President Trump was acquitted Wednesday in his U.S. Senate impeachment trial, cleared by fellow Republicans who urged to protect him nine months before he asks voters in a deeply broken America to give him a second opportunity.
Trump survived the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history – like the two other impeached presidents – in his tumultuous presidency’s darkest episode. Trump now jumps into an election season that promises to polarize the nation further.
Trump was acquitted largely along party traces on two articles of impeachment authorized by the Democratic-led House of Representatives on December 18.
The votes to convict Trump dropped far short of the two-thirds majority needed within the 100-seat Senate to take away him from office under the U.S. Constitution.
The Senate voted 52-48 to acquit Trump of abuse of official powers arising from his request that Ukraine investigates political competitor Joe Biden, a contestant for the Democratic nomination to face him in the November 3 election.
The Senate then voted 53-47 to acquit Trump of obstruction of Congress by preventing witnesses and documents sought by the House. Romney joined the rest of the Republican legislators in voting to acquit on the obstruction charge.
On each of the charges, the senators arose at their tables to vote one after another, with U.S. CJ John Roberts directing.
The president twitted a video showing Trump campaign signs for future elections from 2024 onward, ending with “Trump 4EVA.” The U.S. Constitution allows only two elected four-year terms in office to a president.