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Sherrod Brown Wants Senators To Keep Their Politics Out Of Impeachment

Donald Trump "has the right to defend himself in this court of law, and I hope that every Republican and Democrat goes into this with an open mind," Brown said on BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM.

Posted on November 6, 2019, at 2:20 p.m. ET

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Sen. Sherrod Brown told BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM that he doesn’t believe he should reach a decision on whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office until after the impeachment proceedings reach the Senate.

“I don’t think I should,” Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said of making an early decision on removal. “I have spoken out against Trump since the campaign in ’16, and I’ve called him a racist, and a misogynist, and a liar, and all the things he is.”

Brown added that he thinks the House should vote to impeach the president — but that once the process reaches the Senate, it would enter a similar setting to a court of law and that senators should approach the trial as members of the jury.

“I have very strong feelings about this president, but he has the right to defend himself in this court of law, and I hope that every Republican and Democrat goes into this with an open mind,” Brown said.

He added, “Once you’re in this court of law, the Senate making this decision on removal of the president from office, something the Senate has never done, you don’t listen to public opinion. You don’t get swayed by social media, or letters, or calls, or conversations, or by your spouse. You listen to the evidence and make a decision if we do that. I just hope my Republican colleagues are willing to be that open-minded. Just listen to — actually listen — to the evidence and make the decision on that, not on their politics.”

Over the course of the impeachment proceedings so far, Trump's supporters have called on Republican senators to stop the process. They have singled out Sen. Lindsey Graham to issue subpoenas for witnesses who have been interviewed by House and to be more fierce in his defense of the president.

Brown later told BuzzFeed News reporters that he does see a path for Republican senators to vote for Trump’s removal during an impeachment trial since details of testimonies have emerged from the House’s impeachment proceedings.

“Every time one of those breaks, it makes it harder,” Brown said.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.