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U.S. Representative Val Demings

Representing the 10th District of Florida

Senator McConnell Must Recuse

December 13, 2019
Press Release
The Senator Has Already Violated His Oath as a Juror

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed two Articles of Impeachment for President Donald Trump.

Said Rep. Demings, “The President has abused his power and obstructed Congress’ ability to hold him accountable for his actions. His use of military assistance to pressure another country to interfere in our election put our national security and our democracy at risk. The Constitution requires that after articles of impeachment pass the House of Representatives, the president must be given a fair trial in the Senate.

“Senator McConnell has promised to sabotage that trial and he must recuse himself. No court in the country would allow a member of the jury to also serve as the accused’s defense attorney. The moment Senator McConnell takes the oath of impartiality required by the Constitution, he will be in violation of that oath. He has effectively promised to let President Trump manage his own impeachment trial. The Senator must withdraw.”

Background

Yesterday, in a televised interview, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — a member of the same political party as President Trump — said, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.”

The United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 3, says, “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.”

The Senate Rules provide the oath to be sworn by each Senator: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of President Donald John Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.”

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