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Donald Trump Acquitted of Pressuring Ukraine to Investigate Political Rival
6 February, 2020
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U.S. president Donald Trump addresses the nation during the State of the Union speech, with vice-president Mike Pence (left) and House speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) behind him. Washington D.C., U.S.A., February 4, 2020. Photo: EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

The United States Senate has voted to acquit U.S. president Donald Trump on impeachment charges that include obstruction of Congress, and abuse of power in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden.

The two votes which resulted in acquittal, one for each charge, fell almost directly on party lines, with Democrats voting to remove Trump from office, and Republicans opposed. Only one Republican senator, former 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, crossed the aisle to join Democrats on the ‘abuse of power’ vote.

Despite mountains of evidence gathered by the Democratic Party during its investigation of Trump in the House of Representatives, GOP senators decided to not allow witnesses to be heard, nor consider additional evidence outside of the House impeachment record.

Prominent Trump administration officials and acquaintances, including Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American business indicted on charges of funneling foreign money to U.S. politicians, and John Bolton, the former national security advisor, were not allowed to testify before Congress despite ample proof of their relevance to the investigation. A leak from an upcoming book written by Bolton alleged that Trump blocked military aid to Ukraine purely on personal political reasons, instead the interests of the nation.

The impeachment trial in the Senate, as a result, lasted only two weeks – reportedly due to a deal struck between Trump and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In response to news of his acquittal on all charges, Trump tweeted a picture of campaign posters with dates stretching into the 2040s, raising worries from critics that Trump may now feel emboldened to ignore presidential election results.

The upcoming election in 2020 has kicked into full gear, with Democratic candidates attending the first caucuses in Iowa. The Iowan winner has traditionally gone on to take the presidency.