January 22, 2020/Press

What They’re Saying: As Senate Trial Begins, Tillis Already “Made Up His Mind” and Reaffirms He Wants to “Avoid” Witness Testimony

The impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate began in earnest yesterday. But despite signing an oath to “do impartial justice,” Senator Tillis has repeatedly revealed – with his public comments and his votes last night to kill amendments requiring testimony from key firsthand witnesses – that he’ll be anything but impartial.

Senator Tillis has been stating unambiguously that he won’t support a fair trial and will oppose witness testimony:

  • “I’m a definite no.” [News & Observer, 12/9/19]
  • “I think that Schumer will probably put forth a motion to subpoena certain witnesses… and I’ll be voting against those as will my Republican colleagues and we can move on to the final articles.” [Fox News, 12/19/19]
  • “Even walking down the slippery slope of calling witnesses is something we would like to avoid.” [Fox News, 1/15/20]
  • “I have been clear that … I do not see the need for additional witnesses.” [Constituent letter, 1/17/20]

Polling confirms that “most voters want more impeachment witnesses,” including many Republicans and independent voters in North Carolina.

Read what reporters in North Carolina and across the country are saying about how Tillis is enabling this coverup:

  • “We’re dismayed that Tillis, at least, already appears to have made up his mind before his chamber conducts one interview.” – Charlotte Observer Editorial Board
  • “Do we want a senator so consumed with currying favor from Donald Trump that he embarrasses himself and the state he represents?” – Charlotte Observer Editorial Board
  • “North Carolinians cannot rely on Sen. Thom Tillis – who quakes at every Trump tweet and parrots whatever spin the White House sends out.” – CBC Editorial Board
  • “The senator long ago laid his political future at the feet of the president, and he’s dutifully made the rounds on television of late to declare the Trump’s impeachment hearings a sham.” – Charlotte Observer Editorial Board
  • “Tillis has been the most unequivocal in his defense of Trump … Tillis’ situation crystallizes the dilemma that members of both parties will likely face on impeachment.” – Los Angeles Times
  • “Last fall, before the House impeachment hearings had even begun, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis was unambiguous on where he stood on the subject… The peril for vulnerable senators like Tillis is apparent.” – NBC News
  • “As we’ve seen so far, immediately McSally and Tillis were out of the gate defending President Trump whereas Gardner and Collins were a little bit more reserved and wanted to see what facts came out.” – Washington Examiner
  • “Tillis said in early December that the whole process was ‘flawed’ and that his position was a ‘definite no’ on impeachment conviction. Asked if anything could change that, Tillis said, ‘It would have to be evidence that we have not seen or even heard of.’” – News & Observer
  • “The real question is whether Republicans will even feign enough interest in living up to the oath they took last week—that ‘in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump,’ they will ‘do impartial justice’—to bother with witnesses and evidence before rubber-stamping Trump’s ‘exoneration.’ For U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, the answer is a hard no.” – IndyWeek