WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to acquit President Donald Trump of impeachment charges of abusing his office and obstructing Congress' investigation, despite Republican Mitt Romney becoming the first senator in history to back the conviction of a president from his own party.
Here are some quotes from a historic day at the U.S. Capitol:
REPUBLICAN SENATOR MITT ROMNEY:
"What he did was not 'perfect' — no, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine."
"I am aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I am sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?"
SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER:
"A simple majority of Senators denied the Senate’s right to examine relevant evidence, call witnesses, review documents, and properly try the impeachment of the president — making this the first impeachment trial in history of this country that heard from no witnesses. A simple majority of senators, in deference to — and most likely in fear of — the president of their party, perpetrated a great miscarriage of justice in the trial of President Trump.
"As a result, the verdict of this kangaroo court will be meaningless. By refusing the facts – by refusing witnesses and documents – the Republican majority has placed a giant asterisk, the asterisk of a sham trial, next to the acquittal of President Trump, written in permanent ink. Acquittal in an unfair trial – with this giant asterisk, the asterisk of a sham trial – is worth nothing at all, to President Trump or anybody else."
SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL
"We will reject this incoherent case that comes nowhere near, nowhere near, justifying the first presidential removal in history. This partisan impeachment will end today. But I fear the threat to our institutions may not, because this episode is one of a symptom of something much deeper.
"The speaker (of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi) says she will refuse to accept this acquittal. ... Even my colleagues who may not agree with this president must see the insanity of this logic. It's like saying you are so worried about a bull in a china shop that you would bulldoze the china shop to chase it out. And here's the most troubling part, the most troubling part. There is no sign that this attack on our institutions will end here." (Reporting by Susan Cornwell Editing by Jonathan Oatis)