Donald Trump, the US President has survived efforts to impeach him for having illicitly sought help from Ukraine to bolster his 2020 re-election effort.
The US President enjoyed support from his Republican party men who even in the face of strong evidence voted in his favour to defeat their long time rivals, the Democrats in the first and second voting sessions falling far short of the two-thirds super majority required for his impeachment.
Declaring Trump victorious, the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over the trial said, “Two-thirds of the senators present not having pronounced him guilty, the Senate adjudges that respondent Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is not guilty as charged.”
One Republican, Senator Mitt Romney, a longtime Trump foe, risked White House wrath to vote alongside Democrats on the first count, saying Trump was “guilty of appalling abuse of public trust.” He voted not guilty for the second.
Trump had repeatedly dismissed the probe as a “hoax” and a “witch hunt” but argued he had the right as president to pressure Ukraine while refusing to comply with Congressional subpoenas for testimony and documents.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned after the vote that she believes Trump will continue to pose a danger.
“Sadly, because of the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution, the president remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to,” Pelosi said.
Trump is only the third president in American history to have been impeached and then tried in the Senate, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Like each of those before him, Trump survives to continue to govern.
Trump also is the unusual president to emerge from an impeachment and appeal to voters to return him to office for a second term.