The United States Senate voted yesterday to acquit President Donald Trump (R), ending what was only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.
The United States House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment in December, alleging that Trump had abused his power and obstructed Congress. This led to a trial in the Senate which was presided over by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. It would have required a two-thirds supermajority of senators to convict and remove the president from office. Neither article received even a bare majority.
On the first charge, abuse of power, the Senate voted 52-48 to acquit. This was largely along party lines. All of the Democrats, and the two independents who caucus with the Democrats, voted to convict. All but one of the Republicans voted to acquit. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) broke with his party and voted to convict.
On the second charge, obstruction of Congress, the Senate voted 53-47 to acquit. This was a straight party-line vote with all Democrats, and the two independents who caucus with the Democrats, voting to convict and all Republicans voting to acquit.
Only two previous presidents have been impeached—President Andrew Johnson (D) in 1868 and President Bill Clinton (D) in 1998. Both were also acquitted in Senate trials, and no president has ever been removed from office. Articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon (R) passed the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 but Nixon resigned before they could be considered by the full House or brought to the Senate for trial.