WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was acquitted Wednesday in the final day of his weeks-long impeachment trial, despite the votes from the two Michigan Senators who voted to remove him from office.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) voted that he was guilty of the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges that he was impeached on in December.
In a statement Stabenow sent after the trial, she said she is disheartened that partisanship won over the willingness to have a fair, bipartisan trial with credible witnesses and documents.
“I am also deeply concerned that the message being sent by this trial is that this President, and future Presidents, are above the law. That, of course, is the opposite of what should be true in our democracy. Despite the arguments put forward by the White House, in America, no President is above the law, and it is illegal to accept help from a foreign country to influence an election," she said in the statement.
House Democrats brought the impeachment case against Trump for his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky when he pressured the country to investigate former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, ahead of the 2020 election.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Dec. 18.
Sen. Peters released a statement on Twitter Wednesday before the acquittal hearing. He said he swore an oath to defend the Constitution.
"What the president did was wrong, unacceptable, and impeachable," Peters said in the recorded statement.
Two-thirds of the senators would have needed to vote "guilty" in order to reach the Constitution's bar of high crimes and misdemeanors to convict and remove Trump from office, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Romney announced his decision on the Senate floor Wednesday ahead of the Senate vote. The senator called it "perhaps the most abusive and destructive" violation of oath of office that I can imagine." He said he would vote against the second article of impeachment, which accuses Trump of obstructing Congress, according to the AP.
Romney received support from Rep. Justin Amash, an independent from Grand Rapids, who has been outspoken about impeaching Trump.
Amash thanked Romney on Twitter for upholding his oath to support and defend the Consitution saying: "You will never regret putting your faith in God and doing right according to the law and your conscience."
The final tallies show that 52 out of 100 senators voted that he was "not guilty" on the abuse of power charge, and 53 senators also voted that he was "not guilty" on the obstruction of Congress investigation. Two-thirds of "guilty" votes would have been needed for Trump to be removed from office, according to the AP.
Watch the full trial here:
Read Stabenow's full statement here:
“Today was a serious and pivotal moment in our nation’s history. I am disheartened that partisanship won over the willingness to have a fair, bipartisan trial with credible witnesses and documents. Common sense says that if President Trump’s top staff members had evidence of his innocence, he would have insisted that we hear from them, as we should. Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened, which only strengthens the case presented by the House of Representatives.
“I am also deeply concerned that the message being sent by this trial is that this President, and future Presidents, are above the law. That, of course, is the opposite of what should be true in our democracy. Despite the arguments put forward by the White House, in America, no President is above the law, and it is illegal to accept help from a foreign country to influence an election.
“We are here because President Trump used his power as President of the United States to pressure a foreign nation to help him with his upcoming re-election. Ukraine is at war with Russia, and our ongoing military assistance is not only critical to them, but it is vital to our own nation’s security. Holding up this aid for the sake of politics was a clear abuse of power.
“Today’s vote and President Trump’s actions put our 2020 U.S. elections at even greater risk of foreign interference.
“As we move forward, all of us should look for common ground on the things we care deeply about in Michigan and do our part to lessen the divide within our families and our communities.
“I intend to continue to focus on the issues that bring us together – protecting our Great Lakes, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and helping create good-paying jobs. Together, we can move forward in a positive way for our families.”
More stories on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
- Mother, 3 sons killed in Grand Rapids house fire
- Ford Museum to display nationally-acclaimed Civil Rights art to honor Black History Month
- Macy's to close over 100 stores, shed about 2,000 corporate jobs
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.