The US senate on Wednesday acquitted President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, putting an end to the historic trial.
The impeachment trial began four months ago. Trump had been accused of mounting pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations that would benefit him in the forthcoming election.
On the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, all 47 Democrats and Mitt Romney, a Republican, voted to convict the president but their votes fell short of the 67 needed to remove Trump from office.
Romney is the first senator in US history to vote to remove from office a president from the same party.
The lawmaker said his faith guided him to what he described as “the most difficult decision I have ever faced.”
“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,” Romney said.
On the second article of impeachment, obstruction of congress, the vote also failed, with all Democrats finding the president guilty but the Republicans standing by him.
The presidential impeachment trial is the third in America’s history. Like Trump, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, former US presidents, were impeached but saved the hammer by the senate.
On December 19, 2019, the lower chamber of the congress found him guilty of abuse of office and obstruction of congress.
Before the vote, the president had sent an angry letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing her of declaring “open war on American democracy”.
After the impeachment, White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, issued a statement describing it as “the culmination in the House of one of the most shameful political episodes in the history of our nation.”