Cory Gardner Finally Speaks on Impeachment…and WTF???

UPDATE #5 (2:25 pm): Sen. Cory Gardner has voted to acquit President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment.

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UPDATE #4 (1:40 pm): Wait, what?

JOE ST. GEORGE: I’m curious about precedent here. Do you believe that this will now allow future Presidents to do this? Will this allow you to ask a foreign leader to investigate John Hickenlooper?

CORY GARDNER: No, look, foreign interference in our elections is absolutely wrong – anytime, any place, anywhere. [Pols emphasis] And I have done a lot to make sure that we eliminate foreign interference in our elections…

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UPDATE #3 (1:25 pm): We need to add another question to our list below:

(9) When you were speaking on the Senate floor, were you not aware that Sen. Mitt Romney had already announced that he would vote YES on abuse of power?

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UPDATE #2 (1:20 pm): Gardner’s media tour is NOT going well. From Nick Riccardi of the Associated Press:

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UPDATE (1:00 pm): Gardner finally speaks on the Senate floor, but his timing is off. Gardner railed on impeachment as a partisan exercise — even though Republican Sen. Mitt Romney had already announced that he would vote YES on the charge of abuse of power against President Trump.

Gardner also complains that the House of Representatives rushed the impeachment process, which doesn’t square at all with the fact that he voted against calling new witnesses — and thus extending the trial — just a few days ago.

 

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(Original post follows)

Senator Cory Gardner’s guidelines in Trump impeachment trial.

The final gasp of the Senate impeachment “trial” is underway today, concluding with an actual vote that will almost certainly result in the acquittal of President Trump despite overwhelming evidence that he both abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress when it tried to investigate his actions. This, sadly, was the conclusion most observers had long anticipated after the House of Represenatives impeached Trump in December: Senate Republican sycophants blindly marching in lockstep with the President.

Senate Republicans are employing a long list of excuses for exonerating Trump. Republican Senators such as Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have candidly admitted that Trump acted “inappropriately,” though neither is expected to actually vote YES on impeachment. Republican Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Rob Portman (Ohio) also take the approach that Trump’s actions were “inappropriate” but not impeachable. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, the explanation given by Sen. Collins is particularly ridiculous; in an interview on Tuesday, she said this with a straight face: “I believe that the President has learned from this case” and that Trump “will be much more cautious in the future.”

Senate Majority Leader “Moscow” Mitch McConnell doesn’t believe that Trump did anything wrong, and others in agreement include Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Jim Inhofe and James Lankford (Oklahoma), and David Purdue (Georgia).

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (South Dakota) joins the likes of Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in blaming the House of Representatives for not sufficiently proving the case against Trump. Many others, including Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Joni Ernst (Iowa) are basically accusing the House of Representatives of presenting a phony case for impeachment altogether.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 50 Senators had taken to the Senate floor to speak on impeachment. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) still hasn’t said a word; he’s earning every bit of his #CoverUpCory moniker.

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Gardner says that he is eventually going to talk to Colorado-based reporters about his thoughts on Trump’s misdeeds and the impeachment trial. The odds of Gardner giving a serious interview to a serious reporter are pretty low, but if it does happen to take place, here are some obvious questions that Gardner has yet to address:

(1) Do you agree with Sen. Lamar Alexander’s belief that House impeachment managers proved their case against President Trump?

(2) Do you believe that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine in order to coerce their government to initiate an investigation of a domestic political opponent? If not, does that mean you reject the testimony of Ambassadors Yovanovich, Sondland, and Volker? What about the contents of the messages and emails released as evidence?

(3) Do you believe that President Trump acted appropriately in asking a foreign country to intervene in American elections? (You’ll remember that this line of questioning didn’t go well for Gardner back in October; he still hasn’t answered this basic question.)

(4) Would you accept interference from foreign governments if it benefitted your own re-election campaign?

(5) Do you think that former Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard — for whom you once worked as a Senate aide — was right when he voted to remove President Clinton from office? If so, what was the difference between what Clinton did and what Trump did?

(6) You voted against hearing testimony from new witnesses, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Do you believe Bolton’s testimony is not relevant or that he is not a reliable witness?

(7) How do you respond to criticism that you are just covering up for President Trump in voting for acquittal?

(8) Do you believe that former Vice President Joe Biden acted inappropriately in his dealings with Ukraine? Is that opinion informed by any of the committee hearings you were involved with from 2014-2016?

These are all very simple questions. Coloradans deserve straightforward answers. Instead, Gardner’s constituents will likely be left with a canned statement that reads something like this:

We had a trial in the Senate. I had a good seat. I took my oath of impartiality very seriously. The House presented evidence and witnesses. It is a somber moment to cast a vote on the impeachment of a duly elected President of the United States. President Trump has the right to the presumption of innocence. The Senate had a grave constitutional duty and did its job accordingly.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to hold a final vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump sometime after 2:00 pm Mountain Time.

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  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    The senators who claim that the House didn’t prove its case have a valid point. Trump has been a walking and talking violation of Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution almost since day one of his presidency.

    To save you the trouble of looking it up, that section contains the emoluments clause. This was a far more egregious violation than Ukraine. But the Dems ignored it.

    • harrydobyharrydoby says:

      Sadly, with elections awash with the billions needed to gain or hold office, that charge is the one least likely to offend members of Congress.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      I don’t think ignored is the correct context Banger.  They needed his tax returns to prove he was engaged in self gratification and it will take years to get.  No tax returns.  No proof of self-enrichment.  It doesn’t matter anyway.  It would have ended the same way that it will today.  At least now each individual will have to ask themselves if they will contemplate voting for a known cheater.  “If you liked the way Lance Armstrong cheated in the Tour de France, you’ll love Donald Trump”.  “If you liked the way Roger Clements used steroids in baseball to win games, you’ll love Donald Trump”.  Balls in the public’s court.  Will they or won’t they vote for a known cheater.

  2. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Funny, when I look up bribery and extortion, I don't see "Policy differences" as the definition. 

    If Gardner thinks the illegal withholding of congressionally appropriated funds in exchange for a foreign investigation of a political rival is merely a policy disagreement, perhaps he should have suggested that Trump have his own lapdog Attorney General take up the investigation for free.

  3. unnamed says:

    No, look, foreign interference in our elections is absolutely wrong – anytime, any place, anywhere. [Pols emphasis] And I have done a lot to make sure that we eliminate foreign interference in our elections…

     

    Cory, not doing jack shit is the opposite of doing a lot.  And you have shown time and again that you will betray the country to win and enable right-wing authoritarianism to reign in America.

  4. ModeratusModeratus says:

    If you think Trump is so bad, beat him in the election.

    That's what you're really afraid of, isn't it?

  5. Blackie says:

    Most of the above comments has focused on just a certain few Senators, BUT,  what about those few who will be having trouble at home explaining their actions in the Senate when it comes election day? 

    Yes, there are three or four that are known to be in trouble at home, but how many more may not understand the anger flowing out of sight in their states/districts? How many may have just closed out their political  careers?

    I know of the Collins, the Gardeners, McSally, etc., now are there any more  in trouble because of the lockstep that they find themselves in with Trump? 

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