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Durbin and Booker Say They Believe History Will Judge Politicians for What They Did During Impeachment

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Durbin and Booker Say They Believe History Will Judge Politicians for What They Did During Impeachment

2020-01-20 21:37:501 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Cory Booker (Image source: Senate Democrats via Wikimedia Commons)

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is due to start on Tuesday, and still to this day, there are two very opposite sides of looking at the situation with neither viewpoint close to the other. The division between these viewpoints sticks close to partisan lines.

While there are some slightly different opinions within the GOP, with it being left up in the air somewhat how the trial will operate, at this point the Democrats are mostly sticking together. Even when interviewed separately, they still say the same things. 

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) both said the same thing in separate television interviews on Sunday with regard to how this impeachment trial, only the third time in history an impeachment trial has been held by the Senate, will be regarded by future generations. They believe how the senators handle it individually will determine how they are viewed throughout history.

Booker was still a potential competitor of Trump's just one week ago. He dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race having never been able to reach any type of base of support. He's perhaps thought about the impeachment more than some of the other senators. 

He was interviewed on ABC News's "This Week" by host George Stephanopoulos who noted that attorney Alan Dershowitz, a member of Trump's impeachment defense team, had said, "Even if everything in the House case is accepted as fact, it's not impeachable."

Booker responded to that thought and said, "That's just stunning to me, and I don't know what signal we're sending to future presidents if that's the new standard in America, where you can openly solicit foreign interference." 

"History has its eyes on us," explained Booker. "How are we going to operate? We cannot cave to partisanship and tribalism that's destroying our nation. In this moment, we've got to let our highest selves come through and sit in those seats and uphold the oath we all just swore last week and do right by our nation to ensure that this democracy endures."

Durbin appeared on NBC News's "Meet the Press" on Sunday and said there has not even been "the most basic negotiation" between senators of different parties when looking at whether witnesses will be called at the beginning of the trial, before opening arguments. He sees it more like the Senate itself is on trial with the American public being the jury. 

"We know the president has refused to provide documentation beyond the July 25th telephone memo," he noted, and he's refused to provide basic witness, who actually heard what happened on that conversation."

"The Senate is on trial," continued Durbin. "And I hope, at the end of the day, enough Republican senators will understand: history will find you. Make certain than you make a decision that you can live with in terms of our Constitution and your own professional career." 

But before senators can worry about how the history books will portray them, they have to worry about how people voting in November will see them. They're not going to go against the constituents who put them in office. This is what's making them stick to partisan lines. Republicans have a thin majority in the Senate, but a majority nonetheless. If Democrats can flip a few, they may push Trump out of office. But it will take a lot of convincing to go against their party.

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