2020 Presidential Candidates Weigh in on Senate Not Allowing Witness Testimony in Impeachment Trial

Shortly after the Senate vote on Friday that barred witness testimony from the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates condemned the decision on Twitter.

The vote Friday evening was split 51-49, mostly along party lines. Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Ohio and Susan Collins of Maine were the only people to cross party lines, each voting to hear witnesses. The Senate is expected to finalize the schedule for the rest of the trial tonight. The final vote will likely be held Wednesday.

The Impeachment trial was the subject of the top six trending topics on Twitter Friday evening. Many of the candidates hoping to gain the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election weighed in.

"If you don't have witnesses, you do not have a fair trial. The truth will come out," Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota wrote.

While Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts didn't tweet after the vote, a few hours before she shared a series of tweets criticizing the president and Senate Republicans. She also repeated her previous promise to order the release of every impeachment-related document on the first day of her presidency.

"By pushing through a sham trial with no witnesses and no White House documents, they are assisting with his cover-up, and giving him a green light to continue breaking the law. And they've trampled over our Constitution in the process," she wrote. "Senate Republicans and the White House should know that the evidence against Trump won't be hidden forever. On day one as president, I will order the release of every document related to this impeachment inquiry that they've been hiding. The people will learn the truth."

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont shared a video, calling the vote "the collapse of the Republican Party."

"How do we have a trial without witnesses? This is outrageous, this is a mockery of justice, and is, sadly, consistent with a president who believes he is above the law," Sanders said. "It is a sad day for our country, it is a sad day for justice, and it is a sad day for our democracy."

Sen. Michael Bennet from Colorado was brief in his remarks.

"Senate Republicans just voted to eviscerate the rule of law. For what... Donald Trump? Pathetic," he wrote.

Billionaire and founder of political advocacy group Need to Impeach Tom Steyer called Republican senators "cowards" for the vote.

"The job of U.S. Senators is to stop the President from committing crimes, not drive the getaway car. This trial is a sham. #GOPCowards," Steyer wrote.

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg called for President Trump to be held accountable.

"What just happened in the Senate is a disgrace. Senate Republicans won't hold this president accountable, but we will. The last word will come through the American people—at ballot boxes across the country," he tweeted.

Former Vice President Joe Biden did not directly comment on the vote, though shortly after the vote took place, he shared a tweet repeating his claim that "America's character is on the ballot."

As of publication time, candidates billionaire Mike Bloomberg, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, businessman Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii have not commented on Twitter. During the House vote to impeach Trump, Gabbard was the lone "present" vote.

The incident at the heart of the impeachment trial is a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which Trump is accused of withholding nearly $400 million in aid until Ukraine agreed to investigate Trump's political rival Joe Biden as well as his son, Hunter.

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Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, shown here at the November 20 debate, have spoken out about the vote in the Senate impeachment trial that barred additional testimony. Alex Wong/Getty
2020 Presidential Candidates Weigh in on Senate Not Allowing Witness Testimony in Impeachment Trial | Politics