WASHINGTON (AP) - - The U.S. Senate has acquitted President Donald Trump of impeachment, ending only the third presidential trial in American history with votes that split the country and tested civic norms.
The proceedings also are feeding the tumultuous 2020 run for the White House. A majority of senators expressed unease with Trump's pressure campaign on Ukraine that resulted in the two articles of impeachment.
But there was nowhere near the two-thirds vote necessary in the Republican-held Senate to remove the president from office. He was found not guilty of both articles of impeachment.
Trump is eager to use the tally as vindication, a political anthem in his reelection bid.
In a statement following the voting, Congressman Doug LaMalfa said the following:
“Today is the culmination of an absolutely predictable series of events. There were never 67 votes to convict the President. There was never any bipartisan support for impeachment. This contrived process was never going to be successful and everyone knew it. From quid pro quo, to extortion, to bribery, hyper-partisan democrats have continuously grasped for straws that would make their narrative more compelling. Here we are, over 4 months since the inquiry was announced, and they have not found a single way to convince Americans that the President committed a crime.
Now that the Senate has voted to acquit President Trump, Democrats must once-and-for-all face the music; the results of the 2016 election can’t be changed. The only thing that the Democrats have succeeded at is giving President Trump his highest approval rating since his first month in office. I’m glad this so-called process is over. Let’s get back to work “