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In the end, Presiden Donald John Trump gets the last laugh.
ON BOTH COUNTS.
It’s over folks.
A dark time for our House of Representatives has finally been brought to a close by the Republicans in the Senate.
From NBC News:
The Senate acquitted President Donald Trump almost entirely along party lines on charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress on Wednesday, bringing an end to the third presidential impeachment trial in United States history.
On the first of two articles of impeachment, Mitt Romney of Utah was the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump, along with all Democrats and independents. On the second article, obstruction of Congress, the president was acquitted in a pure party-line vote with all Republicans voting not guilty and all Democrats and independents voting guilty.
A super majority of 67 votes on each article was needed to convict.
Romney, R-Utah, announced his vote in a dramatic speech on the Senate floortwo hours before the vote.
"I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice," he said. "I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am."
What Trump did, Romney said, was "grievously wrong."
"The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust," he said.
"What he did was not 'perfect.' No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. 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.
Romney, a frequent target of the president, was one of only two GOP senators to call for witness testimony in the trial, and is the only Republican to say he would convict Trump on one of the articles of impeachment.
"In the last several weeks, I have received numerous calls and texts. Many demand that, in their words, 'I stand with the team.' I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind. I support a great deal of what the president has done. I have voted with him 80 percent of the time," Romney said.
"But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented, and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience."
Romney said he was aware there are not enough votes to convict the president, and that he would be "vehemently denounced" for his decision by some of his fellow Republicans. He called it "the most difficult decision" of his life.
"I am sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?"
The vote would make Romney the first senator to vote to convict a president of the same party in an impeachment trial in the Senate. Romney's not up for re-election until 2024, but his clashes with Trump have already caused him problems with fellow Republicans in Utah and Washington.
Sources close to the president had been looking for a unified GOP front, so they could dismiss the proceedings as totally partisan.
Here's more, from Fox News:
The Senate overwhelmingly acquitted President Trump on both articles of impeachment against him Wednesday afternoon following a brief trial, in a historic rejection of Democrats' claims that the president's Ukraine dealings and handling of congressional subpoenas merited his immediate removal from office.
All Democratic senators supported convicting the president of abuse of power and obstruction of justice, including swing-vote moderate Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Doug Jones, R-Ala.
The only party defection was on the abuse of power charge from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who declared hours before the final vote that Trump had engaged in as "destructive an attack on the oath of office and our Constitution as I can imagine." Romney voted not guilty on the obstruction charge.
By a final vote of 52-48 against conviction on the abuse of power charge and 53-47 on the obstruction charge, the Senate fell far short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict and remove the president. Swing-vote Republican senators -- including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee -- voted to acquit on both counts.
The separate obstruction of Congress charge concerned the Trump administration's assertion of executive privilege and refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas. Romney explained he would acquit on the obstruction count, saying House Democrats had chosen not to respond to the White House's legal arguments against the subpoenas.
While the result has been expected for months, the process brought a series of surprises and heightened animosity to Washington -- exemplified dramatically during Tuesday night's State of the Union address, in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., furiously ripped up the president's speech upon its conclusion.
Also ahead of the vote, Republican and Democratic leaders addressed the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned of "truly dangerous" Democratic partisans, saying they insist on taking down institutions that do not produce the outcomes they desire.
"This partisan impeachment will end today," McConnell said. "But, I fear the threat to our institutions may not. Normally, when a party loses an election, it accepts defeat. ... But not this time."