Heinrich Delivers Speech Ahead Of Final Impeachment Vote

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) delivered a speech on the Senate Floor as the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump heads to a close with a final vote scheduled for Wednesday, February 5.

VIDEO: Heinrich Delivers Speech On Impeachment Of President Donald J. Trump [DOWNLOAD HD VIDEO HERE]

Key excerpts from Senator Heinrich’s speech include:

"Throughout this impeachment trial, I've thought a lot about what this country stands for. For me, as the son of an immigrant whose family came to the United States from Germany in the 1930s, America stands as a beacon of liberty, equal justice, and democracy. We are a nation forged by a revolution against a monarchy and its absolute power."

"Under the Constitution, we are governed not by monarchs—who act with impunity and without accountability—but by elected officers who answer to and work for 'We The People.' Generations of Americans have struggled and sacrificed their lives to defend that audacious vision. The Senate has a duty and a moral responsibility to uphold that vision. Over the last two weeks, I fear that the Senate has failed in that duty."

“President Donald Trump has proven to be unfit for the office he occupies. He abused his powers and continues to engage in a cover-up. He presents a clear and present danger to our national security and, more fundamentally, to our democracy. That is why my conscience and my duty to defend our Constitution compel me to vote to convict Donald Trump.”

“We should all fear what President Trump will do next if the Senate does not hold him accountable for the clear abuses of power he has already committed. This is the same president who praises dictators and despots and jeopardizes our international alliances. He stole billions of dollars from military construction funds to pay for his monument to division and racism. He is more focused on lobbing insults and spreading Russian conspiracy theories on Twitter than he is on his intelligence briefings.”

“Right now, patriotic Americans working in the State Department, for our intelligence agencies, and serving in the military are defending us from grave threats. These Americans pledge to obey the orders of their commander-in-chief. They trust that their commander-in-chief's loyalty and sole focus is squarely on the best interests of the United States of America. I don't say this lightly: President Trump has betrayed that trust. He promised to put America first. Instead, he put himself first.”

“Despite what the Senate is about to do, and the danger I fear it will bring about, I will never lose hope in what America stands for. That's because 'We The People,' not any king or dictator, still hold immense power in this nation. It is up to all of us now to wield that power.”

Senator Heinrich’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Throughout this impeachment trial, I've thought a lot about what this country stands for.  

For me, as the son of an immigrant whose family came to the United States from Germany in the 1930s, America stands as a beacon of liberty, equal justice, and democracy.

We are a nation forged by a revolution against a monarchy and its absolute power.

We are a nation founded by the ratification of the most radically democratic document in history, the Constitution of the United States of America. Under the Constitution, we are governed not by monarchs—who act with impunity and without accountability—but by elected officers who answer to and work for “We The People.”

Generations of Americans have struggled and sacrificed their lives to defend that audacious vision.

The Senate has a duty and a moral responsibility to uphold that vision.

Over the last two weeks, I fear that the Senate has failed in that duty.

I am deeply disappointed that nearly all of my Republican colleagues refused to allow for the kind of witness testimony and documentary evidence that any legitimate trial would include.

You cannot conduct a fair trial without witnesses.

In my view, you also can’t have a legitimate acquittal without a fair trial.

That the Senate refused to shed more light on the facts is truly astonishing.

Despite this, the facts as we know them are clear and plain.

President Trump pressured the government of Ukraine, an American ally, not for our national security interests but for his own selfish and corrupt political interests.

When he was caught, he sought to cover it up by suppressing documents and preventing witnesses from testifying before Congress and the American people.

The president’s defense team had every opportunity to present us with evidence that would explain his actions or give us reason to doubt this clear fact pattern.

Instead, they shifted their defense away from the damning facts and embraced an extreme legal philosophy that would allow any president to abuse their power and ignore the law.

This dangerous argument is not new.

It was used by Richard Nixon when he said, “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

President Nixon also strayed far away from his duties to our nation for his own personal and political gain.

It was only after courageous members of the United States Senate in his own political party put their country first and stood up to him that President Nixon finally resigned.

We are now in yet another time when our chief executive has failed us, and our nation requires moral leadership and conscience from the United States Senate.

Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues are unwilling to deliver that kind of moral leadership.

President Donald Trump has proven to be unfit for the office he occupies.

He abused his powers and continues to engage in a cover-up.

He presents a clear and present danger to our national security and, more fundamentally, to our democracy.

That is why my conscience and my duty to defend our Constitution compel me to vote to convict Donald Trump. I hope the rest of you will join in this vote, but I am not naive.

I understand how President Trump operates.

I know how ugly it can become if you challenge him.

But your fear of this bully cannot outweigh your duty to the American people.

Your fear cannot blind you to how you will be viewed by history.

What you should really fear is what will happen when there are no limits on any president, even when he is risking our national security and our foreign alliances to illegitimately maintain his grip on power.

What we should all fear is what President Trump will do next if the Senate does not hold him accountable for the clear abuses of power he has already committed.

This is the same president who praises dictators and despots and jeopardizes our international alliances.

This is the same president who stole billions of dollars from military construction funds to pay for his monument to division and racism.

This is the same president who is more focused on lobbing insults and spreading Russian conspiracy theories on Twitter than he is on his intelligence briefings.

Let me just say, I pay close attention to the intelligence I am able to see.

From my seat on both the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, I am acutely aware of the threats our nation faces.

They include an emboldened North Korea, the Iranian regime, and terrorist organizations across several continents.

Russia and China are acting aggressively to assert their authoritarian influence and provoke American interests and our allies—including Ukraine.

Finally, with the 2020 presidential election mere months away, Russia is once again targeting our elections systems and manipulating our democratic discourse.

Right now, patriotic Americans working in the State Department, for our intelligence agencies, and serving in the military are defending us from those very threats.

These Americans pledge to obey the orders of their commander-in-chief.

They trust that their commander-in-chief’s loyalty and sole focus is squarely on the best interests of the United States of America.  

I don’t say this lightly: President Trump has betrayed that trust.

He promised to put America first.

Instead, he put himself first.  

Throughout our history, the defense of our nation has depended on the leadership of men whose names we now remember when we visit their memorials: Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt.

These men all swore the same oath that President Trump did when they assumed our nation’s most powerful office.  

Our presidents swear to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

President Trump has violated that oath.

So I’ll ask us once again: what does America stand for?

In considering that question, I think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the only man who didn’t serve as president that we recognize with a memorial on our National Mall.

More than 50 years after his assassination, Dr. King’s life’s work to make our nation more fully live up to our founding principles still resonates.  

These are the same principles that compelled my father’s family to come to America: liberty, equal justice, and democracy.

While fighting for those principles, Dr. King wrote in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

My colleagues, this is one of those times.

Two years after writing the Birmingham Jail letter, Dr. King led thousands on a five-day, 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery for our fundamental American right, the right to vote in free and fair elections.

Remember, that right is what President Trump has threatened by inviting foreign interference in our elections.

Upon reaching the steps of the Alabama State Capitol, Dr. King proclaimed:

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

I sincerely hope those of us in this body can keep seeking that society—that America.

Before I finish, I also want to address Americans who have watched this trial unfold and are rightly disappointed by the Republican cover up it has become.

I would urge you to remember what Dr. King said about accepting finite disappointment but never losing infinite hope.

Despite what the Senate is about to do, and the danger I fear it will bring about, I will never lose hope in what America stands for.

Because “We The People,” not any king or dictator, still hold immense power in this nation.

It is up to all of us now to wield that power.