WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Bringing an end to the whirlwind impeachment process on Capitol Hill, Republican Senators voted Wednesday to acquit President Donald Trump of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Senate voted vote 52 to 48 to acquit Trump of abuse of power and 53 to 47 to acquit the president of obstruction of Congress.
Both votes came down largely along party lines, although Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, broke with the GOP to vote in favor of convicting Trump on abuse of power.
The vote in favor of acquittal was widely anticipated after Republican Senators previously voted to block hearing new witnesses in the trial.
Last Friday evening, the Senate voted 51 to 49 to block subpoenaing any new witnesses or documents, with the vote largely coming down along party lines.
Just two Republicans, Romney and Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted in favor of allowing new witnesses.
Some Republicans acknowledged that Trump's alleged efforts to coerce Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for aid were inappropriate but argued the president's actions did not rise to the level of being removed from office.
Some GOP Senators claimed allowing new witnesses, such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton, would not change the outcome of the trial, while others said the House should have called the witnesses to testify before moving forward with impeachment.
House Democrats have been criticized for rushing the impeachment process, with some Republicans claiming the move was a politically motivated attempt to damage Trump ahead of his run for re-election.
However, some political observers have argued the final vote to acquit the president was never in doubt due to Trump's stranglehold on the GOP.
Removing Trump from office would have required a two-thirds vote in favor, but Republicans currently hold a 53 to 45 majority in the Senate, with two Democratic-leaning independents.
Democrats have accused Republicans of shirking their constitutional responsibilities, while Trump and the GOP have described impeachment as a 'hoax' and a waste of time and money.
Trump was just the third president to be impeached in U.S. history, although it remains to be seen how the move will impact the 2020 elections.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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