Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2020. 5:27 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: As expected, the United States Senate has voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump on both charges submitted to it: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress (the House of Representatives).
The first vote went 48 in favor and 52 against, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah joining all 47 Democratic senators and earning the ire of his party base. Two-thirds of the Upper House or 67 votes were needed to convict on both charges and remove the President from office.
The second vote fell along party lines: 47 Democratic senators voting to convict and 53 Republican senators voting to acquit.
The result became apparent after last Friday’s motion to allow further witness testimony was narrowly rejected 51-49. Trump was accused of, and denied, withholding military funding aid to Ukraine in exchange for alleged damaging information on political rival and former Vice-President Joe Biden. He is also accused of deliberately refusing to cooperate with the resulting investigation, which started when a whistle-blower made detailed accusations.
The Democrats have signaled that their probe into Trump’s activities in and out of office will continue, according to the BBC, while Trump’s campaign pledged to make the decision to impeach “the worst miscalculation in American political history,” and the man himself jokingly tweeting that he will be president “4EVA” (he is going for his second constitutional term in November).
At Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Trump made the case for his re-election with improved economic and social figures, including more jobs and restored standing in the world. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded by tearing up her copy of the speech on live television.
The Democrats, meanwhile, have had an inconclusive contest in Iowa as the race to select their candidate for November’s election begins proper. A malfunctioning app delayed the announcement of results from that state’s caucus until earlier on Tuesday, and figures from the race show a splintered vote between the “democratic socialist” faction led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and the “centrist” faction led by Biden and former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. The next contest is in New Hampshire next week Tuesday.
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