Politics

Senate Acquits Trump on Both Articles of Impeachment

The Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment on Feb. 5, ending the third impeachment trial in U.S. history.

The Senators voted along party lines to acquit the president of the two charges against him: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Senators voted 52-48 on the first article of impeachment and 53-47 on the second article of impeachment.

“The Senate, having tried Donald Trump, president of the United States, upon two articles of impeachment exhibited against him by the House of Representatives, and two-thirds of the senators present not having found him guilty of the charges contained therein: it is, therefore, ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles,” Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said.

None of the Democrats voted to acquit the president on either article. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) broke with his party to vote to convict Trump of abuse of power.

“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” Romney said on the Senate floor before the final vote. “What the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”

Romney and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were the only Republicans to vote in favor of calling additional witnesses days before the final vote. Collins voted to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment.

“This decision is not about whether you like or dislike this president,” Collins said before the vote.

The Senates vote capped off four months of proceedings that began with an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 24 last year. Following a rapid inquiry in the House, Democrats impeached the president in a partisan vote on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“The United States Senate was made for moments like this,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor of the Senate before the final vote. “The Framers predicted that factional fever might dominate House majorities from time to time. They knew the country would need a firewall to keep partisan flames from scorching our Republic.”

Acquittal in the trial was all but assured with Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Senate while 67 votes are necessary to remove the president.

In a speech before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) accused the Republicans of covering up for the president.

“The House managers established the president abused the great power of his office to try to cheat in an election and the Senate majority is poised to look the other way,” Schumer said.

During the Senate trial, Democrat impeachment managers accused Trump of abusing the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including former vice president Joe Biden. The Democrats alleged the president leveraged a hold on $400 million in aid to Ukraine to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to do his bidding and that once Congress began investigating the alleged scheme, Trump obstructed the inquiry.

Trumps attorneys, led by White House Counsel Pat Cippolone, argued that the Democrats failed to prove their case, highlighting the lack of first-hand witnesses who could back up the claims.

Throughout the impeachment inquiry and Senate trial, Trump slammed the proceedings as a partisan “hoax.” The president has pointed to the transcript of his July 25 call with Zelensky as the ultimate evidence of his innocence.

On the call, Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” the firing of Ukraines top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. Two weeks before Shokin was pressured to submit his resignation, his office had seized the assets of Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma. At the time, Hunter Biden, Joe Bidens son, held a lucrative position on the board of directors of Burisma. Joe Biden has since bragged, on multiple occasions, that he forced Shokins firing by withholding $1 billion in aid to Ukraine.

While Joe and Hunter Biden have denied any wrongdoing, Hunter Biden admitted he exercised poor judgement by joining the board while his father was vice president. Joe Biden on Sunday also conceded when asked during an interview with NBCs “Today Show” that it was a “bad image.”

“Yeah. And my son said that,” Biden said.

Former national security adviser John Bolton added a twist to the trial when claims from his unpubRead More – Source

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