WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) Wednesday evening released the following statement at the conclusion of the Senate Impeachment Trial:
“When I took the oath at the beginning of this trial, I vowed to deliver impartial justice according to the Constitution and the law. I took this oath and responsibility seriously and chose not to comment until I heard arguments from both the House managers and President Trump’s lawyers. After hearing from both sides and asking multiple questions, I voted no on conviction and removal of the president.
“First, in order to avoid a system of government where the president serves at the political pleasure of Congress, the Framers intended impeachment and removal to be reserved for extreme and rare situations. The alleged facts contained in the articles and presented by the impeachment managers do not rise to this level.
“Second, the House failed in its prosecutorial role by not presenting specific statutory charges against the president. Our Constitution demands of the justice system that prosecutors bring specific charges and prove each element of those charges beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, neither of the articles passed by the House contain statutory allegations to which the Senate could determine whether the elements for conviction were met. On the floor, the House managers argued that the statutory crime of bribery was contained in the first Article of Impeachment related to abuse of power. In addition to the fact that there is no evidence in the record that satisfies the statutory elements of bribery, the Senate cannot substitute its own charges or charges made by House managers on the floor for those contained within the four corners of the House-passed Articles of Impeachment.
“Third, the House failed to meet its evidentiary burden and attempted to shift that burden to the Senate. Unwilling to give the judicial system the time to answer important questions of privilege in regards to specific witnesses that the House managers claimed were key to the case, the House moved forward with impeachment. The House managers argued at the beginning of the trial that they had overwhelming evidence supporting impeachment. It was surprising then that the House managers attempted to burden the Senate with issuing subpoenas and taking testimony from those witnesses that the House failed to pursue. Regardless, additional evidence or witnesses would not change the material underlying facts describing the president’s actions. These actions are not ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as described by the Constitution, and therefore, I voted no on conviction and removal of the president.”