West Virginia’s two U.S. senators on Wednesday voted with their party colleagues on whether to convict President Donald Trump on impeachment charges.
Sen. Joe Manchin joined his fellow Democratic senators in voting to convict Trump on both charges. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito voted in line with all but one of her Republican colleagues in voting to acquit the president.
The GOP-controlled Senate acquitted the president.
In explaining his vote, Manchin said the evidence presented by the U.S. House managers seeking Trump’s removal from office “clearly supports the charges brought against” Trump.
“I have always wanted a fair trial in the Senate, and I am disappointed the President, his counsel and a majority of my Republican colleagues decided not to support the inclusion of additional witnesses and documents during the trial, resulting in the first Senate impeachment trial of a President without witnesses,” Manchin said in a prepared statement. “And while the President may assert executive privilege, that privilege has limits and is not absolute.
“Despite the false claim that a President can do no wrong, the President is not entitled to act with blatant disregard for an equal branch of government or use the superpower status of the United States to condition our support of democracy and our allies on any political favor. That is not who we are as a country.”
In her prepared statement, Capito said, “Our Constitution makes clear that only a particularly grave act — ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ — would justify a senator voting to reverse the will of the voters and remove from office the person they chose to lead our nation.
“Reviewing this evidence and listening to counsel on both sides, I do not believe the House proved an offense that would justify the grave step of overturning the 2016 election and taking away from West Virginians the ability to decide for themselves in the 2020 election,” she said. “That is why today, I voted to find President Trump ‘not guilty’ on both articles.”
Capito described the House impeachment process as “partisan, political, and denied President Trump his basic due process rights.”