The Senate on Wednesday officially voted to acquit President Donald Trump on articles of impeachment. In a vote of 52-48, Trump was acquitted on Article I, which leveled charges of abuse of power. A vote on Article II, which accused Trump of obstruction of Congress, ended with a vote of 53-47 to acquit.
Ahead of Trump's acquittal, several senators had confirmed their intention to acquit, with Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska saying in a statement that she "cannot vote to convict," while also acknowledging the president's behavior as "shameful and wrong."
"The House failed in its responsibilities and the Senate — the Senate should be ashamed by the rank partisanship that has been on display here," Murkowski said. "So many in this chamber share my sadness for the present state of our institutions. It's my hope that we've finally found bottom here."
Republican Sen. Susan Collins also announced her intention to acquit, stating that she did "not believe the House has met its burden of showing that the president's conduct, however flawed, warrants the extreme step of immediate removal from office."
The House of Representatives had impeached Trump in a vote of 230 to 197 (and one present vote) on abuse of power and in a vote of 229 to 198 (and one present vote) for obstruction of Congress in December. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate in January.
Wednesday's highly contentious vote came after the Senate on Friday, Jan. 31 rejected a measure to consider calling new witnesses and evidence in the trial. Democrats had been hoping to hear testimony from former national security advisor John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; Robert Blair, an aide to Mulvaney; and Michael Duffey, an official in the Office of Management and Budget.
In a vote that was largely along party lines, only GOP senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney voted in favor of hearing witnesses, while senators Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander, the two other Republican senators that Democrats had been hoping would join them, voted no in a vote of 51-49, according to ABC News.
After adjourning for the weekend, the Senate reopened Monday to hear closing arguments from both sides.0comments
"If you find that the House has proved (its) case and still vote to acquit, you'll name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and through all of history," House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said, according to CNN, adding that "history will not be kind to Donald Trump."
"But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath, if only you will say enough," he added. "Is there one among you who will say enough?"