Senate acquits Trump on both impeachment articles

By Yana Berman

US President found not guilty of abusing his power and obstructing Congress

                                

The US senate has voted to acquit president Donald Trump on both impeachment articles, according to Reuters.

The upper chamber of the US Congress voted 52 against 48. None of the Democrats voted to acquit Trump; he was found not guilty of abusing his power and obstructing Congress solely by the Republicans.

Earlier on February 5, Trump delivered his State of the Union address, begging to be re-elected for a second term. As he finished the message, the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, tore the copy of his speech into pieces.

US stocks were slightly up following the Senate's decision. Dow Jones was up 1.68 per cent to 29,290.85 at the closure. Nasdaq was up 0.43 per cent to 9,508.68, and S&P up 1.13 per cent to 3,334.69.

The US president was accused of abusing power following a leaked phone call with Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelensky. Some believed that Trump forced Zelensky into launching investigations into Trump’s domestic political opponents in exchange for providing military support to the war-torn country.

Moreover, Trump was accused of obstructing Congress. It was claimed that the president urged top-level staffers at the White House not to testify against him in impeachment investigations. Dozens of current and former national security officials and diplomats ignored Trump's directives and gave their testimonies.

The impeachment procedures were launched on January 21. The Democrats failed to pass three amendments crucial for the trial, including evidence on the Ukraine case. Still, the Republicans were forced to find a middle ground amid the pressure. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican and majority leader, gave additional time to discuss the case in the Senate.

Republican senators insisted that the rules for Trump's impeachment should not differ from the recent precedent, the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999. Neither Clinton nor Andrew Johnson, who was impeached in 1868, had to leave office.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted in the beginning of the week, demonstrated that 42 per cent of American adults approved of Trump's performance, while 54 per cent disapproved.

FURTHER READING: US House of Representatives votes to impeach Trump

FURTHER READING: Trump impeachment begins with clash as trial kicks off

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