January 31, 2020

Harris: “There Will Be No True Acquittal If There is Not A Fair Trial”

To view video of Harris’ remarks, click here. 

To download video of Harris’ remarks, click here. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Friday joined Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in a press conference ahead of an expected vote on whether the Senate will allow firsthand witnesses or additional documents in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

“The American people – the vast majority of the American public – want this United States Senate to produce the new evidence,” said Harris. “The only place this is being debated between Republicans and Democrats is not among the American people – it is here in the United States Senate.”

Harris continued, “The evidence that we know is available will not be presented and what that means as its bottom line is that this will not have been a fair trial and therefore they cannot walk out of this building and allege and assert that there has been a true acquittal. There will be no true acquittal if there is not a fair trial.”

Full transcript of Harris’ remarks:

HARRIS: Thank you leader Schumer for your leadership. Let’s just take this to the end game and we can take it to the end game based on just a few days ago when we started. They’ve been trying to rush this thing through. At first they proposed that we would have two days and then their constituents said “well that’s ridiculous,” so they extended it to three as though they were being very gracious.

But they have always been focused on their end game – our Republican Senate – and the end game for them has been acquittal, but here’s the deal, you cannot have a true acquittal if you have not had a fair trial. So, they are not going to get what they’ve been trying to get if they do not allow witnesses to come forward. This is not a fair trial. The American people – the vast majority of the American public – want this United States Senate to produce the new evidence. The only place this is being debated between Republicans and Democrats is not among the American people – it is here in the United States Senate. The American people – Republicans and Democrats – the vast majority believe that the new evidence should come forward.

The vast majority of Americans who have ever walked into a courthouse as a witness, as an accused, as a juror, know that the only attributes of a fair trial in our system of justice are witnesses and documents, evidence. None of which have been produced in any meaningful way based on what we know is available here in the United States Senate.

So what we’re about to do today, we believe, is to have the United Sates Senate based on the majority of Senators make a decision to exclude from our process evidence that is available, that is probative of the very issue before us.

Now let’s talk about this in the context of the issue that is before us. There have been three impeachments of a President of the United States in the over two centuries of our history. This is the most serious in terms of the charges. Underlying the concerns of the framers of our constitution of which we all took an oath – many of us many times took that oath to protect and defend that United States Constitution. The most serious concern our framers and founders had is there would be foreign entanglement, foreign entanglement in our government, in our democracy, in our republic, in our elections. And that is the basis of Article 1 of the impeachment of Donald Trump.

Is it not right if we are going to honor our oath much less these fancy lapel pins that everybody walks around here wearing? That we would fight for the integrity of this process, and that we would receive evidence that we know is available. So the bottom line is that at the end of this they will probably get what they want. Which is that we are going to end this today or maybe tomorrow, but the evidence, the evidence that we know is available will not be presented and what that means as its bottom line is that this will not have been a fair trial and therefore they cannot walk out of this building and allege and assert that there has been a true acquittal.

There will be no true acquittal if there is not a fair trial.

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