Demand Justice Statement on Roberts’ Complicity During Impeachment Trial

01.31.20

WASHINGTON, DC—Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon released the following statement Friday after news the impeachment trial will conclude without hearing from witnesses:

“Lisa Murkowski may have wanted to let John Roberts off the hook by avoiding a tie-breaking vote on witnesses, but Roberts already made himself complicit in this sham by sitting idly by as Republicans broke the rules. Mitch McConnell called the plays, and John Roberts was the referee who looked the other way as one side disregarded any pretense of a fair trial.

“Roberts will be remembered as the Chief Justice who presided over the Supreme Court’s evolution into a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump’s Republican Party, and his role in this impeachment trial will be a key part of that story. This should put to rest questions about whether Roberts will ever lift a finger to preserve the rule of law when Republicans benefit from making a mockery of it. He won’t.”

Demand Justice polling showed that over two-thirds of registered voters believed that Roberts had an obligation to ensure the rules of the impeachment trial were fair.

Despite admonishing ‘both sides’ at the request of Susan Collins, he said nothing as members of the White House counsel lied to the Senate jurors. He failed to enforce the rules of the Senate as Republican senators passed notes, read books, played with fidget spinners in the chamber, and even left in the middle of the trial to participate in Fox News interviews. A New York Times op-ed on Monday argued that Roberts had the power to subpoena witnesses during the trial, which he neglected to do.

Demand Justice has driven thousands of calls to the Supreme Court from Americans demanding a fair trial through digital ads.

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