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Boozman calls case against president 'partisan,' 'flawed'

by Frank E. Lockwood | February 5, 2020 at 4:21 a.m. | Updated February 5, 2020 at 4:21 a.m.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Rogers, is shown speaking before a panel discussion at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Springdale. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER )

WASHINGTON -- Saying that the House impeachment inquiry had been "hasty, flawed and clearly undertaken under partisan pretenses," U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., on Tuesday called on his colleagues to dismiss the case against President Donald Trump and get back to work.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman never mentioned the name of the accused, nor did he utter the word "Ukraine."

But he referred twice to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suggesting that the Democrat from California had yielded to pressure from the most strident anti-Trump elements.

"Not even a year ago, Speaker Pelosi was still attempting to curtail the push for impeachment within her own party, arguing, and I quote, 'Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path,'" Boozman said.

"She was right. And this impeachment process has failed by each of these metrics. It has further divided the country," Boozman said. "The case is certainly not overwhelming. And it has been anything but bipartisan."

Boozman said he had fulfilled his "constitutional duty to serve as a juror in the impeachment trial with the seriousness and the attention it demands."

"Based on the work done by the House -- or, maybe more accurately, the work not done and inherently flawed and partisan nature of the product it presented to the Senate -- I was skeptical that it could prove its case and convince anybody apart from the president's longtime, most severe critics, that his behavior merited removal from office," he said. "After two weeks of the proceedings in the Senate, my assessment of the situation has not been swayed nor has it changed."

In the speech, Boozman warned that the partisan nature of Trump's impeachment "potentially sets the stage for more impeachments along strictly partisan lines -- a development that would be terrible for our country."

And he rejected claims that Republican lawmakers had engaged in a cover-up, saying the allegation "is wrong on the merits and further drags this process down into the rhetoric of partisan, political warfare."

The impeachment trial, Boozman said, had taken the Senate "nearly to a grinding halt."

It's time, he said, to get back to work.

"The average Arkansan, like many other Americans, is looking for results and asking how the elected leaders they have chosen are trying to help make their lives better and move our country forward. They are not interested in the political games and theater that have consumed much of Washington since September," Boozman said. "It is my hope that we will return to that real, pressing work in short order."

Lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up the impeachment trial today.

Dozens of U.S. senators besides Boozman gave speeches Monday and Tuesday, explaining how they will vote.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was not among them, a spokesman said. He planned, instead, to submit a statement for publication in the Congressional Record, the spokesman added.

A Section on 02/05/2020

Print Headline: Boozman calls case against president 'partisan,' 'flawed'


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