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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Daines, Tester Split On Impeachment Vote

Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester speaking on the Senate floor about their impeachment votes, Feb. 4, 2020.
Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester speaking on the Senate floor about their impeachment votes, Feb. 4, 2020.

Montana’s two U.S. Senators indicated they’ll split their votes along party lines on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. President Trump faces two impeachment articles for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Steve Daines pledged their votes during floor speeches in the Senate chamber Tuesday, hours before President Trump’s State of the Union Address.

The remarks echoed concerns repeated over the last several weeks of divisive partisanship, sadness over the state of national politics, and warnings of precedent this proceeding will set for the future.

Heading into the impeachment trial, Democrat Jon Tester was not giving absolutes on how he’d vote on the articles, but that changed during his latest speech.

“This is a no brainer. He absolutely, unequivocally is guilty of both article one and article two of the impeachment,” Tester says.

Tester said it’s predicted President Trump will be acquitted during the expected vote Wednesday. Tester says he’s concerned about what that will mean for Congress’s ability to act as a check on future presidents.

Republican Steve Daines continued backing President Trump.

“I am voting to acquit President Donald J. Trump. For the good of our country let it be seared in our minds forevermore. Impeachment must never ever again be used as a partisan weapon," Daines says.

Daines is up for reelection this year. His campaign has messaged in recent months his strong support for President Trump. Daines denounced the impeachment as a sham, even before the Senate trial began.

Both Tester and Daines are expected to attend the State of the Union tonight.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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