Feb 17 2020
Dear Friend,When I was 17 years old, I first swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States when I became a Navy ROTC midshipman at Ohio State. Since then, I have taken that same oath many times over – when I was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy during the Vietnam War, when I was elected and re-elected to Congress, and most recently, when Vice President Pence administered the oath nearly a year ago today to the newly elected and re-elected senators on the floor on the United States Senate.
This week, in that same spot, I took another oath. Administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, I solemnly swore that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. This is an oath that I take seriously. It is a solemn promise to every Delawarean and every American that I will do everything I can to make sure the longest running experiment in democracy continues to serve as an example for the rest of the world and that the rights enshrined in our Constitution continue to be protected for each and every one of us.
Next week, senators on both sides of the aisle will have the opportunity to prove their commitment to that oath. Together, we will vote on whether this trial will be a fair one with relevant witnesses and evidence or an unfair one that shields the truth from the American people. It has been said, “If the people know the truth, they will not make a mistake.” If my colleagues in the Senate and I know the truth, I have hope that we will make the right decision at the conclusion of this trial, but we cannot do that without witnesses who have relevant information to the charges at hand. Fair trials require witnesses and evidence. Everyone – including the President – should want a fair trial.
The oath we all take is not to a political party. It is not to a President. It is to the Constitution of the United States. I believe strongly that the Senate, and those who serve in this body, must meet this moment with the seriousness and impartiality it deserves.