WASHINGTON—Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement upon voting “not guilty” in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump:
“My job as a senator and juror in an impeachment trial is not—NOT—to defend, excuse or explain anyone’s behavior—not the Capitol rioters’, not the Democrats’, not the president’s. My job is to evaluate the evidence.
“In my judgment, impeachment is not supposed to be political sport where one party seeks advantage over the other at the expense of the country.
“The merits of the Democrats’ case were not even close.
“The Democrats afforded the president no due process in the House—no hearings, no investigation, no right to be heard, no defense. No one is above the law, but no one is beneath it.
“Second, the president is no longer the president. We were asked to impeach a guy in Florida. The Democrats never proved jurisdiction.
“Third, the Democrats charged President Trump with inciting a riot through his speech, but then the Democrats introduced evidence that the riot was pre-planned. The Democrats disproved their own case.
“There are one or two things I think we can all agree on: The nut jobs who violated the Capitol on Jan. 6 should be prosecuted and jailed. There can be no justice without order. Political violence is wrong. Always. It was wrong on Jan. 6, and it was wrong during the riots this summer.
“Finally, both parties should be big tents, but those big tents should each have a big door to kick out extremists who exist on both sides.”