U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump.
“Our Founding Fathers set an extraordinarily high bar for impeachment, and rightfully so. They believed it was an extreme remedy that should only be used in extreme circumstances – circumstances so grave that they would warrant nullifying a national election and removing a duly elected president of the United States from office. Impeachment is, and should remain, a rarely used constitutional tool. In fact, this was only the third time in our nation’s history that a presidential impeachment trial reached the Senate floor.
“I had a front-row seat to this trial and listened carefully to the House managers’ case. I entered the trial with an open mind, knowing the president’s team would be afforded the fairness and impartiality that were lacking in the House’s highly partisan and one-sided process. It was my job to hear the case, review the facts as they were presented to us, and answer whether or not this reached the Founders’ high threshold for removing a president from office. After listening to nearly 70 hours’ worth of testimony, questions, and answers, I determined that this case did not meet that high threshold.
“Furthermore, there is another national election just months away, and there is a strong case to be made that the American people – not Washington politicians – should choose whether the president remains in office. I believe a majority of South Dakotans agree.
“This has been a highly disruptive process for the American people, and I’m as eager as they are to get back to the agenda they elected us to pursue.”