The GOP-controlled Senate voted Wednesday afternoon to acquit President Donald Trump of the two articles of impeachment against him in December in a Democrat-led effort that few political analysts believed would be successful.
Fifty-two of the chamber’s 53 Republicans voted to acquit the president, while all Democrats voted to convict. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican president to cross the aisle to vote with the opposition party.
“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” Romney said on the Senate floor before the final vote. “What the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recognized the upper chamber’s role in the constitutional impeachment process while criticizing the “political” nature of the allegations against President Trump.
“The United States Senate was made for moments likes this. The framers predicted that factional fever might dominate House majorities from time to time,” he said.
“They knew the country would need firewall to keep partisan flames from scorching, scorching our Republic,” McConnell noted.
The Senate needed 67 votes, or three-fourths of those present, to convict and remove the president from office.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told Fox News earlier Wednesday he would like to end the “age of impeachment” that the House and Democrats seem to be living in.
“I look at the evidence of what actually happened and what the accusation is and the accusation, the evidence or two very different things,” Lankford told interviewer Chris Foster, adding that he would also not support a censure resolution like the one floated by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. “I couldn’t support a censure based on the evidence and information that I have right now.”
“There’s also no question that beginning on the very first day, literally within minutes of the president being inaugurated on the 20th of January 2017, The Washington Post already had a headline up saying that the process of impeachment had already begun,” Lankford continued, before adding that he hopes to see an end to the “age of impeachment.”
“They’ve already said we may call [former National Security Adviser John] Bolton, we may just keep going on this and keep doing what we’re going to do. I have every reason to believe they’re going to do that at the end of the day,” Lankford said. “We still have to solve things as a nation and try to get things resolved.”
“And I’d love to be able to get us out of this age of impeachment. Age of investigations, just one after another,” Lankford added.