UPDATE: In a speech on Thursday, President Donald Trump celebrated his Senate acquittal by thanking his attorneys and members of Congress who supported him: “Today is the day we celebrate these great warriors.” Trump called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, both California Democrats who spearheaded the impeachment effort, and former FBI Director James Comey “vicious and mean.” He also accused former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden of corruption for the lucrative job the younger Biden landed with a Ukrainian natural gas company.
OUR EARLIER REPORT (02/05/20, 5:43 p.m.): WASHINGTON—By a mostly party-line vote, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday rejected the Democrats’ attempt to impeach President Donald Trump, putting to rest the inquiry and trial that has dogged his administration the past few months. The number of guilty votes on both articles of impeachment fell far below the 67-vote threshold for removal from office. Forty-eight senators voted to convict the president of the charge in the first article, abuse of power. The second article, obstruction of Congress, garnered only 47 votes.
Were there any surprises? Only Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, bucked his party and cast a vote to remove Trump from office on the first article. He said House Democrats did not have a legitimate case to argue Trump obstructed Congress because they had not fought to secure testimony through the courts. Three moderate Democrats, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Doug Jones of Alabama, all announced shortly before the vote they would vote with their party.
The Trump campaign said the acquittal means Trump is “totally vindicated.” “This impeachment hoax will go down as the worst miscalculation in American political history,” said Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager.
Democrats might not be finished in their investigation into the president’s dealings with Ukraine. CNN reported Wednesday that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said he likely will subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton recently went public with allegations that Trump told him he wanted to withhold military aid to Ukraine until the country agreed to announce corruption investigations against Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.
Dig deeper: Read my article in The Stew on how House Democrats’ decision to impeach Trump could backfire politically.
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