As expected, the Senate voted to acquit President Trump in his impeachment trial, in a partisan vote where all Democrats voted “guilty” and all Republicans voted “not guilty,” except one. In a move that sparked confusion and criticism in the GOP, Mitt Romney was the lone dissenting vote on one of the articles of impeachment, voting “guilty” on Trump’s accusations of abuse of presidential power. Conservatives went berserk on social media, labeling and condemning Romney, who also voted to call more witnesses during the Senate trial last week.
Trump took the news in stride, taking to Twitter as is his custom, to “discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” Other party members and supporters gloated in victory, still energized by the State of the Union address and the chaos of the Democratic caucus in Iowa. As expected, the entire process has galvanized support for Trump within his party, as the undoubted Republican nominee for the upcoming presidential election. In a response to House Speaker Pelosi’s ripping of her copy of the State of the Union speech, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) ripped up the articles on impeachment on an online video shortly after Trump’s acquittal.
Trump’s next more challenging task will be convincing American voters that the impeachment process was a political challenge and not one of ethics or unlawful conduct. For now, it appears as though he has the Republican party firmly in his hand as he moves his attention forward to the election.