President Donald Trump was acquitted of both articles of impeachment—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—Wednesday in the U.S. Senate.
As expected, the final vote was along partisan lines—52-48 favoring acquittal on the abuse of power article, and 53-47 favoring acquittal on the obstruction of Congress article. Even with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) making history as the first U.S. senator to vote to convict a President from his own party, the final numbers fell short of the two-thirds majority guilty votes needed to convict Trump and remove him from office.
The articles stem from a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During that call, Trump pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden for allegedly encouraging the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who had been investigating Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, which previously employed Hunter Biden.
William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified in a closed-door deposition with Democrats that the White House threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine until they agreed to investigate Trump’s political adversaries. The meeting lasted for 10 hours.
Trump is only the third U.S. president to be formally impeached, the other two being Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were both acquitted by the Senate, ESSENCE previously reported. President Richard Nixon also faced a formal impeachment inquiry, but resigned before he could be formally impeached.
Though he tried to appear professional during his propaganda-laced SOTU address Tuesday night, following the impeachment trial findings, the president is back to his normal antics, tweeting, “I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!”
Trump could become the first president in history to be re-elected after being impeached.