Former Arizona GOP Senator Jeff Flake, who was one of the few Republicans to critique Donald Trump during his tenure, called on his former Republican colleagues to do the right thing and “put country over party” when the time comes to serve as jurors in Trump’s Senate trial.
Flake wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post telling Republicans he used to serve with in the Senate, “I don’t envy you…. President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong.”
The former senator urges Senate Republicans to “remember yourself at your most idealistic.”
“We are conservatives,” Flake writes. “The political impulses that compelled us all to enter public life were defined by sturdy pillars anchored deep in the American story. Chief among these is a realistic view of power and of human nature, and a corresponding and healthy mistrust of concentrated and impervious executive power. Mindful of the base human instincts that we all possess, the founders of our constitutional system designed its very architecture to curb excesses of power.”
Flake urges his former colleagues to evaluate all the evidence and make their judgment in a fair manner and not based on their political party.
“My simple test for all of us: what if President Barack Obama had engaged in precisely the same behavior?,” Flake asserts. “I know the answer to that question with certainty, and so do you. You would have understood with striking clarity the threat it posed, and you would have known exactly what to do.”
Flake warns Senate Republicans, “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.”
The conservative ex-senator concludes his op-ed by stressing to Senate Republicans that history will judge the GOP by their actions.
“If there ever was a time to put country over party, it is now,” Flake emphasizes. “And by putting country over party, you might just save the Grand Old Party before it’s too late.”
You can read the entire op-ed HERE.