Blumenthal to vote to convict Trump, says history will judge

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., talks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Washington.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, announced Tuesday he plans to vote to convict President Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, warning his colleagues they will be judged harshly by history if they “fail to meet this challenge."

The state's senior Democratic senator made his position known during a somber speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, which is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the two articles of impeachment presented by House Democratic managers. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to acquit Trump.

“History will sit in judgment of us and the future of our republic will be in jeopardy if we fail tomorrow to do the right thing,” said Blumenthal, adding how history will also "haunt the colleagues who fail to meet this challenge" and lack the courage demonstrated by the various witnesses who came forward during the House impeachment investigation into Trump's efforts to push Ukraine to investigate rival Democrats. Trump is also accused of obstructing Congress by instructing aides to defy House subpoenas.

Blumenthal spoke of the “shame and sadness” he felt when the Senate narrowly rejected Democratic demands to summon witnesses and additional documents to provide the “complete truth” to the American people about Trump's actions.

“That moment, unfortunately a moment of dismay and disappointment, will stay with me," he said, “after aspiring for so long to be part of this body, which I respected and revered."

Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, also a Democrat, has not yet announced how he plans to vote.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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