Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona votes to convict Donald Trump
Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voted in favor of President Donald Trump’s removal from office Wednesday, ending speculation she would break party ranks.
Sinema announced the decision in a press release shortly before the Senate acquitted Trump on two articles of impeachment.
Here is Sinema’s complete statement:
“Today, I vote to approve both articles, as my highest duty, and my greatest love, is to our nation’s Constitution.
“Americans deserve a government they can trust operates in our best interest. As elected officials, we swear an oath to the Constitution to put the interests of our country and our national security above personal interests. Public service is an honor and a privilege—and it is our duty to earn this privilege every day through our behavior as stewards of this great nation.
“The facts are clear; security aid was withheld from Ukraine in an attempt to benefit the president’s political campaign. While White House attorneys claim this behavior is not serious, it is dangerous to the fundamental principles of American democracy to use the power of the federal government for personal or political gain. Worse, they failed to assure the American people that this behavior will not continue and that future national security decisions will be made free from personal interests.
“Our nation’s first president, George Washington, warned us how dangerous foreign interference is in his farewell address: ‘Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence … the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.’
“Our founders created a system of checks and balances between the branches of government to prevent overreach and protect the liberties of American citizens. The administration’s wholesale refusal to participate in required negotiations with Congress when asked to provide witnesses and documents sets a dangerous precedent, upending the balance of power. Future presidents—of both parties—will use this case as a guide to avoid transparency and accountability to the American people. That should be gravely concerning to all of us.
“Today’s outcome is not a surprise, and neither is the brokenness of Washington. The partisanship and ugliness we witnessed throughout this process in both parties is not a testament to who we are as Americans. The greatest threat we face, from forces both foreign and domestic, is the attempt to divide us as a people with vitriol and hatred. It is our duty as Americans to reject these attempts and remember who we are—a diverse people united in our love of country, of freedom, and of liberty.”
Sinema, the first Democrat elected to the Senate in Arizona in 30 years, had been considered a wild card vote, remaining mum on her intention until the last minute.
Last week she stuck with the party and voted in favor of allowing witnesses to be called during the trial, a motion defeated by Senate Republicans.
Sinema shook off conformity during Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech, where she was the only Democrat to stand and applaud the president’s words at several points.
With 67 votes needed to remove the president, it was highly unlikely he would be removed from office by the GOP controlled Senate.
The vote was 52 not guilty, 48 guilty on the abuse of power articles, with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah the only senator to stray from his party.
It was 53-47 on the obstruction of justice charge, fully along party lines.