tv U.S. Senate Sen. Heinrich D-NM on Impeachment CSPAN February 4, 2020 8:59am-9:11am EST
the house chamber live tonight at 8 p.m. eastern followed by the democratic response with the michigan governor gretchen whitmer and texas representative veronica escobar. live coverage on c-span, on-demand at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> c-span, your unfiltered view of government. created by cable in 1979 and brought to you today by your television provider. >> monday the senate impeachment trial of president trump continued with final deliberations on the articles. following today's drop senators came to the chamber floor to talk about the trial with some senators speak and whether the vote to convict or acquit the president. >> mr. president, and all of my
colleagues in the senate, throughout this impeachment trial i thought a lot about what this country stands for. and for me as the son of an immigrant whose family came to the united states from germany in the 1930s, america stands as the beacon of liberty, equal justice andre democracy. .. >> , but by elected officers who answer to and work for we the people. generations of americans have struggled and sacrificed their lives to distend that audition
vision, the senate has a duty and a moral responsibility to uphold that vision. over the last two weeks, i fear that the senate has failed in that duty. i am deeply disappointed that nearly all of my republican colleagues refused to allow for the kind of witness testimony, documentary evidence that any legitimate trial would include. you cannot conduct a fair trial without witness is -- witnesses and in my view you cannot have a legitimate acquittal without a fair trial. that the senate refused to shed more light on the facts is truly astonishing. despite this, the facts as we know them are clear and plain, president trump pressured the government of ukraine an
american ally not for our national security interest, but for his own selfish and corrupt political interest. when he was caught, he sought to cover it up by suppressing documents and preventing witnesses from testifying before congress and the american people. the president's defense team had every opportunity to present us with evidence that would explain his actions or give us reason to doubt this clear pattern of fact. and instead, they shifted their defense away from the damning facts and embraced an extreme legal philosophy that would allow any president to abuse their power and ignore the law. this dangerous argument is not new. it was used by president richard nixon when he said, well, when the president does it, that means it's not illegal.
president nixon has strayed far from his duties to our nation for his own personal and political gain. it was only after courageous members of the united states senate in his own political party put their country first and stood up to him, that president nixon finally resigned. we are now in yet another time when our chief executive has failed us and our nation requires moral leadership and conscience from the united states senate. unfortunately, my republican colleagues are unwilling to deliver that kind of moral leadership. president donald trump has proven to be unfit for the office he occupies. he abused his powers and continues to engage in a coverup. he presents a clear and present danger to our national security and more fundamentally, to our democracy itself.
that is why my conscience and my duty to defend our constitution compelled me to vote to convict donald trump. i hope the rest of you will join in this vote. but i am not naive. i understand how president trump operates. i know how ugly it can become if you dare to challenge him. but your fear of this bully cannot outweigh your duty to the american people. your fear cannot blind you to how you will be viewed by history. what you should really fear is what will happen when there are no limits on any president, even when he is risking our national security and our foreign alliances to illegitimately maintain his grip on power. what we should all fear is what
president trump will do next if the senate does not hold him accountable for the clear abuses of power he has already committed. this is the same president who praises dictators and despots and jeopardizes our international alliances. this is the same president who stole billions of dollars from military construction funds to pay for his monument to division and racism. this is the same president who is more focused on lobbing insults and spreading russian conspiracy theories on twitter than he is on his own intelligence briefing. let me just say, i pay close attention to the intelligence that i am allowed to see and from my seat on both the armed services and intelligence committee, i am acutely aware of the threats that our nation faces. they include an em boldened
north korea, the iranian regime, terrorists across both continents. russia and china are working to provoke american interests and our allies, including the ukraine. finally, with the 2020 presidential election mere months away, russia is once again targeting our election systems and manipulating our democratic discourse. right now, patriotic americans working in the state department, for intelligence agencies, serving in the military, are defending us from those very threats. these americans pledge to obey the orders of their commander-in-chief. they trust that their commander-in-chief's loyalty and sole focus is squarely on the best interests of the united states of america.
i don't say this lightly. president trump has betrayed that trust. he promised us that he would put america first. instead he put himself first. throughout our history, the defense of our nation has depended on the leadership of men whose names we now remember when we visit their memorials, names like lincoln and washington and roosevelt. these men all swore the same oath that president trump did when they assumed our nation's most powerful office. our presidents swear to faithfully execute the office of president of the united states and to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states. president trump has violated that oath.
so i'll ask us once again, what does america stand for? and considering that question, i think of dr. martin luther king, jr., the only man who did not serve of as president that we recognize with the memorial on our national mall, more than ooh years after his assassination, dr. king's life's work to make our nation live fully up to our founding principle still resonates. these are the same principles that compelled my father's family to come to this country, liberty, equal justice, democracy, while fighting for those principles, dr. king wrote in a letter from a birmingham jail, the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. my colleagues, this is one of
those times. two years after writing the birmingham jail letter dr. king led thousands on a five-day 54 mile march from selma to montgomery for our fundamental american rights, the right to vote in free and fair elections. remember, that right is what president trump has threatened by inviting foreign interference in our elections. upon reaching the steps of the alabama state capitol, dr. king proclaimed, we must come to see that the end we seek is the society at peace with itself. a society that can live with its conscience. i sincerely hope that those of us in this body can keep seeking that society. that america. now, before i finish, i also want to address americans who have watched this trial unfold,
and are rightly disappointed by the coverup that it has become. i would urge you to remember what dr. king said about accepting finite disappointment, but never losing losing infinite hope. despite what the senate is about to do and the danger i fear it will bring about, i will never lose hope in what america stands for because we, the people, not any king or dictator, still hold immense power in this nation, and it is up to all of us now to wield that power. i yield back, mr. president. >> colleagues, over the past few weeks we have conducted the third impeachment trial in our entire nation's history for