Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

All smiles as Trump escapes impeachment


Senate votes largely along party lines to acquit Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Trump arrives at the podium to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the US Congress in the House Chamber [Leah Millis/Reuters]
Trump arrives at the podium to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the US Congress in the House Chamber [Leah Millis/Reuters]

IMPEACHMENT REFRESHER

  • The inquiry centred on a call between Trump and Ukraine’s president in which Trump asks for a probe into the Bidens. Trump also wanted an inquiry into a conspiracy theory about the 2016 elections.
  • At the time of the call, Trump was withholding $391m in military aid from Ukraine, and conditioned a White House meeting on the probes, according to witnesses. Trump denies any wrongdoing.
  • Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The US Senate cleared President Donald Trump of both charges in the impeachment trial, bringing to an end the impeachment drama that has consumed Washington since the House of Representatives launched its inquiry into the president’s actions last September.

In a 52-48 vote, the Senate found Trump not guilty of abusing his power of office. The Senate also voted 53-47 to acquit the president on the charge of obstruction of Congress.

On the first charge, one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney, broke rank and joined all Democrats in voting to convict Trump of abuse of power. But the vote fell well short of the two-thirds majority needed to remove a president. Romney voted with his party on the obstruction of Congress charge.

Democrats had accused Trump of abusing his power by orchestrating a pressure campaign to get Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. They also accused him of obstructing Congress for refusing to participate in the impeachment inquiry. Trump denied any wrongdoing, repeatedly calling the impeachment a “hoax”.

More soon..

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