On Wednesday (February 5), the United States Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on impeachment charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, with final votes set at 52 not guilty to 48 guilty, and 53 not guilty to 47 guilty, respectively. He is set to stay in office for at least the remainder of his term.
The vote came down almost exactly along party lines. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was the only Republican to vote in favor of Trump’s conviction, on the count of abuse of power, the New York Times reported; he voted against the charge that Trump obstructed Congress during their efforts to discover what happened during and after the President’s July call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. This vote comes just days after Senate Republicans voted against allowing any more witness testimony or documents to the record.
The vote makes Trump the third U.S. president to ever be formally impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted, or found not guilty, by the Senate after the, joining Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. President Richard Nixon also faced impeachment but resigned before the House voted.
This entire controversy started six months ago, when Trump asked Zelensky to investigate potential 2016 election interference based on a conspiracy theory and to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter. Trump also allegedly held up $400 million in pre-approved military aid as a reward that dirty work. A whistleblower complaint about the call led to private and public Congressional hearings featuring everyone from Ambassador Bill Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, to Fiona Hill, Trump’s senior Russia advisor. The following weeks in Washington, D.C. were filled with dogs, drag queens, Kim Kardashian and A$AP Rocky name-drops, weird turkey pardons, deadline promises made and not kept, and a House Judiciary Committee vote. In late December, the House of Representatives officially impeached Trump. Then, after weeks of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hold off on sending the articles of impeachment over to the Senate, the impeachment finally moved from the House to the Senate, and the trial worked through the Senate. And now, the six-month saga has come to an end.