U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) said in a floor speech Tuesday that he will vote to convict and remove President Donald Trump, saying “what the president did was wrong, unacceptable and impeachable.”
The GOP-led U.S. Senate is set to hold a final vote Wednesday. Trump will give his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer giving the official Democratic response in East Lansing.
The freshman senator, who’s up for reelection this year, said he “swore an oath to keep an open mind, listen carefully to the facts and in the end, deliver impartial justice.” But Peters said that he believes “the facts are clear” about Trump illegally withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine on the condition that its leader “falsely discredit a likely political opponent [former Vice President Joe Biden].”
As for the trial, Peters said he “expected the president’s lawyers to offer new eyewitness testimony from people with firsthand knowledge and offer new documents … but that did not happen.”
Peters said it “became very clear to me that the president’s closest advisers could not speak to the president’s innocence and his lawyers did everything in their power to prevent them from testifying under oath.
“No one in this country is above the law; no one — not even the president,” he said.
Peters talked about the “privilege” of participating in an annual bipartisan Senate tradition two years ago of reading President George Washington’s farewell address to the to the Senate. He said he’s “struck by the contrast of where we are today” with Trump’s actions.
“This betrayal is, by definition, a high crime and misdemeanor. If it does not rise to the level of impeachment and removal, I am not sure what would,” Peters said. “The Senate has a constitutional responsibility to hold him accountable. If we do not stand up and defend our democracy during this fragile period, we will be allowing the president, and future presidents, to have unchecked power.
“This is not what our founders intended,” Peters continued. “The oath I swore to protect and defend the Constitution demands that I vote to preserve the future of our republic. I will faithfully execute my own, and vote to hold this president accountable for his actions.”
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) said Monday she will also vote the same, as the Advance previously reported.
“The founders were smart; they lived under a king and they had no intention of doing so ever again,” she said. “I have to wonder why so many of my Republican colleagues seem so eager to give it a try.”
“This is the United States of America. In our country, no president is above the law,” she added.