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RALEIGH, NC — U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham issued the following statement after Thom Tillis joined Mitch McConnell in blocking witness testimony.
“As a former military prosecutor, I have been clear throughout this process that a fair trial should include witnesses with first-hand accounts and documents. Even in the face of a damning new account from former National Security Advisor John Bolton this week, Thom Tillis refused to give North Carolinians the fair trial we expect. If Senator Tillis actually cared about fairness or his sworn constitutional duty, he would have voted to permit witnesses today — instead he denied North Carolinians valuable information, not only to aid Mitch McConnell’s cover up of President Trump, but to maintain his good graces with the White House as he seeks reelection.”
Tillis today joined Mitch McConnell in voting to block additional witnesses from testifying, after last week voting down several amendments that would have guaranteed additional evidence. Tillis’ votes to deny witnesses are at odds with the majority of Americans who support calling additional witnesses.
Tillis’ votes come as no surprise:
Over a month before the trial began in the Senate, Thom Tillis was already pledging to vote “no” on impeaching the President. When Politico gave Tillis the benefit of the doubt, rating him as “probably no” on impeachment, Tillis rushed to correct them, saying he didn’t even “know why they even put ‘probably’ in there.”
When faced with evidence produced by the impeachment inquiry that the President abused his power, Tillis claimed the process was meant to “distract the American people from President Trump’s record of results.”
Despite key witnesses with first-hand knowledge of the President’s conduct agreeing to testify, Tillis recently doubled down, saying he didn’t “see a compelling reason to hear any other witnesses.”
During the historic impeachment trial, when Tillis should have been listening to arguments and considering evidence, he was instead complaining to Reuters about being bored, saying the trial reminded him of “…the shopping channel, the hits of the ‘80s, you hear it again and again and again and again,” adding the he could “…almost recite the testimony.”
Read more from North Carolina Editorial Boards about Tillis’ failure to put politics aside and guarantee the fair trial North Carolinians deserve:
News & Observer Editorial Board: “Before the Senate trial even began, the state’s junior senator, Thom Tillis, said he was a “definite no” on Trump’s removal. He has dismissed the second count of impeachment – Trump’s obstruction of Congress. As for the first count — the president’s abuse of power in leveraging military aid in an attempt to trigger a foreign investigation of a political rival — Tillis said it’s not worth Trump’s removal, no matter what former national security adviser John Bolton says. That’s no surprise. The one-term senator is up for re-election and is pledging absolute fealty to the president in the hope that Trump’s appeal can carry him to victory. Allowing no daylight between his positions and Trump’s is Tillis’ only calculation, his only concern and his only ambition.”
Charlotte Observer Editorial Board: “We’re dismayed that Tillis, at least, already appears to have made up his mind before his chamber conducts one interview.”
Greensboro News & Record Editorial Board: “This kind of behavior flouts the rule of law. It places a president’s political ambitions over national security. It defies the authority of Congress. And it should spark bipartisan outrage. Only it hasn’t. In fact, some Republicans have humored Trump’s petulant impulses for so long that they seem proud of it…U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, called it ‘yet another pathetic attempt by Democrats to destroy President Trump with falsehoods.’
“Tillis’ comments were hardly a surprise, since he desperately needs Trump’s support to win re-election in 2020. But North Carolina’s other Republican senator, Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, opened an investigation of the case.”
Indy Week: “The real question is whether Republicans will even feign enough interest in living up to the oath they took last week—that ‘in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump,’ they will ‘do impartial justice’—to bother with witnesses and evidence before rubber-stamping Trump’s ‘exoneration.’ For U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, the answer is a hard no.”