The Conclusion of the Impeachment Trial


Getty Images

President Trump holds up a newspaper article declaring his acquittal on both counts of impeachment.

Sharon Sun, Photojournalist

On February 5th, the Senate took a historic vote. 45th President, Mr. Donald Trump, was facing two articles of impeachment, and on this Wednesday, the Senate was to vote on whether or not he would be removed from office or completely acquitted of the charges. At around 1 p.m., the Senate held the vote, and President Trump was soundly acquitted of both charges. 


Mr. Donald Trump was initially charged with abuse of presidential power after details of his clandestine agreement with the Ukrainian government surfaced. According to, the president had withheld millions of dollars worth of military aid for Ukraine, preferring to use it as a bargaining chip. In exchange for military aid, Ukraine would have to publicly announce an investigation into Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate looking to run against Mr. Trump in the 2020 election race. The announced investigation by Ukraine would potentially hamper Biden’s progress in the presidential race.


The second article of impeachment against Mr. Trump is that of obstruction of Congress. Following the affair with Ukraine, Congress launched an investigation, looking for witnesses to testify to evidence. The President, however, blocked his top officials from testifying, thereby impeding the investigation and any procuration of evidence. 


Ultimately, although the House of Representatives instigates the impeachment process, the Senate votes on the final verdict. For the first article, the president was found guilty by 48 senators, with 52 senators voting to acquit. All 47 Democrats voted to convict and 52 of the 53 Senate Republicans voted against. The vote mostly followed party lines, as Republicans hold to ensure that Mr. Trump, a fellow Republican, stays in the executive office. Therefore, as the threshold of 67 votes for guilty was not met, Mr. Trump is acquitted of the first article.


However, while the Republicans stood firm to maintain a Republican presidency, one Republican Senator voted on the side of the Democrats to convict Mr. Trump of the first article. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the sole Republican to cross party lines in voting for the president’s abuse of power. On the vote for the second charge of obstruction of Congress, Senator Romney returned to Republican lines to vote to acquit the president.


After being fully acquitted by the Supreme Court of all outstanding charges, Mr. Donald Trump returns to the Oval Office once again as the sitting President of the United States. Now that the impeachment affair with Congress has passed over, Mr. Trump will no doubt be focusing towards his re-election campaign for 2020. 


Bohan Bai (12), having followed the impeachment process since its conception in the House of Representatives, says that “the trial has shown [her] the sharply different perspectives within Congress.” Regardless of the results, the impeachment process is likely to continue fueling the distinct divide within America’s Congress.