US President Donald Trump won impeachment acquittal in the US Senate on Wednesday. With Chief Justice John Roberts presiding, senators sworn to do “impartial justice” stood at their desks to state their votes for the roll call – “guilty” or “not guilty” – in a swift tally almost exclusively along party lines. Visitors, including the president’s allies, watched from the crowded gallery. Roberts read the declaration that Trump “be, and is hereby, acquitted of the charges.”
The outcome Wednesday followed months of remarkable impeachment proceedings, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House to Mitch McConnell’s Senate, reflecting the nation’s unrelenting partisan divide three years into the Trump presidency.
What started as Trump’s request for Ukraine to “do us a favor” spun into a far-reaching, 28,000-page report compiled by House investigators accusing an American president of engaging in shadow diplomacy that threatened US foreign relations for personal, political gain as he pressured the ally to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the next election.
No president has ever been removed by the Senate. A politically emboldened Trump has eagerly predicted vindication, deploying the verdict as a political anthem in his reelection bid. The president claims he did nothing wrong, decrying the “witch hunt” and “hoax” as extensions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian 2016 campaign interference by those out to get him from the start of his presidency.