U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin committed to maintaining “impartial justice” if the House hearings that kicked off this week on President Trump’s alleged dealings with Ukraine lead to articles of impeachment.
Impeachment hearings kicked off yesterday with testimony from George Kent, a senior State Department official, and Bill Taylor, an ambassador to Ukraine.
Dem lawmakers allege Trump withheld congressionally approved military assistance to Ukraine contingent upon President Volodymyr Zelensky announcing an investigation into political rival Joe Biden’s family and further contend the call between Trump and Zelinsky is evidence the president authorized and was fully aware of the scheme.
Baldwin said she’ll “wait to see the evidence that comes over” if the investigation moves to the Senate. Speaking with reporters in Madison on Monday, Baldwin said the transcript of a call between Trump and Zelinsky showed the president “soliciting foreign interference with our elections.”
Still, the Madison Dem noted Trump had not yet presented his case or his evidence.
But when asked if she feared backlash from voters in response to the impeachment process, Baldwin dismissed the notion that her vote would be guided by political ramifications. Instead, she pledged to uphold her oath to do “impartial justice” if the House impeached the president and she found herself serving as a juror in the Senate trial.
“This is a matter of real seriousness and significance,” she said. “I do not know what the House will do, but if we do get articles of impeachment sent over to the Senate, I will take that oath and follow that oath.”
Baldwin was also noncommittal when asked if fellow Wisconsin lawmaker U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, should recuse himself from a potential Senate trial. Several witnesses testified to congressional investigators that Johnson was involved in diplomatic outreach in the leadup to the call between Trump and Zelinsky.
Baldwin today noted that while testimony had shown Johnson had “been involved in a number of meetings” with key Trump administration officials on Ukraine policy, “he has to decide for himself whether that interferes with his service.”
“All senators, if there is an article of impeachment or more that gets sent over to the Senate, will take an oath rather like a juror’s oath to do impartial justice,” she said. ” He has to decide that for himself.”