January 31, 2020

Not Allowing Witnesses, Further Evidence Undercuts Constitutional Ideals


Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, media@acslaw.org

Washington, D.C. — The Senate voted today to conclude President Trump’s impeachment trial with no witnesses or subpoenas for additional documents – the first-ever impeachment trial without testimony or evidence in the history of the Senate. Below is the statement of Zinelle October, Interim President of the American Constitution Society.

“This is a sad day in American history. The Senate has a constitutional duty to conduct an open, fair and comprehensive trial to determine whether the President abused his power and obstructed Congress. A fair and comprehensive trial demands that all relevant witnesses be questioned, and documents be examined. This is how trials are conducted in this country. Instead, Senators today voted to proceed without hearing  pertinent testimony, and to leave the full record of the President’s conduct incomplete.

“Despite all the rhetoric and political spin, what happened today is not just about this trial or this president. It is about us -- our country and our constitutional principles. Today the Senate turned its back on these quintessential ideals and left a permanent historical asterisk ever tied to these impeachment proceedings. It is a tragic decision and one that I fear will impact us all for generations to come.”


The American Constitution Society (ACS) believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information about the organization and its 200+ attorney and law student chapters in 48 states, visit us at www.acslaw.org and 1899 L Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20036.

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