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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business this morning to discuss the Senate’s second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, as well as the National Guard presence at the U.S. Capitol. Excerpts and links are below. 

On the Constitutional Standard for Impeachment:

“The president's lawyers made an adequate case - not as splashy, perhaps as the managers’ - still an adequate case so I stand by that. I do think the hill managers have to climb very steep, very high, and not just because at least 44 of us think this is an unconstitutional exercise altogether. The line between criminal liability and firing up a crowd is a pretty tough cause and effect to make for insurrection.”

“Last night the whole thing kicked off with a 12 minute video of just a highlight reel, if you will, of the disgusting things that were taking place in the Capitol on January 6, but that still doesn't get to constitutional question nor does it get to the link with the President. It’s just confirmation that a lot of bad people did really bad things should all be held accountable. … It might play well on tv, but it’s not going to in the court room of a hundred senators.”

On the House’s Impeachment Process:

“I think frankly one of the best points that Mr. Schoen made last night was related to some of this, particularly related to what is really at stake here. For example, why did the Nancy Pelosi, after a snap impeachment, wait several days to send the articles over? Was it so we could have this delay so the Chief Justice wouldn’t be in the chair with the president, but rather the President Pro Temp with a former president? There are lots of questions that need to be answer here, but the other point he made was, why didn't they wait for investigation? Why did they go straight to snap judgment? Why didn't wait to see how much of this was planned out, how much of it was spontaneous, how much of it was inspired by the president versus weeks of planning? I think the more we learn in the investigations, the more it will become clear that this was not President Donald Trump's doing.”

On the National Guard Presence at the Capitol:

“As a member of the Armed Services Committee, it concerns me greatly we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars every week on defending the Capitol with military personnel, when we are already struggling to keep our military adequately funded, particularly with an administration that would like to cut it, so that is a problem. I am grateful for every single soldier that’s here, for every police officer here, for every bit of protection we have, and I wish we had more January 6.”

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Senator Cramer also talked to Hallie Jackson, Katy Tur, and Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC Live this morning about the arguments being made in this impeachment trial and the process that led to it. Excerpts and links are below.

On How Senator Cramer Expects to Vote: 

“This is a really important question for a juror, realizing impeachment is more political, at least more political than a typical civil or criminal jury. First of all, I never start with the presumption of guilt. That's only appropriate given our Constitution and traditions. So I presume innocence. That being said, I think the hill is steep. It’s supposed to be steep. It's designed to be a steep hill. Unless I'm convinced otherwise, I expect the President will get my vote for acquittal and will get acquitted. That being said, there's a reason why they have 16 hours to make their case – they being the House Managers – and why, of course, the President's defense gets to rebut that.”

On the Standard for Impeachment: 

“I think [the House Managers] will spend a lot of time, like they did last night, demonstrating an awful thing happened on January 6 and a lot of people did awful things and need to be held to account for it. But the question is, what's the President's level of culpability? There's a standard for that. Inciting is a pretty strong stretch from everything I have seen to this point.”

On the House’s Impeachment Process:

“This was a fast, really snap impeachment, after which the Speaker of the House withheld the Articles of Impeachment, sent them over late in the President's term to the Senate. So it's a much more political process. I think a much cleaner process would be in a criminal court, if in fact they think they have a case to be made. So it's not like you can't be convicted; This is just the wrong forum. … Nancy Pelosi could have sent the articles of impeachment over much sooner as well and chose not to do that. I think one of the relevant points the defense team made, Mr. Schoen made the point, why did she wait?”

On the Senate Schedule:

“The other thing I would say about your point that about nothing is being held up: it actually is being held up. The Senate cannot deal with anything. We cannot deal with anything other than this impeachment. So we're not going to have a vote on anything. We're not going to be able to vote on budget reconciliation. Nancy Pelosi sent the House home for an extra week. Things are being held up and delayed.”

On a Censure:

“I would have considered it prior to this but this isn't the route the Democrats chose. As we can always count on, they went too far and overreached, and they have to live with that. So I wouldn't at this point.”

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