Senate overwhelmingly acquitted President Trump on both articles of impeachment against him Wednesday afternoon following a quick trial, during a historic rejection of Democrats’ claims that the president’s Ukraine dealings and handling of congressional subpoenas merited his immediate removal from office.
Several Congressional Democrats were dejected on Capitol Hill late Wednesday, whilst they said they hoped to weaponize the acquittal votes by several moderate Republicans in swing states.
“We all knew how this was going,” one senior House Democratic source. “But everyone’s depressed.
Especially thanks to Iowa,” where the first-in-the-nation caucuses are suffering from mismanagement.
Another Democratic source also said that impeachment “went also because it could go.
” There was significant consternation among House Democrats about heading down the impeachment road within the tiniest amount over the summer, but Democratic leaders felt that that that that that they had to urge before the impeachment movement and embrace it – or they’ll are steamrolled by the progressive wing of the party.
GALLUP POLL SHOWS TRUMP, GOP APPROVAL AT HIGHEST RECORDED LEVELS AMID
impeachment the last word vote, all Democratic senators supported convicting the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, including swing-vote moderate Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Doug Jones, D-Ala.
The only party defection was on the abuse of power charge from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who declared hours before the last word vote that Trump had engaged in as “destructive an attack on the oath of office and our Constitution as I can imagine.” Romney voted acquitted on the obstruction charge.
By a final vote of 52-48 against conviction on the abuse of power charge and 53-47 against conviction on the obstruction charge, the Senate fell far in need of the two-thirds, 67-vote supermajority needed to convict and deduct the president. Swing-vote Republican senators — including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee — voted to acquit on both counts.
The separate obstruction of Congress charge concerned the White House’s assertion of executive privilege and refusal to suits congressional subpoenas. Romney explained he would acquit on the obstruction count, saying House Democrats had chosen to not answer the White House’s legal arguments against the subpoenas.
After the judge of us John Roberts formally declared Trump acquitted, Senate legislator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. presented him with the “Golden Gavel” award as a thank-you for his service. Former judge of us Rehnquist received an equivalent award, which is typically presented to freshmen senators after long hours presiding over the body, for his handling of President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial.
“I anticipate seeing you all again under happier circumstances,” Roberts said as he concluded his remarks and ready to depart the chamber.
Speaking to reporters after the vote, McConnell noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had resisted involves impeachment from the party’s progressive wing before finally caving — and said she should have trusted her “instincts.
“”I’m pretty sure she didn’t want to undertake to this,” McConnell said, concerning Pelosi’s lengthy reluctance to initiate impeachment proceedings. Trump before the Super Bowl, made a consistent argument, saying the “radical” wing of the Democratic Party had pushed her into making a grave mistake and realizing her “Vaguely Unpleasant nightmare.
“McConnell also said he was “perplexed” by Democrats’ arguments that the evidence against Trump was overwhelming and obvious, but at an equivalent time, more witnesses and evidence were desperately needed.
He called the proceedings a “thoroughly political exercise,” and added that ironically, Pelosi was right “in the beginning” when she didn’t want to travel down this path.
“This was a political loser for them,” McConnell said. “At least within the short-term, this has been a huge political mistake.
“A Gallup poll released within the week showed record-high approval numbers for Trump and thus the Republican Party generally, suggesting the impeachment proceedings may have backfired politically for Democrats. The Republican Party’s approval numbers were at their highest since 2005, and Trump’s were the very Most Unexceptional of his presidency.
Reaction from other Republicans was ebullient. Trump, on Twitter, reposted a mock Time magazine cover implying he would never quit .
Trump added: “I am becoming to be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to debate our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!
“After his acquittal by the Senate in 1999, Clinton came out of the White House alone and apologized for his conduct which led to his impeachment — a scene not expected now around.
Later within the evening, Trump wrote, “Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted equivalent energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election. Read the Transcripts!
“The White House asserted that the “sham impeachment attempt concocted by Democrats led to the whole vindication and exoneration of President Donald J. Trump,” and slammed Romney as “one failed Republican presidential candidate.”
“In what has now become a uniform tradition for Democrats, this was yet one more witch-hunt that deprived the President of his due process of law of law of law rights and was supported a series of lies,” the White House said. “Rep. Adam Schiff lied to Congress and thus the American people with a completely made-up statement about the President’s call. Will there be no retribution?”
The White House continued: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi also lied to the American people about the necessity to swiftly pass impeachment articles they dreamt up, only to wish a seat on them for a month before sending over to the Senate. within the Senate, the Democrats continued to form their political motivations clear – Rep. Schiff proclaimed the problems ‘can not be decided at the ballot box’ – proving once more they think they know better than the voters of this country. this whole effort by the Democrats was aimed toward overturning the results of the 2016 election and interfering with the 2020 election“.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a thorough Trump ally, celebrated the very best of the “partisan-driven impeachment” that has “done injury to the office of the presidency and was an injustice to President Trump“.
“As I said after the Clinton impeachment trial, the Senate has spoken and thus the cloud over the presidency has been removed. I meant it then and mean it now,” Graham said during a handout. “Unfortunately, I doubt my Democratic colleagues, who are being driven by unlimited hatred of President Trump, have the power to maneuver on. The president was acquitted today by the Senate and should be exonerated by the American people in November when he’s reelected to a second term“.
And, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Emmer quickly issued his own a statement saying he was “pleased” by the result.
“This should finally slam the door on the sick obsession these socialist Democrats have with harassing President Trump and his family,” Emmer said. “Nancy Pelosi must learn some self-control by suppressing her hatred of President Trump, so she goes to finally start getting things finished the American people“.
Former Senate legislator Trent Lott, meanwhile he was “disappointed” in Romney’s vote against the president. Lott served within the Senate during Clinton’s impeachment trial, said he had “showed up just just just in case they needed a reserve vote“.
“Was this jealousy? ” Lott asked, concerning Romney’s vote. “He tried to steer the party. Now he can’t even be a neighborhood of the party“.
Murkowski, however, she said she respected Romney’s decision in which he belonged within the GOP. “I think each folk had to return to our own place which I respect his decision,” she said. “I respect the difficulties that I do know he went through as he processed it, but I absolutely respect where he ended up“.
Sen. Chris Murphy , D-Conn., that “Romney’s speech will go down together of the foremost important within the Senate. There’s still honor during this place“.
While the last word result had been expected for months, the tactic brought a series of surprises and heightened animosity to Washington — exemplified dramatically during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, during which Pelosi furiously ripped up the president’s speech upon its conclusion.
Ahead of the vote, Republican and Democratic leaders referenced those tensions as they addressed the Senate. McConnell warned of “truly dangerous” Democratic partisans, saying they enforce taking down institutions that don’t produce the outcomes they desire.
“This partisan impeachment will end today,” McConnell said. “But, I fear the threat to our institutions won’t. Normally, when a celebration loses an election, it accepts defeat. … But not now“.
Instead, McConnell went on, top Democrats — including Hillary Clinton and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. — have already preemptively challenged the validity of the 2020 presidential election, and blamed their loss on unsubstantiated claims that the president’s campaign colluded with Russians.
Perhaps, McConnell mused, Pelosi would “tear up” the Senate acquittal like she tore up the State of the Union address the night before.
Minutes earlier, Senate legislator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., slammed the Senate trial as a “kangaroo court” and a “sham“.
Pelosi formally announced the start of impeachment proceedings last September, although freshmen and high-ranking Democrats, commentators, and even the Ukraine whistleblower’s attorney had urgently involved the president’s removal for for for much longer.
The House of Representatives then voted to impeach the president by majority vote last December, with no Republicans supporting impeachment and sort of other Democrats opposing it. After a weekslong delay, the House transmitted the articles of impeachment to the GOP-controlled Senate.
There are 20 impeachments in U.S. history, mostly involving federal judges, and eight removals. No president has ever been convicted and removed by the Senate.
As the dust settled on Capitol Hill, the Senate quickly returned to normal business — approving several of the president’s judicial nominees, and undertaking new oversight.
Minutes after the vote, Senate Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., announced during a letter they’re seeking “records of Hunter Biden’s travel while he was under the U.S. us the United States Secret Service protection as they still investigate potential conflicts of interest to spice up his business ventures in Ukraine and China“.
The request underscored the continuing importance of a matter in the middle of the impeachment proceedings — whether Hunter Biden, who obtained a lucrative role on the board of a Ukrainian company with no relevant experience while his father oversaw Ukraine policy as president, deserved the scrutiny Trump suggested in his fateful July 25 call with Ukraine’s new president.