Commentary, Trump Administration

As Burr dismisses Bolton as hearsay, NC’s senior senator disappoints

The Winston-Salem Journal admonishes Senator Richard Burr in its Wednesday editorial, for Burr’s quick dismissal of witnesses and further evidence in the Trump impeachment trial.

Appearing on a radio show hosted by former Republican Governor Pat McCrory, Senator Burr made it clear his mind is already made up and he would not vote to remove Trump from office.

As the Winston-Salem Journal goes on to explain:

Burr is entitled to his opinion. Some will applaud his support for the president.

Even so, this assessment, before the trial is even concluded, is deeply disappointing. He has announced his verdict before the trial has even ended — and before final decisions have been made about witnesses and documents. Whether he concludes he is for or against Trump’s removal, he should wait until the trial has ended. He might learn something yet.

As chair of the Intelligence Committee, Burr is in a unique position to understand the implications of using military aid to Ukraine as a bargaining chip.

Ukraine is in a war against Russia, which poses a major threat to the security of both Europe and the U.S. Trump’s delay of critical assistance usurped the power of Congress and, according to the Government Accountability Office, violated the law.

Further, enlisting a foreign government to interfere in a U.S. election muddies that “sacred thing.” Are these really such trivial actions?

 

And should Bolton’s witness be so easily dismissed as hearsay? He’s actually one of the firsthand witnesses Republicans have demanded we need.

In referring to the future, Burr echoed the claim from Trump’s legal defenders that if Trump were impeached for such, as he sees them, flimsy misdeeds, every future president is likely to be impeached.

The Democrats, on the other hand, have suggested that if Trump is not removed from office, no president will ever be removed for anything, no matter how criminal or immoral.

Neither statement is likely to be 100% accurate, but which outcome is riskier? Is it truly a danger that future presidents will have to watch their behavior to remain within legal and moral standards to avoid impeachment?

A Winston-Salem resident who attended Wake Forest University and maintains local ties, Burr has often been seen, by the Journal and others, as a level-headed moderate with the ability to put party aside for the good of the country. He has earned a reputation, through his work chairing the Intelligence Committee and his friendship with Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat, for sobriety and bipartisanship. He’s served many causes we support, including nature conservancy and environmental protection. He has resisted some of the more extreme positions and offensive attitudes that have flowered under the Trump administration.

A decision to keep Trump in power isn’t one that’s going to destroy his legacy.

But if, as some predict, Trump sees acquittal as permission to engage in even more extreme behavior, Burr will be remembered as an enabler.

Read the full editorial here.

25 Comments


  1. Stewart

    January 29, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    If Burr is dismissing Bolton’s statements as hearsay, then he’s an idiot who doesn’t understand the meaning of the term (or he’s willfully misconstruing it for others.) What Bolton would presumably say as a witness is direct testimony. If he’d been told by someone other than Trump what Trump had said on the subject, that could be construed as hearsay, but testifying to what someone directly told you of their motive is not.

  2. Pat Taylor

    January 29, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    I am a NC resident. Burr does not represent me. He represents his own personal agenda and is unaccessible to the people of NC. Very difficult to communicate views to him (through email….form letter response, through phone call…not acknowleged). Same goes for NC Representative Tillis. I will be voting for a replacement for them both…

  3. Diane

    January 29, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    From a reality show called “Flip my obligations to the constitution and America’s laws”.
    Not surprised but disappointed.
    Hope he can identify disappointment after next election opportunity.

  4. Ruth Bell

    January 29, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    I am watching all of my N.C. Politicians and my heart is heavy! I have always voted the person not the party! I simply am amazed that not one has the strength to stand up for us! Shame on you and the others! I pray there are others like me who will try to change Washington! Sad times in American History!??

  5. Sam

    January 29, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    His dad was a stand-up guy, and would be so disappointed at what a coward his son has become. What is he hoping to get after leaving the Senate? An ambassador position? A high-paying lobbyist position? Makes no sense that he’d sell his soul for Trump.

  6. Peter Z.

    January 29, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Stewart is exactly right. A witness who engaged in a conversation can testify as to what was said in that conversation. The trier of fact may find the witness credible or not, but under no rule of evidence would Bolton’s testimony as to what trump said to him be deemed hearsay. How can a United States Senator be so obtuse?

  7. Eileen

    January 30, 2020 at 9:09 am

    I am so upset that our Senators are caring more about politics than their state voters. I will never vote for a NC senator’s again. Hope they both lose their next election.

  8. Ginger Gibbs

    January 30, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I am so disappointed in Senator Burr

  9. Tom Stewart

    January 30, 2020 at 10:40 am

    The effort to block witnesses by the GOP will be remembered by America and history.. If they can buy into anything Trump and defend it, they are corrupt to the bone. Self interest and party above country us their new creed.
    BTW, I try to communicate with Burr, Tillis and Meadows, crickets.

  10. Tammy

    January 30, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Let’s let Me Burr know that we do care about crooks in our government by voting him out in November.

  11. William Peterson

    January 30, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    No moral courage…there is still an opportunity to vote for witnesses. Stand up and vote as your constituents demand.

  12. Jeff Reinhart

    January 31, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Disappointed in the above comments. Anyone with a brain, the ability to discern, AND who watched the entirely of the inpeachment trial in its entirety, knows what a sham case the Democrats put forth. Thank God there were adults in the room like Senator Burr.

    The good news is that this farce will reward the Democrats with what exactly what they deserve, and what our great nation needs in November.

    Reserve your safe spaces early…

  13. Gary mckinna

    January 31, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Sad day he made a decision before he heard all the evidence. Time for him to come home and stay away from givernment

  14. Larry

    January 31, 2020 at 11:41 am

    The Democrats called, not subpoenaed, but called 18
    Witnesses in the house and only released Snippets of
    testimony from 17 of them – they called that fair!

    The Democrats investigated and took testimony
    without allowing the president or the president’s
    representatives to cross-examine or present their
    side of the story for 71 of the 78 days of the
    impeachment inquiry- they called that fair!

    The Democrats have stated that they have proven
    beyond a shadow of a doubt the president
    committed impeachable crimes, yet, there was no
    criminal accusations within the two articles of
    impeachment, and, now they’re saying that they
    need to call Witnesses in the Senate and have
    claimed it would be unfair not too! How do they claim
    that they have absolute proof of wrongdoing and the
    president needs to be impeached and removed from
    office out of one side of their mouths, and then claim
    that they need more witnesses to prove wrongdoing
    on the part of the president and needs to be impeached
    and removed from office out of the other side of their
    mouths

  15. Rick Gilmore

    January 31, 2020 at 11:45 am

    If his actions upset this newspaper’s editorial staff and the posters above then he’s on point with what he said. Cry on libs!

  16. Patella

    January 31, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    We will not vote for you again! The whole world is watching…

  17. Mary

    January 31, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    So disgusted with this Senate. We vote for you to represent US not to he president, not your donors and not yourself! The American people want hear witnesses and see documents. You will all be voted out next election if you don’t do what we hired you to do.

  18. Linda Morris

    January 31, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    I am so proud of Burr! I will be voting for him again!

  19. Fred brockway

    January 31, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Guess you’ve already forgotten that NO Republican representatives were allowed to call witnesses and this bullshit was ramrodded along party lines in the House of Representatives committees. Karma is a bitch.

  20. Thurmond Parks

    January 31, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    So disappointed with Burr! Have lost all respect! His disregard of all the witnesses that have come forth thus far ( putting their jobs in jeopardy) and no respect for their willingness to put America first. These witnesses upholding their oath of office. Saying Bolton’s testimony is hearsay is a cop out for not doing the right thing! Putting party over the good of the country! Wow!

  21. Mr&Mrs William Futrell

    January 31, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Way to go Senator Burr! You have our full support.Thank you for doing thr right thing!

  22. Shelton Barefoot

    January 31, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Senator Burr did the right thing on this. I don’t know where most of you get your information from. The Winston Salem paper is certainly not where I would recommend.

  23. Kenny T.

    February 1, 2020 at 12:49 am

    No you want to completely rip our nation apart with a unreliable witness. He will only say what the Democrats want him to say any what will make his book sells go up.

  24. Jim

    February 1, 2020 at 6:42 am

    He did exactly what he should have done. This impeachment was nothing but a sham brought to us by the Democrats! Great job sir. Let’s move on and replace our governor this year!

  25. Janice Smith

    February 1, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Good job Mr. Burr! You made the right choice.

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