Hallie Lauer | news editor
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the senate rejected the abuse of power charge against President Donald Trump 52 to 48, and rejected the charge of obstruction of Congress 53 to 47.
For the charges to go through, two-thirds, or 67 senators would have had to vote yes. All 100 senators were present for the votes, and after a five-month long process, President Trump was acquitted of all charges of impeachment.
Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only senator to cross party lines and the first U.S. senator to ever vote to remove a president of his own party.
“The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a ‘high crime and misdemeanor.’ Yes, he did,” Romney said in a speech prior to the vote.
Only Romney and one other republican senator, Susan Collins (R-Maine), voted to allow new witnesses in the trial.
After the results were announced, President Trump tweeted that he would be making an announcement at noon on Thursday, Feb. 6, referring to the results as a “VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax.”
A few hours after the vote was finalized, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released her statement on the results.
“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,” Pelosi said in her statement. “The president’s legal team could not and did not refute the facts of the case. Instead they argued that the American people have no right to stop the president from using the power of his office to cheat in our elections.”
However, less than 24 hours before the vote on the articles of impeachment, President Donald Trump took the stage for the 97th State of the Union Address.
Trump is the second president to give the address while in the process of impeachment, and as he entered the chambers, from the Republican side, viewers could hear the chant of “four more years.”
The president avoided all mention of the impeachment trial in his speech, instead focusing on economic successes and what he called “the great American comeback.”
Another focal point of the State of the Union was the idea of upholding the Constitution as it is written.
“With every action, my administration is restoring the rule of law and reasserting the culture of American freedom,” the president said in his speech.
He went on to discuss upholding the constitutional right to pray in public schools and the right to bear arms.
In her post-impeachment trial statement, Pelosi said that the Republican Senate had betrayed the Constitution, and because of that, the president remains an ongoing threat to democracy. At the end of the president’s state of the union address, Pelosi tore her copy of the speech in half.
The president also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh, a former radio host, was recently diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Trump awarded him the medal, thanking him for his “decades of tireless devotion to our country.”
President Trump finished his speech by saying that “our spirit is still young … and the best is yet to come.”