GOP senators warned they are on trial during impeachment — by one of their former colleagues
Composite image of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) via screengrabs

Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) warned his former colleagues they are on trial with how they conduct themselves during Donald Trump's impeachment.


Flake wrote an open letter to his former colleagues that was published in The Washington Post on Friday.

"I don’t envy you," Flake wrote. "It might not be fair, but none of the successes, achievements and triumphs you’ve had in public office — whatever bills you’ve passed, hearings you’ve chaired, constituents you have had the privilege of helping — will matter more than your actions in the coming months."

"President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong," he warned.

"Regarding the articles of impeachment, you could reasonably conclude that the president’s actions warrant his removal. You might also determine that the president’s actions do not rise to the constitutional standard required for removal. There is no small amount of moral hazard with each option, but both positions can be defended," he explained. "But what is indefensible is echoing House Republicans who say that the president has not done anything wrong. He has."

"The willingness of House Republicans to bend to the president’s will by attempting to shift blame with the promotion of bizarre and debunked conspiracy theories has been an appalling spectacle. It will have long-term ramifications for the country and the party, to say nothing of individual reputations," Flake argued. "If there ever was a time to put country over party, it is now. And by putting country over party, you might just save the Grand Old Party before it’s too late."