On the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin spoke on her vote to convict President Trump on an impeachment charges.
“My vote on the president’s abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, is a vote to uphold my oath of office, and to support and defend the Constitution. My vote is a vote to uphold the rule of law, and our uniquely American principle that no one, not event the president,is above the law.”
Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson said earlier this week that he wound not speak on the floor during the vote, but he did release a lengthy statement.
“I am glad that this unfortunate chapter in American history is over. The strength of our republic lies in the fact that, more often than not, we settle our political differences at the ballot box, not on the streets or battlefield — and not through impeachment.
“Just last year, Speaker Pelosi said that any impeachment ‘would have to be so clearly bipartisan in terms of acceptance of it.’ And in 1998, Rep. Nadler, currently a House impeachment manager, said, ‘There must never be … an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other. … Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come.’
“And yet that’s exactly what House Democrats passed. I truly wish Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Nadler, and their House colleagues would have followed their own advice.
“Impeachment should be reserved for the most serious of offenses where the risk to our democracy simply cannot wait for the voters’ next decision. That was not the case here.
“Instead, the greater damage to our democracy would be to ratify a highly partisan House impeachment process that lacked due process and sought to impose a duty on the Senate to repair the House’s flawed product. Caving to House managers’ demands would have set a dangerous precedent and dramatically altered the constitutional order, further weaponizing impeachment and encouraging more of them.
“Now that the trial is over, I sincerely hope everyone involved has renewed appreciation for the genius of our founding fathers and for the separation of powers they incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. I also hope all the players in this national travesty go forward with a greater sense of humility and recognition of the limits the Constitution places on their respective offices.
“I am concerned about the divisiveness and bitterness that Chairman Nadler warned us about. We are a divided nation, and it often seems the lines are only hardening and growing farther apart. But hope lies in finding what binds us together — our love of freedom, our faith, our families.
“We serve those who elect us. It is appropriate and necessary to engage in discussion and debate to sway public opinion, but in the end, it is essential that we rely upon, respect, and accept the public’s electoral decisions.”
Baldwin also added a comment on her Twitter feed, following the votes on Wednesday.
Now every American will have the power to make their own judgment.
I trust the American people. I know they will be guided by our common good, and the truth.
You know what the truth is, and you know in America, it matters.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) February 5, 2020
Utah’s Mitt Romney was the lone Republican to vote in favor of conviction on the first of the two charges, abuse of power.