On Senate Floor, Gillibrand Urges Colleagues to Vote to Convict President Trump
Gillibrand: “And those who lack courage in this moment, those who are unwilling to do what they know in their heart of hearts, in their conscience, in their deepest thoughts to be right, if they do not do what they know they should, they will be remembered as complicit.”
**WATCH Senator Gillibrand’s Speech on the Senate Floor HERE**
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today spoke on the Senate floor to urge her colleagues to vote to convict President Trump.
Below are Senator Gillibrand’s remarks as delivered:
Colleagues, over the past few weeks, we have conducted the third impeachment trial in our entire nation's history for a president.
Let's be perfectly clear about something.
Democrats did not want to impeach President Trump.
From the start, efforts to begin an impeachment inquiry in the House were met with resistance -- until the president's reckless behavior and unprecedented actions forced the speaker's hand.
The speaker could not sit idly by after the president withheld congressionally approved military aid to a U.S. ally in order to orchestrate foreign interference in our upcoming election.
We have worked hard to find common ground with this president, and at times Democrats have worked together to get good bipartisan legislation accomplished.
But President Trump's brazen misconduct forced this issue.
His misdeeds posed a moral challenge to every single member of Congress.
How much corruption should we stomach?
How much of our integrity should we sacrifice?
How much malfeasance should we tolerate?
Will we look the other way, as the president flaunts our laws and ignores the Constitution?
Sometimes it can seem far easier to just stay silent.
All of us know that it can be easier to avoid angry phone calls.
But think about how much harder it would be to explain this moment in history to our children and our grandchildren?
Think about how painful it will be to explain if you knew what President Trump did was wrong and you did nothing.
If you knew what President Trump did was wrong under the Constitution that you swore to upheld.
That you knew it was wrong but you voted to acquit anyway because of your ambition, because of your political party.
And lest you think you can convince them otherwise, let me dispel this fiction.
History's record of this time will be very clear.
The American people can see through these lies.
They recognize the inconsistencies and the doublespeak.
The American people are not naive. They are not stupid. They’re not ignorant, and they're not immoral.
My Republican colleagues aren't naive or ignorant or immoral either.
They're good men and women.
They love their children, their neighbors, and our country.
I can consider many of them my friends.
When we have dinner together, when we go to visit the troops overseas, we don't do it as Democrats and Republicans, we do it as colleagues. As friends. As peers in this body.
We do so as elected members of Congress, as senators, representing our states and our country.
And it should be the very same when we judge President Trump.
In First John Chapter 2 Verse 21, John writes to a group of believers who are in turmoil.
He wrote, “I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.”
This trial had the goal of accomplishing one thing: to discover the truth, to know what happened, to hold the president accountable.
We pledged to listen to receive that evidence fairly, and to judge honestly.
We swore to defend the Constitution, not to defend a man or a political party.
And we should all remember this when we cast our votes, because President Trump is not like you.
He's not honest, kind, or compassionate.
He doesn't have integrity or moral conviction.
He's neither fair nor decent.
We as senators, who swore to uphold the Constitution, should, based on the facts laid before us, vote to convict.
Hold President Trump accountable for what he has done.
We have to show the American people ourselves that President Trump does not represent our values, that we still believe that we must fight for what's right, for truth, for justice, for honesty, for integrity.
That laws mean something, that we don't put ourselves before the law.
And those who lack courage in this moment, those who are unwilling to do what they know in their heart of hearts, in their conscience, in their deepest thoughts to be right, if they do not do what they know they should, they will be remembered as complicit.
They will be remembered as not telling the truth.
They will not be remembered well.
I urge you to vote your conscience.
And I suggest the absence of a quorum.
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