Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Donald Trump cleared in his impeachment trial-the vote by senator means he will stay in office.

Donald Trump has been acquitted in his Senate trial on both of the articles of impeachment he faced, ending the threat that he would be removed from office and concluding the impeachment process.

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.

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.

As the historic vote landed, Democrats protested Trump had not won a true acquittal because, in the words of Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, the trial was “a show trial”. The acquittal votes came after the chamber’s Republican majority defeated an effort to call witnesses at the trial who could have testified directly to Trump’s alleged misconduct.

Republican Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican to vote in favor of convicting Trump – and he became the only senator in history to vote to remove a president from his own party in an impeachment trial. Romney said he would vote in favor of article I, for abuse of power, and against article II, 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 was impeached for conditioning military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine on the announcement of a pair of investigations: one into his potential rival for the White House in the 2020 election, Joe Biden, and son Hunter Biden; and a second into a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, instead of Russia, was behind foreign tampering in the 2016 US election.

Credit: theguardian.com

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