UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.
Hawaii U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono today voted to impeach President Donald Trump on both articles.
If there was any doubt where she stood, Hawaii U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono put it to rest with a speech on the Senate floor this morning in which she said President Donald Trump is a danger to the nation, and she will vote to impeach him later today.
“Donald Trump was already a danger to this country,” Hirono said in an eight-minute speech shortly after 8 a.m. Hawaii time. “We’ve seen it in his policy decisions, from taking away health care from millions of Americans to threatening painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare, to engaging in an all-out assault on immigrants in this country, but today we’re called on to confront a completely different type of danger, one that goes well beyond the significant policy differences I have with this president.
“If we let Donald Trump get away with extorting the president of another country for his own personal benefit, the Senate will be complicit — complicit — in his next corrupt scheme. Which country will he bully or invite to interfere in our elections next? Which pot of taxpayer money will he use as a bribe to further his political schemes?”
Trump has been impeached by the Democratic-run U.S. House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress but is almost certain to be acquitted later today in a vote in the Republican-run Senate.
Convicting Trump and removing him from office would require a two-thirds vote of the 100-member Senate, which is extremely unlikely given that the Senate majority is Republican.
Senate Republicans refused to allow witnesses to be called in Trump’s trial in the Senate. Hirono, who is a lawyer, suggested their defense amounted to little more than a shrug.
“The president’s lawyers could not refute the House’s case,” Hirono told her colleagues. “Instead they ultimately resorted to the argument that even accepting the facts as presented by the House managers, Donald Trump’s conduct is not impeachable. It’s what I’ve called the ‘He did it, so what?’ argument.”
“Many of my Republican colleagues are using the “so-what’ argument to justify their votes to let the president off the hook,” even as some Republicans use words such as “inappropriate,” “wrong,” “improper,” to describe Trump’s actions,” Hirono said.
“Later today I will vote to convict and remove President Donald Trump for abusing his power and obstructing Congress. I am under no illusion my Republican colleagues will do the same,” she said.
Hawaii U.S. Sen Brian Schatz told his fellow Senators in a floor speech Monday that he will also vote to impeach Trump.