Trump Acquitted on Both Impeachment Articles
- Senate votes in Trump’s favor
- Mitt Romney, the only senator to vote against party lines
- Trump achieves personal highest approval figures
On Wednesday, the Senate acquitted US President Donald Trump on both impeachment articles. The vote was 52-48 in Trump’s favor for abuse of power, and 53-47 on obstructing Congress.
Trump will now be the first president who was impeached to run for office again. He could also become the first impeached president to be re-elected.
The Senate voted against removing Trump from office. If he had been convicted, Vice President Mike Pence would have replaced him until the election of a new president.
Trump maintains innocence throughout
President Trump always maintained his innocence. His re-election campaign made a statement, indicating that he had been vindicated. It also said it was “time to get back to the business of the American people.”
It added that the only option the “do-nothing Democrats” had was to impeach, as they couldn’t beat Trump. “This impeachment hoax will go down as the worst miscalculation in American political history,” the statement continued.
This might be quite accurate considering that Trump’s approval rating rose significantly this week. In fact, at 49% according to a Gallup poll, it’s the highest approval rating Trump has ever had.
How did the vote go?
As was to be expected, most senators voted along party lines, even those considered swing-voters. Mitt Romney, a Republican and the Senator of Utah, was the only one to vote against party lines.
Romney chose to convict Trump on the charge of abuse of power. However, he acquitted on obstruction of Congress. The reason was that the Democrats didn’t address the legal issues the White House brought up concerning the subpoenas.
Some Republicans have been critical of Trump’s actions. However, they’ve said that those actions weren’t serious enough to warrant impeachment.
Two-thirds of the Senate would have had to vote against Trump for him to be removed from office. This was unlikely to happen, considering that the Republicans hold the majority.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, talked to reporters after the vote. He said the was certain House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hadn’t wanted to go ahead with impeachment.
Trump supported McConnell’s statement by saying that the “radical” side of the Democrats had forced her hand. He went on to say she had made a grave mistake and created her own “worst nightmare.”
McConnell called the proceedings a “colossal political mistake.” He was also “perplexed”, as the Democrats had said the evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing was obvious and overwhelming. However, it was clear they needed more evidence and more witnesses desperately.
The White House reacts
As was to be expected, the White House issued a statement that President Trump had been exonerated and fully vindicated. They also accused the Democrats of engaging in a witch hunt fueled by lies.
“Rep. Adam Schiff lied to Congress and the American people with a totally made-up statement about the President’s phone call. Will there be no retribution?” the statement asked.
The White House also accused the Democrats of trying to overturn 2016’s election, as well as influencing 2020’s election.
Tensions in Washington escalate
Though the result of the vote had been expected, it still led to escalating tensions in Washington, D.C. After President Trump held Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Nancy Pelosi was so furious, she ripped up his speech.
Before the vote, McConnell said everyone should be wary of “truly dangerous” Democratic partisans. He stated that they seemed committed to taking down any institution that didn’t produce the results they wanted.
McConnell said, “This partisan impeachment will end today. But, I fear the threat to our institutions may not. Normally, when a party loses an election, it accepts defeat. But not this time.”
After the vote, the Senate returned to business as usual. They approved a number of Trump’s judicial nominees and undertook new oversight.