In an expected and largely partisan vote, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday (Feb. 5) voted to acquit President Donald Trump on two impeachment counts against him. Trump is the third president in U.S. history to survive impeachment. Both Arkansas senators voted to acquit the president.
The two articles of impeachment accuse Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for his behavior in the controversy surrounding military aid to Ukraine and relations with the new Ukranian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump is accused of asking Zelensky to investigate potential corruption involving Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in Ukraine. Through a call summary released by the White House, testimony from witnesses in the House Intelligence Committee, and on-the-record comments from Trump and his administration officials, Democrats have produced evidence they claim supports their claims of abuse. Republican Congressional leaders and the president have either denied parts of the evidence presented, complained that it does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense, or avoided providing testimony that would refute some of the claims.
The U.S. Senate on Jan. 31 voted 51-49 to not allow witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Trump.
On the Article 1 abuse of power charge, the vote was 52-48. The vote was 53-47 on the Article II obstruction of Congress charge. U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was the only Republican to vote against the president on the Article I charge. He voted not guilty on the second charge. The two independent senators, Sens. Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, voted guilty on both charges. No Democratic senators voted not guilty on either charge.
Arkansas’ U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, both Republicans, voted to acquit the president.
“Not even a year ago, Speaker Pelosi was still attempting to curtail the push for impeachment within her own party, arguing that, ‘impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path.’ She was right. And this impeachment process has failed by each of those metrics,” Boozman noted in a statement. “It has further divided the country. The case is not overwhelming. And it has been anything but bipartisan – in fact, the vote against impeaching the president in the House was bipartisan. And, as a result of Senate rules and precedents, it has also brought the legislative process nearly to a grinding halt. But, as the trial reaches its conclusion, I believe we must move on and return to doing the work of trying to get things done for the American people.”
“No House in the future should lead the country down this path again. By refusing to do this House’s dirty work, the Senate is stopping this dangerous precedent and preserving the Founders’ understanding that Congress ought to restrain the executive through the many checks and balances still at our disposal. More fundamentally, we’re preserving the most important check of all – an election. It’s time to teach that lesson to this House and to all future Houses, of both parties,” noted part of a statement from Cotton. “Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff have failed, but the American people lost. Now it’s time to get back to doing the people’s business.”