On February 5th, US President Donald Trump was acquitted from both articles of impeachment against him.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2020
Voting largely along party lines, the senators found Trump not guilty of the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, by a 52-48 tally, and not guilty of the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, by a 53-47 tally.
The only exception was US Senator Mitt Romney, who was the first senator in US history to vote against a sitting president from his own party. Romney voted “guilty” on article 1, for abuse of power, and “not guilty” on article 2, for obstruction of Congress.
“I support a great deal of what the president has done,” Romney said on the Senate floor. “But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside.
“The president is guilty of a flagrant abuse of public trust … Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”
Trump didn’t take that lightly and has been going off on Romney on Twitter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2020
Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election. Read the Transcripts!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2020
Trump became the third president in US history to be impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted in a Senate trial. A two-thirds majority of 67 senators would have been required to remove him.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided at the two-week trial, thanked the senators for their patience “as I attempted to carry out ill-defined responsibilities in an unfamiliar setting”.
“You have been generous hosts, and I look forward to seeing you again under happier circumstances,” Roberts said as the trial concluded.
Republicans maintained that impeaching Trump would be a mistake and that voters should be let to express their opinion in the polls in November 2020.
Democrats immediately countered by accusing Trump of “finding a way” to tamper in the 2020 elections, alleging that he (or those around him) tampered in the 2016, despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller finding no evidence of any such thing.
“When the framers wrote the constitution, they didn’t think someone like me would serve as a United States senator,” said Democrat Kamala Harris of California, who is the first senator of Indian or Jamaican ancestry.
“But they did envision someone like Donald Trump being president of the United States. Someone who thinks he is above the law and that rules don’t apply to him. So they made sure our democracy had the tool of impeachment to stop that kind of abuse of power.”
In the week of the impeachment vote, a Gallup poll showed Trump’s approval ratings at a personal best of 49%. The Democrats also had an issue in the Iowa caucus; thus, they’re not making themselves any favors.
In speeches in the Senate, Democrat after Democrat portrayed the imminent acquittal not as a vindication for Trump, but as a condemnation for the Senate.
“This is not an exoneration of Donald Trump,” said Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. “It is a failure to show moral courage and hold this president accountable.”
The empty accusations, the lack of witnesses with any first-hand knowledge, as well as the evident fanaticism in the actions of Democrats played right into the hands of the Republicans.
The all-star witness former US National Security Adviser John Bolton did not testify, and even the things he was presumed to say were allegedly to change anything, since they were also unsubstantial.
Democrats plan to continue, despite the impeachment now history. They reportedly plan to subpoena John Bolton, who has been enjoying some of the limelight and dropping hints that he knows something of significance.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, speaking to CNN, said “I think it’s likely, yes” that their inquiries would continue and that a subpoena for Bolton was also “likely”.
Thus, the state of US political system is such that the Democrats refuse to even partake in actual policy-making, but are rather dead set on attempting to discredit Trump, and are accusing the legitimacy of the US Senate, simply because they’re not the majority in it.
In a draft for an upcoming book Bolton allegedly wrote, according to the New York Times, that Trump had instructed him in May of 2018 to call the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to ensure that he would meet with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who was leading the push for the politically motivated investigations. The directive came during a meeting in which Giuliani, White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and White House lawyer Pat Cipollone were in attendance.
The White House has since said Bolton’s book, which he submitted for required review, contained classified information and could not be published without revisions.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
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