The efforts to remove U.S. President Donald Trump from office have ended after he was found not guilty in his impeachment trial. The results from the Senate, run by the President’s fellow Republicans, showed 52-48 on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction of Congress. However, the trial did not include any witnesses.
The charges arose after leaks from a whistle-blower within the government accused the president of suggesting blackmail towards Ukraine. The president was accused of threatening to halt arms to the Eastern European state if they failed to hand over damaging secrets about Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden.
Impeachment is a rare political event that allows Congress to put presidents on trial. Only two Presidents have been impeached in the past: Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Speaking on his acquittal, Mr Trump stated, “I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit… but this is what the end result is”, proceeding to hold up the front page of the Washington Post headlining ‘Trump acquitted’. The president went on to label the impeachment process, “evil”, and “corrupt”, claiming, “we went through hell, unfairly. We did nothing wrong… Now that we have that gorgeous word. I never thought it would sound so good. It’s called ‘total acquittal’”.
In addition, Mr Trump went on to describe the justice department’s inquiry into whether he colluded with the Kremlin during his 2016 election campaign as, “bullshit”, claiming “this should never happen to another President ever”.
On the eve of the results, Mr Trump clashed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Before his State of the Union address, the President appeared to reject Pelosi’s attempt at a handshake, to which she later responded by tearing up his speech, labelling it as a “manifesto of mistruths”.
President Trump will now be the first impeached president to seek re-election.