On Tuesday, the LA Times circulated a story regarding Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) leaning toward acquitting President Donald Trump, who was impeachment in the House last month.
“Just after President Trump’s defense lawyers ended arguments in their Senate trial Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California became the first Democrat to suggest that she could vote to acquit him, despite serious concerns about his character,” the LA Times report stated.
“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” Feinstein was quoted telling reporters on Tuesday, the paper reported. “That was my view and it still is my view.”
“What changed my opinion as this went on [is a realization that] impeachment isn’t about one offense. It’s really about the character and ability and physical and mental fitness of the individual to serve the people, not themselves,” she added.
“We’re not finished,” the Democrat told reporters when asked if she’d acquit President Trump.
“There is substantial weight to this and the question is: Is it enough to cast this vote?” Feinstein said of impeachment, adding that she’s “received roughly 125,000 letters in support of the impeachment last week, and about 30,000 against it,” the LA Times noted.
After the report broke and began trending on Twitter, Feinstein took to Twitter to clarify her remarks, backing off any possibility of Trump’s acquittal.
“The LA Times misunderstood what I said today,” she posted. “Before the trial I said I’d keep an open mind. Now that both sides made their cases, it’s clear the president’s actions were wrong. He withheld vital foreign assistance for personal political gain. That can’t be allowed to stand.”
The LA Times misunderstood what I said today. Before the trial I said I'd keep an open mind. Now that both sides made their cases, it’s clear the president’s actions were wrong. He withheld vital foreign assistance for personal political gain. That can’t be allowed to stand.
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 28, 2020
In December, the House voted to impeach President Trump on two articles: “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” Not a single Republican voted in favor of impeachment, while multiple Democrats refused a “yes” vote. The Daily Wire reported:
On the first article of impeachment, “abuse of power,” Democrats voted 228–2, Republicans voted 0–195, and the one independent member of Congress voted for impeachment.
The final vote on the first article of impeachment was 230–197–1.
The vote on the second article of impeachment, “obstruction of Congress,” concluded with even more Democrats defecting from their party and voting against impeachment.
The final vote on the second article of impeachment is Democrats voted 228–3, Republicans voted 0–195, and the one independent member of Congress voted for impeachment.
In the Senate, there is less uniformity among Republicans. As noted by The Daily Wire on Tuesday, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) “has embraced the role of leader of the Senate resistance to the party line on impeachment witnesses.”
“The article in the New York Times I think made it pretty clear that [Bolton] has some information that may be relevant,” Romney said Monday, reported Politico. “And I’d like to hear relevant information before I made a final decision.”
The senator also reportedly “made a strong pitch” for calling additional witnesses during a private lunch with fellow Senate Republicans, Politico sources said.