Nancy Harris 01

Last week’s vote to deny testimony from key witnesses to be heard before the Senate in the impeachment trial is an affront to American democracy. Fundamental fairness requires that the Senate must weigh all evidence relevant to the case at hand.

Denying witnesses and blocking the request of documents from congressional subpoenas is a shameless attempt to suppress critical evidence and subvert justice. A fair and impartial trial is impossible without a complete record of the evidence. If the president were to be acquitted on an incomplete record of evidence and without testimony from key witnesses under oath, then the acquittal would be an empty verdict that would leave a stain on our democratic institutions and would do nothing to exonerate this president of gross misconduct.

The denial of witnesses and blocking of evidentiary documents is an embarrassment to the long history of the Senate and marks an inexcusable departure from procedural precedent. In the 231-year history of the U.S. Senate, there have been 15 full completed impeachment trials, and in every single one of those trials the Senate heard testimony from witnesses.

A sham impeachment trial lacking witnesses and based on an incomplete record of evidence will leave the United States with a rogue president who accepts no consequences for his alleged illegal and corrupt actions.  Further, the vote to deny witnesses in the impeachment trial sends a message that the president and his entire staff, is no longer responsible to Congressional oversight.

The American people deserve a fair trial and the Senate has a duty to the American people to conduct a fair trial. The vote to deny witnesses and documents is an insult to the American people and a dereliction of the Senate’s duty. Impeachment has victims, and in this case, we the people are a mass casualty. 

According to a Quinnipiac Jan. 28 poll, 75% of registered voters want witnesses to testify.  Only voters have the power to save our democracy by voting out the perpetrators of this abdication of senatorial responsibility.

With his vote, Jim Risch has once again shown that he does not represent the interests of his constituents, and only serves his master in the oval office. Jim Risch has revealed his loyalties to a corrupt administration, his willingness to subvert justice, his lack of integrity, and his complicity in undermining the fundamental democratic institutions of our republic. Friday’s vote is yet another indication that Jim Risch is unfit to serve in the Senate; the people of Idaho and the people of the United States deserve better representation.