Home Politics Sen. Brown accuses Senate Republicans of acquitting Trump out of fear

Sen. Brown accuses Senate Republicans of acquitting Trump out of fear

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Sens. Brown & Portman. Graphic by Bo Kuhn.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown penned an op-ed in The New York Times Wednesday that shined a light on his Republican counterparts in the U.S. Senate who voted to acquit President Donald Trump, asserting they protected the president out of fear rather than principle.

That fear, Brown wrote, led to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to dismiss the articles as quickly as possible.

“Playing on that fear, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, sought a quick impeachment trial for President Trump with as little attention to it as possible,” Brown wrote. “Reporters, who usually roam the Capitol freely, have been cordoned off like cattle in select areas. Mr. McConnell ordered limited camera views in the Senate chamber so only presenters — not absent senators — could be spotted.”

Trump was acquitted of both articles of impeachment Wednesday afternoon mostly along party lines; one charge accused the president of abuse of power and the other asserted he obstructed Congress.

Brown went further, claiming that Republicans don’t have a response to what would happen if Trump’s behavior as president worsened in the remaining year of his first term. 

He was also critical of senators who are more concerned about reelection rather than doing what Brown considers to be right: Removing Trump from office.

“History does not look kindly on politicians who cannot fathom a fate worse than losing an upcoming election,” Brown wrote.

Brown, however, wasn’t the only Ohioan on Wednesday to publish an op-ed in The Times about impeachment. 

Republican Sen. Rob Portman outlined his reasons in the publication for joining the vast majority of Republican senators in voting to acquit the president of both articles of impeachment.

Though he considered Trump’s request for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and the release of military aid for Ukraine “improper,” Portman did not believe these actions by the president rose to a level where removal from office was necessary. 

“In this case, unlike in other impeachments, no crime was alleged,” he wrote. “Although there may be circumstances where a crime isn’t necessary for a president to be impeached, to be impeached under such a circumstance would require meeting an even higher bar, and it wasn’t met here.”

Portman also called the House of Representatives impeachment investigation a “rushed process that lacked fundamental fairness.”

“Rushing an impeachment case through the House without due process and giving the Senate a half-baked case to finish set a dangerous precedent,” he wrote.

He expressed his belief that both parties can come together on bipartisan issues, such as lowering prescription drug costs, improving skills training for workers and combating the opioid epidemic. 

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