Tennessee congressmen talk impeachment as historic trial looms

Tenn. lawmakers divided over impeachment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will start Tuesday in the U.S. Senate.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, will preside and all 100 U.S. senators will serve as jurors. House managers will begin making their case against President Trump, arguing that he abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival, then obstructed Congress.

"I think the American people will see the president has violated his oath, abused his power and has made us less secure," said Congressman Steve Cohen, a Democrat, who represents Tennessee's 9th District.

Cohen voted for impeachment along with nearly every other House Democrat.

Every single Republican voted against it, including Congressman David Kustoff.

"I'm ready to get back to work. We've had three months of distraction, almost a year of distraction," said Kustoff, who represents Tennessee's 8th District.

The Mid-South congressmen and their parties are also divided over whether new witnesses, like former National Security Advisor John Bolton, should testify.

"We saw from the end of September through the end of December when we took the vote on impeachment a lot of transcripts, depositions certainly testimony," said Kustoff.

"I don't have a lot of confidence in the Republicans abiding by their oaths to be fair and impartial jurors," said Cohen.

Cohen admits the chances of the Republican-controlled Senate convicting Trump are slim.

"It is in fact a political process, it's not just a legal process," said Cohen. "So, I think the likelihood of him being removed is not very good."

Kustoff, who met with Vice-President Mike Pence on Sunday in Memphis, said voters should decide Trump's fate.

“Fact of the matter is there are people who feel strongly about President Trump one way or the other,” said Kustoff. “November of this year is the time when people can voice their opinions.”

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