The Senate put an end to the impeachment farce Wednesday, voting to acquit President Donald Trump on both counts in his impeachment trial.
The vote was almost entirely along party lines except for one Republican, Mitt Romney of Utah, who predictably voted to convict Trump on the abuse of power charge. The final vote on that count was 48 to 52. Romney voted with Republicans on the charge of obstruction of Congress so the final vote on that count was 47 to 53.
Several moderate Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Doug Jones of Alabama were closely watched to see if they would buck their party and vote to acquit. In the end, they voted in lock-step with Democrats, suggesting they were whipped into line with threats from party elders.
Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that the impeachment gambit was “a political exercise from beginning to end,” and “a political loser for Democrats.”
He went on to shoot down the Dems’ complaint that the Senate had held a trial without witnesses.
McConnell pointed out that the House provided the Senate with testimony from 13 witnesses, depositions from 17 witnesses, and 28,000 pages of “evidence.” Additionally, he said Senators watched 193 video clips and were able to ask 180 questions.
“There were 60 times—60!—in which House managers said in their presentation to us that the case was either proven or proved,” the Majority Leader noted dryly. “There were 33 more times when one or more of the House managers said the evidence was overwhelming.”
McConnell said that he figured out in December that the Democrats’ strategy would be to get the Articles of Impeachment out of the House quickly and “leave them in the Senate endlessly.” The Senator added that he suspected that the strategy was less about Donald Trump than about taking the Senate. And he congratulated his colleagues [with the possible exception of Romney] of seeing through the scam.
McConnell said “the final irony” was Speaker Pelosi, who resisted the idea of impeachment at first, “was right in the beginning,” noting that “the president has his highest approval rating since he was elected president.
He also noted that “everyone of our people who were in tough races are in better shape today than when the impeachment trial started.”
“They thought this was a great idea at least for the short term, but this was a colossal political mistake,” he said.
President Trump announced on Twitter that he would be making a public statement on Thursday at 12:00 “to discuss our country’s VICTORY on the impeachment hoax.”
I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2020
And to poke the “Resistance” Dems in the eye, he also tweeted: