U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump:

“Mr. President, I rise today to officially declare that I will vote against both articles of impeachment brought against President Trump by the very partisan and quite frankly ridiculous House of Representatives. I know my position is hardly a surprise, it’s almost as unsurprising as the House impeaching the President to begin with.

“Since the moment he was sworn into office, Democrats have schemed to remove Donald Trump from office. It’s not my opinion, I take them at their word. Their fixation on his removal was a conclusion in search of a justification, which they manufactured from a phone conversation between world leaders, leaked by one of the many career bureaucrats who seem to have forgotten that they work for the elected leaders in this country, not the other way around.

“Mr. President, the two articles of impeachment before this body today in my view are without merit. They are an affront in fact to this institution and to our Constitution, representing the very same partisan derangement that worried our Founding Fathers so much that they made the threshold for impeachment this high.

“Mr. Presidentthe Senate exists exactly for moments like this.

“I did not arrive at my conclusion to support acquittal hastily or flippantly, and I don’t believe any of my colleagues did either, including those who come to a different conclusion from mine. Despite being sent such flawed articles by the House, the Senate did in fact dutifully and solemnly followed its Constitutional obligation.

“During the long days of the trial, we heard sworn testimony from 13 witnesses, read 17 depositions, asked 180 questions, viewed 193 video clips, and poured over 28,000 pages of documents.

“But even more than the House managers’ shallow arguments and lack of evidence against, and due process for, our President, and the obvious derangement at the very root of every investigation – beginning with the corrupt FBI Crossfire Hurricane counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election cycle – the articles of impeachment we will vote on in a few hours should have ended at their beginning.

“Mr. President, can we agree that if a Speaker of the House unilaterally declares an impeachment inquiry, it represents the opinion of one member of Congress, not the official authorization of the entire Congress?

“Can we agree that a vote to begin an impeachment inquiry that has only partisan support and bipartisan opposition is not what the Founders had in mind, and in fact is what they firmly rejected and cautioned about?

“Can we agree that impeachment articles passed by a majority of one party and opposed by members of both parties on their face fail, if not the letter of the law, certainly the spirit of the Constitution?

“Yet, even under the cloud of purely partisan politics of the House of Representatives, the Senate conducted a complete, comprehensive trial resulting in my view a crystal-clear conclusion; The Democratic led House of Representatives failed to meet the most basic standards of proof and has dramatically lowered the bar for impeachment to unacceptable levels.

“Mr. President, it is deeply concerning, and I believe we must commit to never, ever letting it happen again to the president of any political party! And that can start today.

“In just a few hours the Senate will have the opportunity to cast a vote to end this whole ordeal. And in doing so can make a statement that the threshold for undoing the will of the American people in the most recent election, and undoing the will of a major political party in the upcoming election, should be higher than one party’s petty obsession.

“Mr. President, I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle join me in voting against these charges. But whether he is acquitted, or convicted and removed, it’s my prayer – as we were admonished many times throughout the last few weeks by our Chaplain Black – that God’s will is the one that will be done.

“Then we can move on to the unifying issues the American people want us to tackle. Issues like infrastructure, education, energy security and dominance, national security, and the rising cost of health care, among many others. These are issues American people care about, these are issues North Dakotans care about, these are the issues the people sent us here to deal with. Let’s do this together, and let’s start now.”