Wyden talks impeachment, new NAFTA, Saudi Arabia

Politics

This is the second presidential impeachment trial Wyden has been a part of

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden visited the KOIN 6 studio on Friday to discuss the latest on Capitol Hill.

The conversation focused heavily on the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Wyden was present in the U.S. Senate when House managers delivered the article of impeachment on Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects the Senate trial to begin next Tuesday.

This is the second time Wyden has taken an oath for a presidential impeachment trial. He was a young senator when former President Bill Clinton was impeached.

“It is such a sobering moment because we all know this is so rare in our 200-plus years of self-governance,” Wyden said on Friday. “This was an oath about impartiality and all I could think about was the founding fathers would want the Senate to work for a just outcome, not a political outcome.”

Many have questioned whether the trial can be truly impartial.

“On something of this magnitude, the founding fathers were clear: they said, ‘You’ve got to put country first.’ That is how I’ll pursue my duties as a juror,” Wyden said.

Switching gears, Wyden was asked to comment on Saudi Arabia and its alleged involvement in aiding Saudi fugitives fleeing justice in the United States.

“The findings are really specific in two areas,” Wyden said. “Number one, the FBI believes with high confidence that the Saudi government has actually been helping these individuals charged with crimes get out. Second, the FBI believes that if the Trump administration doesn’t step in and make it clear to the Saudis that this has to stop, it will continue.

“The Saudis are supposed to be our allies but I’ll tell you, on my watch, they’re not going to be above the law,” he added.

Wyden also talked about the so-called “new NAFTA” trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

“Now, we’re protecting our intellectual property from it being stolen and also what’s called Section 230 so our small businesses have a chance to grow.

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