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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Senate Acquits President Donald Trump On Counts Of Impeachment

Senate Acquits President Donald Trump On Counts Of Impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Wednesday.

The two votes came largely along party lines on the two counts. Fifty-two voted not guilty and 48 voted guilty on abuse of power. Fifty-three voted not guilty and 47 voted guilty on obstruction of Congress.

In remarks from the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he would cross party lines to vote to convict Trump on abuse of power while voting to acquit on obstruction of Congress, saying “Given the oath I swore, I simply have no choice but to honor my conscience and do what I believe is right.”

He was the only GOP senator to favor ousting the impeached president.

The vote brought an end to only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.

It also came at the start of a tumultuous campaign for the White House.

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones said he would vote to convict Trump on Wednesday. Jones is considered the most endangered Democrat in this November’s elections, so his decision is significant.

Alabama backed Trump by 28 percentage points in 2016, and Jones squeaked to a narrow special election victory in 2017.

Democratic leaders hoped Democratic senators would unanimously vote to remove Trump and erase a potential GOP talking point that Trump’s acquittal was bipartisan.

Jones said he made his decision after many sleepless nights.

Trump was eager to use the tally as vindication, a political anthem in his reelection bid.

A majority of senators expressed unease with Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine that resulted in the two articles of impeachment. But it was nowhere near the two-thirds vote necessary in the Republican-held Senate to convict and remove the president from office.

The Senate appeared to divide neatly along party lines in advance of the vote.

A leading GOP moderate, Susan Collins of Maine, announced she will vote to acquit Trump, leaving Utah Sen. Mitt Romney as the only potential GOP vote to convict Trump of abusing his office and stonewalling Congress.

The chamber’s top Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, again slammed the impeachment drive of House Democrats as “the most rushed, least fair and least thorough" in history and confirmed that he will vote to acquit Trump.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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