After two weeks of deliberation, the Senate impeachment trial has come to its conclusion. President Donald Trump will NOT be removed from office after being found not guilty on both charges.
The United States Senate decided today, February 5, to not remove impeached President Donald Trump, 73, from the Oval Office. After two weeks of arguments and testimonies from both sides of the aisle, the vote came almost completely down party lines. On the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, 48 Democrats and two Independents voted “guilty,” while 52 Republicans voted “not guilty.” On the second article, obstruction of Congress, 45 Democrats and two Independents voted “not guilty,” 53 Republicans voted “guilty.” With two thirds of Senate declaring him innocent, it’s official: Donald Trump will remain president through the entirety of his first term, which ends in November 2020.
Regardless of the outcome, this impeachment trial was historic. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced in a dramatic speech on the Senate floor just hours before the vote that he would be voting to convict, making this the first bipartisan vote to remove a president from office in United States history. During Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson‘s impeachment trials, no Democrats voted to convict. “I think the case was made,” Romney told The New York Times ahead of his speech, adding that Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.” He continued: “I believe that attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made. And for that reason, it is a high crime and misdemeanor, and I have no choice under the oath that I took but to express that conclusion.”
The vote comes six days after the Senate voted against allowing witnesses to testify. Senator Lamar Alexander‘s 11th hour proclamation that he would vote against hearing new witnesses effectively sealed that deal; former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was in the room during Trump’s Ukraine call, said he was willing to testify if subpoenaed. “I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense,” Senator Alexander (R-TN) tweeted on January 30.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on December, 18, 2019. The charges stemmed from his attempt to convince Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for military aid. Trump has vehemently denied that anything egregious happened during the “perfect phone call” to Zelensky, though recordings of their conversation proved otherwise. The question during the Senate trial remained: was the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress enough to remove the president from office?
While Trump will still go down as the third president to be impeached in United States history, this means that he will remain in office for the rest of his first term. He’s also still able to run for president in the 2020 election. Speaking of which — if you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can do so using the form below.