Gary Palmer has released the following statement regarding his no vote on both articles of impeachment.
“The vote today to impeach President Trump is not supported by law, facts, or logic. It does, however, circumvent the vision of America’s Founders. They imagined that impeachment would occur only under grave circumstances, not due to political differences. Today, my Democratic colleagues have not proven that President Trump is guilty of ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’ The only thing President Trump is guilty of in this process is governing in a manner that some Democrats disagree with. That’s not a standard for impeachment.
“In impeachment Article I, the allegation is that President Trump abused his power. The primary witness to this article is also the supposed victim of the abuse of power, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Democrats did not call him as a witness to their hearings, as his testimony is not helpful to their narrative, but this was his statement: ‘There was no pressure or blackmail from the U.S.’
“Democrats will not allow facts to get in the way, but facts matter. No foreign nation is entitled to receive money from the United States, and money certainly should not be released without accountability. My colleagues allege that money was withheld to force an investigation into a political rival of the President, but the facts do not support this. The U.S. released the money with no investigation having taken place. This is why, over time, we have seen Democrats shift their narrative. First, they accused President Trump of quid pro quo, then of bribery, and now they accuse him of abuse of power. Undoubtedly, when this process has failed, they will create another narrative. But the truth is clear – they are frustrated that President Trump has been effective, that the economy is strong, and that people are doing better, because that is not a narrative that will promote their agenda. They are attacking him because they can’t attack his results. We know from this process that they only have one agenda – to impeach the President at all costs, regardless of the facts or the Constitution.
“In impeachment Article II, the allegation is that the President obstructed Congress. Obstruction of justice is a crime. Obstruction of Congress is not. Fundamentally, this second article is an attempt to charge President Trump with obstructing the Democrats’ impeachment efforts. They engaged in a sham process to impeach the President, and they’re now alleging he must be removed from office for not becoming complicit in their coup attempt.
“A president does not lose the right to assert executive or attorney-client privilege simply because an impeachment process is underway. Although Congress has the right to receive documents and other evidence from the executive branch, it has never been protocol that Congress can make demands, set arbitrary deadlines, and then commence impeachment when the executive branch misses a deadline or asserts a Constitutional privilege. Under this approach, every recent president would’ve been subject to impeachment. For example, former Attorney General Eric Holder refused to comply with a congressional subpoena related to misleading communications because President Obama, claiming executive privilege, instructed Holder not to comply. It would have been preposterous for Congress to immediately start an impeachment process in reaction to this, but that is how the current Congress has reacted to similar actions from President Trump. Democrat coup leaders have misrepresented the facts regarding his exercise of executive privilege in an attempt to mislead the American public. They claim that the Trump Administration officials were unresponsive and did not comply with their subpoenas. In reality, Administration officials did respond, stating that they would not comply, which is their right. Every Administration in recent memory has exercised executive privilege against subpoenas. This is not only not new, it is to be expected.
“These ambiguous standards for impeachment should not and must not become the norm. Until now, the impeachment process has never been substantially politicized, and God forbid that it ever is again in the future. My Democrat colleagues claim President Trump is a danger to our country. I must ask, is a growing economy or record unemployment a danger? Are rising wages and increased household income threats to our country? Is helping people achieve independence, personal growth, and self-sufficiency what my Democrat colleagues really fear? We are taking the wrong turn today with this vote, but it is my hope that when the Senate has rejected this partisan process, law, logic, and reason might be restored. Because there is no evidence in relation to treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, I will vote ‘NO’ on the articles of impeachment against President Trump.”