Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., voted Wednesday to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial
Moran’s statement after the vote Wednesday:
“When I took the oath at the beginning of this trial, I vowed to deliver impartial justice according to the Constitution and the law. I took this oath and responsibility seriously and chose not to comment until I heard arguments from both the House managers and President Trump’s lawyers. After hearing from both sides and asking multiple questions, I voted no on conviction and removal of the president.
“First, in order to avoid a system of government where the president serves at the political pleasure of Congress, the Framers intended impeachment and removal to be reserved for extreme and rare situations. The alleged facts contained in the articles and presented by the impeachment managers do not rise to this level.
“Second, the House failed in its prosecutorial role by not presenting specific statutory charges against the president. Our Constitution demands of the justice system that prosecutors bring specific charges and prove each element of those charges beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, neither of the articles passed by the House contain statutory allegations to which the Senate could determine whether the elements for conviction were met. On the floor, the House managers argued that the statutory crime of bribery was contained in the first Article of Impeachment related to abuse of power. In addition to the fact that there is no evidence in the record that satisfies the statutory elements of bribery, the Senate cannot substitute its own charges or charges made by House managers on the floor for those contained within the four corners of the House-passed Articles of Impeachment.
“Third, the House failed to meet its evidentiary burden and attempted to shift that burden to the Senate. Unwilling to give the judicial system the time to answer important questions of privilege in regards to specific witnesses that the House managers claimed were key to the case, the House moved forward with impeachment. The House managers argued at the beginning of the trial that they had overwhelming evidence supporting impeachment. It was surprising then that the House managers attempted to burden the Senate with issuing subpoenas and taking testimony from those witnesses that the House failed to pursue. Regardless, additional evidence or witnesses would not change the material underlying facts describing the president’s actions. These actions are not ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as described by the Constitution, and therefore, I voted no on conviction and removal of the president.”
Portion of Roberts’ remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday:
“After performing my due diligence in considering all assertions by both parties, I believe that the President should be acquitted from both charges.
“Removal from office is not warranted.
“I, like everyone, intently listened to 12 days of debate and testimony covering nearly 90 hours. I spent time meeting with my fellow Senators in order to reach a conclusion that was 1) fair, 2) met the constitutional mandates and 3) best served our nation.
“I did not seek that responsibility; however, I have tried to carry it out to the best of my ability.
“As a Senate juror, I was asked to weigh whether the House articles of impeachment charging the President with obstruction of Congress or abuse of power had merit, and if true, whether the offenses rose to a level that requires the President be removed from office.
“I think like many of us, I am troubled by multiple factors.
“I am troubled with the House managers’ demand that we, in the Senate, fill in the gaps of their investigation and call witnesses. Something they failed to execute themselves.
“The job of the Senate is to be an honest jury and not take up the role of prosecutor. Nonetheless, after hearing House managers’ statements, it was clear, this was the role they insisted we do.
“I am troubled that countless times the House managers made Senators feel as if we were the ones on trial.
“House managers were both incorrect and demanding, constantly stating that Senators had no choice but to agree with their line of reasoning and if we did not, then we would deal with the consequences. A veiled threat yet to be defined.
“Additionally, my top concern was what precedents would be set for future presidents and their expectation of privacy in conversation with their advisors.
“Lastly, I have been most troubled that the House managers have not put cause before personal animus ...
“Today, a charge of impeachment against the president has placed this nation in jeopardy.
“The House managers assertions are exactly the kind of situation the Framers were trying to avoid as they devised the impeachment mechanism to remove a sitting president whose actions endangered the republic.
“However, as we did back then, we will always come together. These are not the worst of times and we will get over this as well.”