It’s been a few weeks since we made the heartbreaking decision to suspend our campaign for president. Since then, Donald Trump has sought to continue to flout the Constitution and the rule of law.
I wanted to reach out to you with a note about what will happen when the impeachment trial comes to the Senate, and our solemn duty to seek justice against this corrupt president and administration.
Last night, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump. Sometime early in the new year, I will take an oath on the Senate floor to uphold the Constitution, review evidence, and follow the facts wherever they lead — regardless of party or ideology.
As a former prosecutor, I understand the importance of holding powerful people accountable. I know that every trial requires fairness and truth. Any trial that abandons the pursuit of truth cannot be considered fair or just.
But Mitch McConnell appears more interested in covering up the president’s misconduct than in pursuing truth and fairness. He’s already trying to limit the impeachment trial by preventing witnesses from testifying, and he has all but announced a verdict. In doing so, he showed the American people that he has no intention of honoring his oath.
Let’s be clear: Mitch McConnell doesn’t want a Senate trial. He wants a Senate cover-up.
Fortunately, McConnell does not have the power to unilaterally undermine this trial. Every single senator will be empowered with an equal vote on how the trial will proceed.
In this trial, senators will be far more than jurors. Each of us will vote to determine the rules for the trial, decide which witnesses testify, and ultimately serve as both court and jury.
Each of us will be called on to uphold our oath with every decision we make. And we will all be held accountable by the American people if we refuse to discover the facts relevant to the articles of impeachment.
Senator Schumer has made a reasonable request to hear from additional witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the president’s misconduct.
We need to hear from Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, who admitted to Mr. Trump’s bribery scheme on live television.
We need to hear from the former national security adviser, John Bolton, who has been shopping stories about Trump to book publishers instead of speaking with Congress.
Even Richard Nixon allowed the key figures behind the Watergate scandal to speak to Congress, and he eventually turned over incriminating portions of his Oval Office recordings to investigators.
But Trump has stonewalled Congress and inhibited our ability to seek justice by demanding that those closest to the center of the Ukraine scandal stay silent.
The Senate should not vote on any article of impeachment or consider a motion to dismiss the trial until we have reviewed the additional testimony and evidence that we have requested.
I have never been in a courtroom where the accused can unilaterally block witnesses from testifying or prohibit prosecutors from asking witnesses questions. No court would allow a trial to proceed this way, and neither should any member of the Senate.
Ensuring the integrity of this trial is a solemn responsibility for every senator, with consequences that extend far beyond any one presidency. My colleagues and I have a duty to use our voice and our vote to insist on a fair trial, rooted in the pursuit of truth.
We must demonstrate to the American people that in our system of justice all are equal under law, and that there are not two sets of rules, one for Donald Trump and another for everybody else.
History will judge the actions taken by the United States Senate at a time when our Constitution and the rule of law were at stake. I’ll continue to fight for justice and accountability, and my colleagues should too.
Thanks for being a part of our continued fight for justice.
For The People — always.
— Kamala Harris