Trump acquitted of obstruction of Congress
Senators just voted to find President Trump not guilty on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress.
The vote was 53-47. GOP Sen. Mitt Romney — who voted to convict Trump on the abuse of power charge — voted to acquit him on this charge.
Moments ago, Trump was acquitted on the other article of impeachment, abuse of power. The two votes bring the historic and bitter impeachment fight to a close.
Trump has been acquitted. Here’s what could happen next.
Today, the Senate voted to acquit President Trump on two articles of impeachment.
On the article of abuse of power, the Senate found the President not guilty by a vote of 52-48, with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney breaking ranks and joining the Democrats voting not guilty. On the article of obstruction of congress, the Senate found him not guilty by a vote of 53-47.
Regardless of today’s vote, Trump will remain impeached forever. Similarly, former President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House but acquitted in his Senate trial. Trump has joined Clinton and President Andrew Johnson as the only three Presidents in US history who have been impeached.
Today’s acquittal brings nearly five months of the impeachment inquiry and trial that sprang forth from a whistleblower’s complaint over Trump’s comments to the President of Ukraine over the summer to an end.
But there could be more investigations to come: Democrats have vowed to continue investigating Trump and his administration, and that includes some unanswered questions that came up during this impeachment investigation.
A key development to watch is whether the Democratically-controlled House committees will subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton.
Bolton, who never testified during the House inquiry, said last month that he’d be willing to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed. The Senate voted against seeking witness testimony, but the House has said it’ll continue its investigations and kept the door open to calling Bolton to testify.
Trump is meeting “with his legal team later tonight”
President Trump was in the Oval Office watching the vote in the Senate this afternoon, his adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters on the White House lawn this evening.
Conway also said the President will meet with members of his legal team later tonight.
Conway said the President was “in the Oval Office at that time,” as the votes came in, adding that she was “in and out” of the office, along with others.
“He had a bunch of other meetings, other things going on, and he’s with his legal team later tonight,” she said, “and he’s just very pleased.”
The President is going to a dinner in the residence tonight that has been “planned for a while” and “has nothing to do with today’s events,” Conway said. She would not say with who.
Conway also downplayed Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to remove the President from office and leaned on bipartisan opposition to impeachment in the House in her first comments after the President’s acquittal in the Senate.
Asked by CNN about the fact that the acquittal wasn’t bipartisan and about the White House reaction to Romney’s vote, Conway said she didn’t “have much of a reaction to that.”
Pence celebrates Trump’s acquittal and calls impeachment a “sham investigation”
Vice President Mike Pence celebrated the President’s acquittal while giving remarks to a Women for Trump event in Pennsylvania today.
In his first public comments since the Senate voted not to remove the President from office, Pence told the crowd that it has been an, “incredible week.”
“Just a little while ago the United States Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment,” Pence said, to which the crowd cheered and began a chant of “four more years.”
“After months of a sham investigation and a partisan investigation,” Pence announced, “it’s over America.”
Pelosi: “Republicans have normalized lawlessness and rejected the system of checks and balances”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the decision to acquit President Trump on the two articles of impeachment an act of “lawlessness” orchestrated by Sen. Mitch McConnell, a “rogue leader in the Senate who would cowardly abandon his duty to uphold the Constitution.”
Pelosi released the statement this afternoon after Trump was acquitted of both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“President Trump was impeached with the support of a majority of the American people – a first in our nation’s history. And now he is the first President in history to face a bipartisan vote to convict him in the Senate. A full 75% of Americans and many members of the GOP Senate believe the President’s behavior is wrong. But the Senate chose instead to ignore the facts, the will of the American people and their duty to the Constitution,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi added: “The President will boast that he has been acquitted. There can be no acquittal without a trial, and there is no trial without witnesses, documents and evidence. By suppressing the evidence and rejecting the most basic elements of a fair judicial process, the Republican Senate made themselves willing accomplices to the President’s cover-up.”
White House: The trial ended in Trump’s “full vindication and exoneration”
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the Senate’s acquittal vote today is “full vindication and exoneration” for President Trump.
“As we have said all along, he is not guilty. The Senate voted to reject the baseless articles of impeachment, and only the President’s political opponents – all Democrats, and one failed Republican presidential candidate – voted for the manufactured impeachment articles,” she said in a statement.
She added that despite the impeachment investigation and trial, Trump has “successfully advanced the interests of the United States and remained focused on the issues that matter to Americans.”
McConnell refuses to say whether Trump’s conduct was inappropriate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to say whether President Trump’s conduct was inappropriate when pressed multiple times by reporters at a news conference this afternoon after the Senate acquitted the President of both charges.
McConnell spoke about the political impact of impeachment saying it has been helpful for his members in difficult races. McConnell also said he was “surprised and disappointed” with GOP Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict Trump on the first article of impeachment.
“I can tell you this, right now, this is a political loser for them,” McConnell said, referring to Democrats. “They initiated it, they thought this was a great idea and at least for the short term, it has been a colossal political mistake.”
Asked if he’s willing to concede if Trump did anything wrong, the Kentucky Republican dodged the question and said he wanted to talk about today and the “political impact of this.” Some of McConnell’s GOP colleagues have said that it’s inappropriate for the President to investigate a foreign rival.
“Listen, we voted,” McConnell said. “It’s time to move on … as far as I’m concerned it’s in the rear-view mirror.”
Trump says he’ll make a statement about his acquittal tomorrow
President Trump just tweeted that he’ll speak from the White House tomorrow about the impeachment trial, which ended today with his acquittal.
He said he’ll deliver a statement at noon ET.( CNN / IM )