Senate Votes to Acquit Trump Largely Along Party Lines


By Lily Waterman, Junior Editor

The United States Senate voted last week to acquit President Donald J. Trump of charges resulting from his impeachment by the House of Representatives in December.

All but one Republican senator – Senator Mitt Romney – voted to acquit the President, many of them indicating that while President Trump did make a mistake, his actions did not rise to justify his removal from office.

“I take an oath before God as enormously consequential,” says Senator Mitt Romney. “I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.”

While on the Republicans that voted to acquit Trump, many senators cite their moral responsibility to match the degree of evidence against Trump.

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office,” says Republican Senator Marco Rubio. “I will not vote to remove the President because doing so would inflict extraordinary and potentially irreparable damage to our already divided nation.”

The trial began due to charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from President Trump’s alleged withholding of security funds to Ukraine during the Summer of 2019. The charges alleged that the President withheld the funds in exchange for Ukraine calling for an investigation into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.  The House brought numerous witnesses in to testify before voting to impeach the President before passing along the charges to the Senate, where it would be unlikely that the Republican-controlled body would vote to remove President Trump from office.

The Democrats continued to scramble to convince and find evidence to find President Trump accountable. They also spent days attempting to persuade the Senate to allow witnesses. A late-breaking sneak preview of the content of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s book about his time in the administration failed to encourage the Senate to call witnesses.  The preview suggested that Bolton witnessed President Trump making the offer – generally known as a quid pro quo – to the Ukrainian president.

Again, along party lines, for the most part, the Senate concluded no additional witnesses were necessary.

On Twitter, people are using President Trump’s acquittal as a rallying point behind new Democratic candidates.

“Between the Iowa caucus debacle and Trump’s shameful acquittal, it’s hard not to get discouraged. But please, don’t get down. Get angry. Follow Pelosi’s lead and tear up Trump’s playbook,” says Robert Reich on Twitter.

“My Approval Rating in the Republican Party = 95%, a record! Big Iowa win. Approval Rating overall = 53%, a new high. Without great Economy and other major successes, would be 20 points higher without the phony Witch Hunts and Hoaxes???” is a sample of one of the President’s many tweets on the impeachment and on the trial.

“I kind of followed the trial, but we knew how it was going to turn out. The Republican majority in the Senate made it impossible for the trial to end in a conviction without more evidence or a lot of Republicans defecting from their party,” comments Nikki Belenkiy, Junior at Wayne Hills.

Overall, students were extremely reluctant to give any opinions about President Trump’s trial, mainly due to the dichotomy of our government right now. Because of how hateful and extremist our society has become about government, most of the students are afraid to comment due to fear of others knowing their beliefs.