Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the latest revelations in the House impeachment inquiry following the public testimony of George Kent and Ambassador William Taylor during which Taylor testified that an aide heard a phone call during which the president made clear he cared more about Ukraine investigating his political rivals than about helping Ukraine. Senator Schumer also urged Republicans to pay attention and examine the facts so that they are able to render impartial justice. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here.
Now yesterday, public hearings began yesterday in the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump with the testimony of George Kent and William Taylor.
Ambassador Taylor—a career public servant, a war hero, long serving presidents of both parties—provided a startling new revelation: that his aide overheard a conversation between President Trump and Ambassador Sondland during which the president made clear he cared more about Ukraine investigating the Bidens than he did about helping Ukraine. The aide is reportedly set to appear before the House for a deposition later this week, and Mr. Sondland is set to appear before the Intelligence Committee for a public hearing next week.
All Senators have an obligation to seek and review the full facts developed by this inquiry to be able to render impartial justice. However, some of my Republican friends here in the Senate have said that they are not even paying attention to the hearings in the House.
The distinguished Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a former House manager of an impeachment case who at the time repeatedly urged Senators NOT to make up their minds before the case was in, recently said, “I made up my mind. There’s nothing there.” It’s before a single bit of evidence is presented in the Senate. Alice In Wonderland. First the verdict, then the trial. That’s not becoming for the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
And while my Republican colleagues may not have been paying attention, I have been paying attention. My Democratic colleagues in the Senate who know they might have to act as judges and jurors, in this case, are paying attention. America is paying attention. And the evidence we all heard from Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent cast a troubling portrait of a president who is trying to use the powers of his office for personal, political gain.
As the public hearings continue, we have a responsibility here in the Senate not to pre-judge the case but to examine the evidence impartially. At the very least, Senators should be paying attention.