strong defense, he needs to make that case. 

1:56 Too many Republicans apparently want to get this over with as quickly as possible, to protect the president, regardless of the facts. 

2:04 Now, Mitch McConnell has unveiled the ground-rules for the Senate trial. Unless we change course, we’re going to end up with a cover-up, not a real trial.

2:16 Like all Americans, I watched as the White House blocked key witnesses and evidence from the House impeachment inquiry.

2:24 The Senate—and the American people—must hear from these witnesses if we are to have anything more than a sham trial.

2:33 To uphold our oath, we must hear all the information before we give judgment. It’s what we owe to the American people.

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