Peters announces he will vote to convict Trump
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat who is up for re-election, said Tuesday he will vote to convict President Donald Trump after the impeachment trial in the Senate.
During a six-minute speech on the Senate floor, Peters said Trump had "betrayed the trust of the American public" by attempting to "extort" a foreign government to interfere in this year's presidential election.
Peters made his announcement a day before the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate is expected to vote on whether to convict Trump of two articles of impeachment that were approved by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House in December. Enough Republicans have said they are voting against the articles that the president will be acquitted.
Michigan’s other senator, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, has said she will vote to convict Trump. It would take 67 senators to convict and remove Trump from office.
"Tomorrow, by refusing to hold President Trump accountable for his abuses, Republicans in the Senate are offering him unbridled power," Peters said during his floor speech. "He will gleefully seize that power."
The U.S. House's impeachment articles accused Trump of "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress." They alleged that Trump used the powers of the presidency to solicit interference from Ukraine in the 2020 presidential election by seeking an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy giant Burisma.
In a statement, Peters said he concluded that "the president violated his oath of office and betrayed the public trust by putting his own personal and political interests before the people of Michigan and our country."
"The president’s conduct violated the American people’s trust, threatens our democracy, and I will vote to hold him accountable for his actions as demanded by the U.S. Constitution," he added.
Republicans slammed Peters' decision. The National Republican Senatorial Committee said Peters was joining "extreme partisans hell-bent on impeaching the president since the day he took office."
"Peters has turned his back on the will of the voters of Michigan by voting to remove the President of the United States from office," said Nathan Brand, committee spokesman. "Falling in line with his party's most radical voices, Peters put his own personal political interests ahead of the principles and priorities of those he is supposed to represent."
Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes in 2016, his smallest margin of victory nationally.
Peters first won his seat in the Senate in 2014. He is expected to face Republican John James in a competitive race. Peters is one of two Democratic senators running for re-election in states Trump won in 2016.
James, a businessman from Farmington Hills, lost to Stabenow in 2018 by 6.5 percentage points.
James has criticized Democrats' push to impeach Trump. In a statement in December, he argued the House's impeachment vote against the president was not about the rule of law but about "revenge."