Durbin said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that “the Senate itself is on trial” in front of the American people to see if it can hold a fair trial and whether Republican senators are “loyal to the Constitution or loyal to the president.”
“I hope at the end of the day enough Republican senators will understand history will find you,” he said. “Make certain that you make a decision that you can live with in terms of our Constitution and your own professional career.”
The Illinois Democrat said that a fair trial that the public expects would include evidence and witnesses, both of which the White House has refused to supply behind the partial transcript of the July 25 phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.
Durbin also added that Senate leaders have not had full discussions on the rules of the Senate trial, as the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s memo on the rules has not been exchanged.
“We’re, listen, a little over 48 hours away from the trial actually commencing, and there hasn’t been the most basic negotiation or exchange of information,” he told Chuck Todd.
Durbin: “We are a little over 48 hours away from the trial … and there hasn’t been the most basic negotiation and exchange of information.” pic.twitter.com/bmDnLMIKYD
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 19, 2020
The senator spoke to Todd in the days ahead of the Senate’s impeachment trial into President Trump. The House passed along articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress last week to the upper chamber for the president’s trial.
Democrats have been advocating to include more evidence and witnesses in the trial, but Republican lawmakers have argued that the House should have collected all the necessary evidence and witnesses in the impeachment inquiry.