Sinema Votes For Conviction in Trump Impeachment Trial

Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Senator Kyrsten Sinema Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema voted to convict President Donald Trump on counts of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in the impeachment trial that has captivated the nation.

Sinema's decision ends months of speculation over whether Arizona's senior senator would follow her Democratic colleagues on whether Trump should be removed from office for withholding nearly $400 million in foreign aid to Ukraine in an attempt to damage his political rival, Joe Biden.

Casting herself as a centrist during a moment of extreme political division, Sinema did not comment on her vote until Wednesday, the day the Senate acquitted Trump on both articles of impeachment.

Senator Martha McSally, Sinema's GOP counterpart, joined nearly every other Republican in voting to acquit Trump. Only Utah Senator Mitt Romney bucked the party line on the impeachment vote.

While McSally faces a tough election battle against Democrat Mark Kelly in November; Sinema's seat is not up for re-election until 2024.

Read Sinema's full statement below:

Today, I vote to approve both articles, as my highest duty, and my greatest love, is to our nation's Constitution.

Americans deserve a government they can trust operates in our best interest. As elected officials, we swear an oath to the Constitution to put the interests of our country and our national security above personal interests. Public service is an honor and a privilege — and it is our duty to earn this privilege every day through our behavior as stewards of this great nation.

The facts are clear; security aid was withheld from Ukraine in an attempt to benefit the presidents 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. Worse, they failed to assure the American people that this behavior will not continue and that future national security decisions will be made free from personal interests.

Our nation's first president, George Washington, warned us how dangerous foreign interference is in his farewell address: "Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence ... the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."

Our founders created a system of checks and balances between the branches of government to prevent overreach and protect the liberties of American citizens. The administration's wholesale refusal to participate in required negotiations with Congress when asked to provide witnesses and documents sets a dangerous precedent, upending the balance of power. Future presidents — of both parties — will use this case as a guide to avoid transparency and accountability to the American people. That should be gravely concerning to all of us.

Today's outcome is not a surprise, and neither is the brokenness of Washington. The partisanship and ugliness we witnessed throughout this process in both parties is not a testament to who we are as Americans. The greatest threat we face, from forces both foreign and domestic, is the attempt to divide us as a people with vitriol and hatred. It is our duty as Americans to reject these attempts and remember who we are — a diverse people united in our love of country, of freedom, and of liberty.
(Correction: Mitt Romney is a Utah Senator, not a Massachusetts Senator, but he previously served as Massachusetts Governor.)
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Steven Hsieh was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times from August 2018 to April 2020.
Contact: Steven Hsieh