The United States Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump of both obstruction of congress and abuse of power with a party line vote of 52-48 on article one and 53-47 on article two. The vote last week concluded the impeachment battle between two diametrically opposed political parties.
Ninety-nine senators voted along party lines, with the lone exception being Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voting guilty on article one before falling back into ranks with a vote of not guilty on article two.
As the final moments of the impeachment were fading, senate majority leader Mitch Mc-Connell (R-Ken.) held the floor and thanked Chief Justice John Roberts, the senate pages and assistants and his fellow colleagues. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) echoed similar gratitude.
Before Chief Justice Roberts headed back to his chamber across the street at the Supreme Court, he concluded his constitutional duty by thanking the senate for its hospitality, and reminded the senators that the highest court in the land reserves its front row for congressional representatives and welcomed them to, “come watch an argument or come get away from one.”
Oklahoma senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford both voted in favor of President Trump’s acquittal, both citing legitimate concern for the hold of military aid to Ukraine, the partisan nature of the entire impeachment process and the dangerous precedent of using impeachment as a political tool.
“The Trump Administration placed a brief, temporary hold on aid to Ukraine to ensure American tax dollars were not misused,” said Inhofe in remarks made on the senate floor two days prior to the vote that would clear Trump of both articles against him. Inhofe continued, “I’m confident of this because I talked to President Trump directly about it. See, I chair the Senate Armed Services Committee – the committee that is responsible for authorizing lethal aid to Ukraine.”
Lankford also concluded there were justifiable reasons for withholding military aid to Ukraine as he walked through a timeline of the Ukrainian situation during his ten minute allotment on the floor. But, he emphasized the division created by impeachment and the partisan nature of the proceedings for his motivation to acquit.
“The impeachment trial is both a symptom of our times and another example of our division,” said Lankford. “This is clearly another one of our partisan impeachments, now the third in our history,” concluded Lankford.
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (RCheyenne) called for congress to get back to doing its job in a press release after the senate trial came to a close.
“Now that the senate has acquitted the president, protecting the institution of our democracy from a flawed and partisan probe, I hope that we can return to focusing on the legislation the American people sent us to congress to address.”