Today the United States Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives in December. The final vote was 52 to 48 to acquit on the charge of abuse of power, and 53 to 47 to acquit on the charge of obstruction of Congress. Both votes fall far short of the necessary two-thirds to remove.
This brings to a close a constitutional process initiated by House Democrats in September last year, stemming from a complaint filed by a whistleblower involved in national security. This resulted in the public revelation that the president had ordered a halt on congressionally-appropriated military aid to Ukraine, in exchange for that country’s investigation of the business dealings of Hunter Biden, son of the former Vice President, Joe Biden. The latter is currently one of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination and will possibly face Trump in the November election.
Democrats have alleged that this violated Trump’s oath of office, and that constitutes colluding with a foreign power to interfere in an American election. Republicans have defended the action as a legitimate use of the president’s executive authority over American foreign policy decisions. 230 House members voted to impeach Trump for his actions, while 197 voted against, and one Democratic Representative, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, voted “present.” No Republicans voted to impeach, while two Democrats voted not to.