Montana Public Radio

Montana U.S. Senators Split Heading Into Impeachment Trial

Jan 17, 2020
Originally published on January 16, 2020 10:30 pm

U.S. Senators Jan. 16 were sworn in as jurors in the upcoming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Montana’s Senators are split along party lines heading into the trial, which is expected to begin next week.

In a pre-recorded statement sent to news media outlets, Republican Steve Daines, who’s up for re-election next year, said, "The president was treated very unfairly in the U.S. House. He will receive fair treatment in the U.S. Senate. And I'm very confident the president will be acquitted when this is all said and done by the U.S. Senate."

Democrat Jon Tester wrote, “Today I took a solemn oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God,’ and that is what I intend to do. I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will do what the American people expect and allow us to hear from witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the impeachable offenses—so we can do our sworn duty as jurors and deliver a fair and honest trial.”

On Thursday the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report saying Trump broke the law in freezing Ukraine funds passed by Congress. That’s the central question of the current impeachment proceedings.

When asked by email how Tester believed the information in the report may impact the upcoming trial, a spokesperson wrote, “The Senator is aware of the GAO report and believes it furthers the need for witnesses with firsthand knowledge to testify and for all relevant documents to be presented at the trial.”

A Daines spokesperson wrote, “The Senator believes this is yet another example that the House rushed through the process. OMB strongly disagrees with GAO legal analysis. But at this point the whole issue is moot because at the end of the day, the aid was ultimately released.”

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