Senator Manchin Reveals Where He Stands on Acquittal in New Floor Speech

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Posted: Feb 03, 2020 4:57 PM
Senator Manchin Reveals Where He Stands on Acquittal in New Floor Speech

Source: Senate Television via AP

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) admitted that the vote on the articles of impeachment have been "weighing" on him. He spoke on the Senate floor Monday following the closing arguments of both the Democratic impeachment managers and the White House defense team. He is one of the potential Democratic swing votes who could vote to acquit the president when the jurors vote on Wednesday.

The managers proved that what the president did was wrong, Manchin said on the one hand.

"He delayed much needed security aid for Ukraine" in order for Zelensky to do him a favor and investigate the Bidens, the senator said of Trump's July phone call with the Ukrainian president.

However, Manchin continued, the defense's case was just as compelling. For instance, the counsel effectively argued that the unclassified transcript of the phone call revealed that Trump was interested in rooting out corruption, while highlighting "the expedited nature" of the House's proceedings. The Democrats rushed the process, it seemed, in order to finish in time for Christmas. Yet, when it came time to transfer the articles to the Senate, suddenly the process wasn't as urgent. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held the articles hostage for over a month, as Democrats clamored for more documents and witnesses. 

Manchin sounded more torn than ever.

It is "simply preposterous," to claim the president can do no wrong, he said, noting that "no one is above the law." Yet, Manchin said that while Trump's call with Ukrainian President Zelensky "was not a perfect call" as Trump has alleged, the senator doesn't see a path to the 67 votes to convict him.

In conclusion, he is "struggling" with a final decision for Wednesday's vote.

The senator suggested that perhaps the senators should take a different path.

"I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure this president,” he offered.