Sen. Mark Warner Raises Concerns About Trump’s Sincerity toward Black America

Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent | 2/3/2020, 3:41 p.m.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) didn’t always favor impeaching President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump White House photo

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) didn’t always favor impeaching President Donald Trump.

And, he’s still isn’t sure which way he’ll vote when the president’s Senate impeachment trial ends.

“I was not one of the ones who early on advocated for impeachment, and I’ve still not made my final decision. I will be impartial. I want to hear this out,” Warner, the Vice-Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus and Vice-Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told NNPA Newswire.

The bombshell revelation by former National Security Advisor John Bolton that the president did engage with Ukraine on a quid-pro-quo to try and dig up dirt on Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden could be a game-changer, Wagner said.

“When you saw what appears to be the president of the United States withholding aid from a country that’s an ally in a war with Russia, withholding White House meetings because he simply wants his own personal political meetings; if somebody had not cried foul on that, what kind of precedent does that set for any future president?” Wagner stated.

“I don’t want to keep Democratic presidents taking these kinds of actions.”

Wagner said Bolton appears as someone who’d make a credible witness.

“I think John Bolton has not been somebody I’ve agreed with on most policy matters, but no one has kind of questioned his close to 40 years of solidly conservative Republican credentials. It’s been interesting to see the president’s supporters have started to attack him; he’s someone like Trump on many issues, and I kept wondering what was going to be in his book. I think it’s interesting that the president’s former Chief of Staff John Kelly said he thinks Bolton is right and should testify.”

It’s surprising that Trump still has members in his cabinet, like Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and aide Robert Blair, working for him despite the insight they have on Ukraine, Wagner stated.

Each should testify at the impeachment trial, he said.

“If they came up and swore [under oath] and tried to clear the president that would be relevant too,” Wagner stated. “I think any logical person would say maybe they don’t feel like they can come up under the threat of perjury. It’s a strange time.”

When asked what effect the impeachment trial would have on the 2020 election, particularly if Trump isn’t removed from office, Wagner said he wasn’t sure.

“If the impeachment vote does not go forward, I don’t know how you can claim complete vindication if you’ve got relevant people with relevant information who never had a chance to testify,” Wagner stated.

“The one thing Americans know from first-hand experience or watching TV is that, in a trial, you present your witness and present documents. If people who were in the room are not given a chance to testify, not just Bolton but Mulvaney, if the president’s version of the facts is true, have Mulvaney testify,” he said.

Wagner also was asked whether Senate Republicans fear Trump more than they do Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).