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Tina Smith Explains Why She'll Vote To Remove Trump From Office

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) -- Sen. Tina Smith on Tuesday morning outlined the reasons she intends to vote to remove President Donald Trump from office.

Smith's speech suggested that, while she wanted to see a trial "that would be fair for both sides," she was "greatly disappointed" that the Senate voted last week against hearing from further witnesses.

"The Senate abandoned its responsibilities when it blocked efforts to get the complete truth," she said. "As a result, there will be a permanent cloud over these proceedings. The President may be acquitted, but without a fair trial he cannot claim to be exonerated."

Smith said she was initially reluctant to go down the road of impeachment.

"While I strongly disagree with the President on many issues, I see impeachment as a last resort, and I feared that leaping to impeachment would only serve to drive us all even further into our political corners," she said. "This changed when I read the Whistleblower report, which alleged nothing less than the President's corrupt abuse of power, an abuse that had the potential to undermine our election in 2020."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed Tuesday he will vote to acquit Trump, and slammed House Democrats' drive to impeach President Donald Trump as "the most rushed, least fair and least thorough" in history.

Meanwhile, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York accused the Republican leader and his GOP colleagues of sweeping Trump's misconduct under the rug.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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