Madison Bailey, Correspondent
The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump came to a close when he was acquitted of two impeachment charges by the Senate on Wednesday, February 5. The two impeachment articles sent from the House were for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“The architects of this impeachment claimed they were defending norms and traditions,” said Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate Republicans. “In reality, it was an assault on both. They attacked due process, the office of the presidency, and the Senate’s sole power to try impeachments.”
The final vote for the abuse of power article was 52-48, and the final vote for the obstruction of Congress article was 53-47.
The votes were primarily split down party lines with one exception.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney voted to convict and remove Trump on the charge of abuse of power. He did, however, vote to acquit Trump on the charge of obstruction of Congress.
“The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a ‘high crime and misdemeanor’,” said Romney. “Yes, he did.”
Romney is the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of the same political party in an impeachment trial.
The Senate voted against using witnesses and outside documents in the impeachment trial six days before acquitting the president, with a final vote of 51-49. This was the first impeachment trial in which there were no witnesses or documents subpoenaed in the Senate.
All members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate voted to support additional witnesses and documents, and only two Republican senators – Romney and Susan Collins of Maine – voted in favor.
“The Senate Republicans’ vote against calling witnesses and compelling document in the impeachment proceedings makes them accomplices to the President’s cover-up,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “There can be no acquittal without a trial. And there is no trial without witnesses, documents and evidence.”
Pelosi held onto the articles for several weeks in order to ensure a “fair trial” but eventually delivered the articles to the Senate. The impeachment trial officially began on January 16 and lasted approximately three weeks.