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Durbin Warns Colleagues On Impeachment: 'History Will Find You'

Dick Durbin speaks with reporters outside his house in Springfield
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

As the U.S. Senate prepares for President Trump’s impeachment trial, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin has a warning for his colleagues.

Durbin is among the senators who’ve been through an impeachment before: he was in his first term when President Bill Clinton was tried and acquitted in the Senate.

Given that experience, the Democrat says President Trump is not going to be the only one on trial.

“The Senate itself is on trial as far as I’m concerned, and the jury is the American people,” Durbin said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “The question is whether or not we are going to have a fair trial; whether members of the Senate are going to be loyal to the Constitution or loyal to the president.”

He’s urging a few of his Republican colleagues to break ranks, and push their party leaders to allow witness testimony at the impeachment trial.

“I hope at the end of the day, enough Republican Senators will understand: History will find you. Make certain that you make a decision that you can life with, in terms of our Constitution and your own professional career,” Durbin said.

Democrats are calling for witness testimony at the trial. But leaders of the Republican majority have so far rebuffed that idea.

The impeachment trial is set to resume at noon (CST) Tuesday.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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