U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler speaks during the Georgia Municipal Association breakfast at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta on Jan. 27, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

Georgia senators Perdue, Loeffler vote to reject impeachment witnesses

WASHINGTON -- Both of Georgia’s U.S. senators -- David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler -- voted against calling witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Their decision was expected since both have said for weeks that they believe Trump should not be removed from office and that new witnesses were unnecessary.

However, Perdue and Loefflers’ decision to help block the Democrat-led motion is already being used as fodder by their political opponents.

Both championed their vote Friday night, saying House Democrats failed to make their case in calling for Trump’s removal from office and an acquittal is soon to come. 

“Inviting new witnesses will not change the outcome of this trial whatsoever,” Perdue’s statement said. “It’s not the Senate’s job to clean up the illegitimate case presented by House Democrats.”

Jon Ossoff, a Democrat who is challenging Perdue, called the incumbent’s vote “cowardly.”

“Senator Perdue falsely swore to serve as an impartial juror, but his vote for a sham trial without witnesses proves he has zero interest in the truth,” Ossoff said. “Perdue is nothing more than a servant to Donald Trump, his donors, and himself.”

The Democratic Party of Georgia also weighed in with a statements that accused Perdue and Loeffler of rubber-stamping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

DPG spokesman Alex Floyd said Perdue “put politics ahead of the rule of law and the search for the truth.”

Of Loeffler, he said: “Georgians want and deserve a fair Senate trial, but instead Loeffler is marching in lockstep with Mitch Connell as part of this cover-up of the president’s abuse of power.”

The vote was 51 against and 49 in favor of calling witnesses, and the trial is now expected to wrap up in the next few days. Two Republicans, Sens. Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, voted with Democrats.

Loeffler is a former Romney super donor, but earlier this week she accused him of wanting to “appease the left” because he indicated he would be open to calling witnesses.

Since then, both Romney and Loeffler have avoided questions about their prior friendship or current rift.

The trial is expected to continue Monday with speeches from senators. A final vote on acquitting Trump is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Loeffler said Friday night that the trial has been partisan and a distraction.

“More time spent on this desperate attempt to go against the will of the people in an election year will only result in neglecting of the our country,” she said.


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About the Author

Tia Mitchell
Tia Mitchell
Tia Mitchell is the AJC’s Washington correspondent.