Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a moderate Democrat in a deep red state, announced Wednesday that he will vote to convict President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.
“The evidence presented by the House Managers, including video testimony of witnesses under oath in the House of Representatives, clearly supports the charges brought against the President in the articles of impeachment,” Manchin said in a statement.
Voting whether or not to remove a sitting President has been a truly difficult decision, and after listening to the arguments presented by both sides, I have reached my conclusion reluctantly. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/yIgy6Qf5JZ
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) February 5, 2020
“Despite the false claim that a President can do no wrong, the President is not entitled to act with blatant disregard for an equal branch of government or use the superpower status of the United States to condition our support of democracy and our allies on any political favor,” he added. “This is not who we are as a country.”
Manchin’s announcement came after fellow Democrat moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) said that she will vote to convict President Trump, torpedoing hopes of a bipartisan acquittal.
“Today, I vote to approve both articles, as my highest duty, and my greatest love, is to our nation’s Constitution,” Sinema said in a statement. “The facts are clear; security aid was withheld from Ukraine in an attempt to benefit the president’s political campaign. While White House attorneys claim this behavior is not serious, it is dangerous to the fundamental principles of American democracy to use the power of the federal government for personal or political gain.”
Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) became the sole Republican Senator to support the president’s approval, stating that he was guilty of a “high crime” for asking Ukraine to review allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault under electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values,” the Utah Republican said in a Senate floor speech.
The Senate is expected to acquit President Trump on two impeachment charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — later Wednesday afternoon.