WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), incoming Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke about the Senate’s responsibility to move forward with the second impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump after last night’s point of order questioning the constitutionality of the trial was defeated by a bipartisan vote.
“Last night, there was a vote as to whether we should go forward with the impeachment. All of the Democrats, 50, voted in favor of having the trial. Since we received that Article from the House, five Republicans joined us. Forty-five Republicans voted to end the impeachment proceeding, voting in favor of a point of order raised by the Senator from Kentucky. I don’t know what was going through their minds when they joined the Senator from Kentucky’s point of order. I don’t know if it was a constitutional issue they were thinking about, whether it was loyalty to Donald Trump, or whether it was fear of Trump’s followers in their home states that led them to vote to end the impeachment inquiry,” Durbin said. “But we should go forward. We should go forward, as Lincoln reminded us, because we cannot escape history and we certainly shouldn’t be party to rewriting history… we need to make a record of fact, not just for our current deliberations, but for history.”
Durbin continued, “We now have a responsibility to go forward with this impeachment trial to make a record and decide as a United States Senate. We owe it to the people we represent, that’s for sure, but more important, we owe it to future generations to show them just how fragile a democracy can be when a mob turns on the United States Capitol and tries to stop the business of the government.”
Durbin concluded with a note on unity: “Our democracy survived this mob that came forward in an insurrection against our government and we are now in the beginning of the second week of the Biden presidency. He has spoken to the American people and told them we are going to come together, we’re going to unify. Bless him for doing that. We owe him this opportunity. We owe it to our country.”
Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.