Washington — Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) posted her opening statement Thursday on the need for an impartial impeachment trial.
The text follows:
“There are six judicial nominees on the agenda today, and I understand that we will be holding over all six. I will address those nominations at our next markup.
“Today I would like to speak briefly about the Senate’s upcoming impeachment trial.
“Earlier this week, former National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that he is prepared to testify when the Senate considers the articles of impeachment against President Trump.
“I can see no reason not to hear from Ambassador Bolton, who was ‘personally involved’ in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about the president’s actions with respect to Ukraine.
“The same is true for the other three White House officials requested by Senator Schumer, including Chief of Staff Mulvaney. The Senate and American people would benefit from their firsthand knowledge of the decision to withhold aid from Ukraine.
“Particularly given Ambassador Bolton’s willingness to testify, I am disappointed that the majority leader has said that he will attempt to pass a partisan resolution that defers the issue of witnesses and documents.
“During the Clinton impeachment trial, we had the benefit of exhaustive testimony from key witnesses from the start of the Senate trial.
“Then, it made sense for the Senate to wait until after opening arguments to decide whether more testimony from witnesses who had already testified was warranted – and the Senate unanimously agreed to do so.
“Today, we know that certain key witnesses haven’t provided any testimony and that critical documents have been withheld.
“Given the importance of this additional evidence, it’s understandable that Speaker Pelosi has delayed transmitting articles of impeachment until the contours of a Senate trial are known. I do not believe that Speaker Pelosi is motivated by politics but by a sincere desire to ensure a fair process that allows the Senate to consider available evidence – a goal that all of us should share.
“After all, it is the Senate’s duty to conduct a full, fair trial. We should take steps at our disposal in order to fulfill this important duty. This includes obtaining the documents and additional testimony the White House has obstructed.”