President Trump Acquitted in Impeachment Trial
February 22, 2020
The primarily Republican Senate voted on President Trump’s acquittal on February 5, after the impending impeachment lasted for three months. Trump was tried for abuse of power in the executive branch and obstruction of Congress. The crux of the case against him was based on the allegation that he withheld military aid to Ukraine and coerced them to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Trump is sure that Hunter Biden was involved in some corruption while serving on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, when his father was Vice President. Shortly after being acquitted from both charges, Trump tweeted that he would deliver a statement, “our Country’s Victory on the Impeachment Hoax!”
In order for Trump to be removed from office, the Senate would have needed at least two-thirds of the votes to be against him. With the Republicans occupying 53 seats in the Senate, the odds of Trump being removed from office were very slim. Senators voted 52- 48 to acquit Trump on the abuse of power charge and 53-47 on the obstruction allegation.
As anticipated, each Democrat found the President guilty of both charges, and each Republican found Trump to be innocent, with the exception of Senator Mitt Romney.
Romney split his votes and chose to convict the president of abuse of power and acquit him of obstructing Congress, becoming the first Senator to vote to remove a president from his own party.
The Democrats were infuriated with the results of the trial, claiming them to be “a product of a self-interested cover-up by Republicans.”* Specific Democratic Senators in swing states could have their decision of conviction backfire on them because there is a possibility of their not being re-elected when the term is up.
The results of the impeachment trial could be credited to the Senate’s vote a few weeks ago to not allow additional witnesses to take the stand, especially former National Security Advisor John Bolton. This notion led many to criticize the impeachment process and declare it to be biased and corrupt. The mere fact that Trump was impeached is a rarity in American history; only two other presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, have ever been impeached.
As all eyes move to the upcoming election with the results of the trial in mind, many wonder how Trump’s impeachment will affect the election. Will the incumbent be reelected?
*From The New York Times