Feb 6 2020
Donald Trump was yesterday acquitted by the United States Senate in an impeachment trial after the president drew strong Republican support to defeat effort to expel him from office.
The Democrats, who initiated the impeachment trial following allegations that Trump had pressured Ukraine to help his re-election effort rejected the acquittal as a “valueless” outcome of an unfair trial.
Republicans in the Senate voted to clear Trump of the power abuse charges by 52 to 48, and of obstruction of Congress, by 53 to 47.
“Two thirds of the senators present not having found him guilty of the charges contained therein, it is therefore ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over the trial.
Trump is only the third US president who had faced an impeachment trial, with the others being Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.
Responding to Trump’s acquittal, Congress speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Republicans who were supporting Trump in the Senate have “normalized lawlessness.”
“Sadly, because of the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution, the president remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to,” she said.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said the acquittal was “virtually valueless” since Republicans refused witnesses and evidence at the trial, which had never happened before at any impeachment trial.
The evidence among others showed that Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and a close political ally, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, were scheming from early 2019 to pressure Kiev to help smear Democrats, including Trump’s potential 2020 rival Joe Biden, by opening investigations into them.