BY: ALEXIS COPE
After five months of investigations and three weeks of hearings, the Senate officially acquitted President Trump of charges of abuse of power and obstructing a Congressional investigation of his actions. This makes Trump the third president in American history to have been impeached but not removed from office. Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were the only others on this short list.
Neither article of impeachment collected the required 67 votes necessary to remove the President, or even gather a simple majority. The first article, abuse of power, for threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine if they refused to investigate the Bidens, fell through 48 to 52, and the second, deterring a Congressional investigation, lost 47 to 53.
Had either of these notions won by the two-thirds majority, Trump would have been removed from office.
Members of the Senate voted very much along party lines, with all Democrats voting “guilty” and the Republicans backing Trump with their “not guilty” votes. Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the only member of the House to vote with the opposite party saying Trump’s actions were, “the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.” Three moderate Democrats who were expected to flip stayed with their party; these were the Senators for Alabama, Arizona, and West Virginia.
Democrats insisted the result of the vote was illegitimate and fabricated by the Republicans.
President Trump’s re-election campaign released an official statement following the verdict: “President Trump has been totally vindicated and it’s now time to get back to the business of the American people….This impeachment hoax will go down as the worst miscalculation in American political history.”
The impeachment process has put significant strain on Trump’s re-election campaign, however. While not the Democrat’s desired outcome, it’s the stain on him, and his presidency, that they have been hoping for, and it could tarnish him in the eyes of many a voter. However, the acquittal has given the campaign possible ammunition to rally Trump’s supporters behind them by using the ordeal as an example of a Washington facility that has been out to get him, and by extension, his supporters.
Trump is the first President to run for a second term after being impeached.