‘Impeachment isn’t about one offense. It’s really about the character and ability and physical and mental fitness of the individual…’
But now, Feinstein is claiming the publication “misunderstood what I said,” noting that as impeachment works its way through the Senate she will do her best to “keep an open mind.”
The veteran San Francisco senator has never before been accused of breaking rank to side with her Republican colleagues. As ranking minority member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, she took a prominent role in the notorious 2018 efforts to derail Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh‘s conformation while denying due process to the accused judicial nominee.
Yet, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Feinstein told reporters the “people should judge” whether Trump is guilty.
“We are a republic,” she said. “We are based on the will of the people—the people should judge.”
Trump’s defense team has put forth a similar argument, noting that the alleged misconduct fails to meet the high standard for removal since the people themselves will have the opportunity to vote in November on whether they approve of the president’s actions.
However, Feinstein clarified on Wednesday that this doesn’t mean she will vote to acquit Trump.
“We’re not finished,” she said of impeachment.
The LA Times misunderstood what I said today. Before the trial I said I’d keep an open mind. Now that both sides made their cases, it’s clear the president’s actions were wrong. He withheld vital foreign assistance for personal political gain. That can’t be allowed to stand.
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 28, 2020
After Feinstein challenged the story, the Los Angeles Times stealth-edited its original headline from “Feinstein leans toward acquitting Trump,” to “Feinstein says she’s a maybe on acquitting Trump.”
In her interview with the Los Angeles Times, however, Feinstein did raise concerns about the way the House impeachment managers have presented the case against Trump.
“Impeachment isn’t about one offense,” she said. “It’s really about the character and ability and physical and mental fitness of the individual to serve the people, not themselves.”
The question is whether the Democrats’ case proves that about Trump, she continued.
The idea that the public should decide whether Trump remains in office is actually the opinion held by a majority of the American public.
Quinnipiac found in its latest poll that 48% oppose Trump’s removal from office, and 47% support it. And even among those voters who said they believe Trump did something wrong, a minority supports removing him from office, the poll found.