The End of Impeachment


Shealah Craighead/Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

President Trump greets onlookers as he exits Air Force One in Saudi Arabia.

As of Wednesday, February 5th, Donald Trump has been acquitted on both articles of impeachment that were brought by the House. The vote occurred on party lines, with the notable exception of Mitt Romney, the junior Republican Senator of Utah who voted to convict on the count of abuse of power.

In an interview shortly after, Romney told The New York Times “attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made.” This decision to act out will cost Romney, and he is aware of it, telling The Times, “I recognize there are going to be enormous consequences for having reached this conclusion.”

Trump elected not to bring up the impeachment during his State of the Union Address, on Tuesday, February 4, where he championed the strong economy and discussed his vision for the country. On Thursday morning, however, Trump lashed out against his detractors. At the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Trump held up multiple papers titled “ACQUITTED.”

Many believe Trump was referencing Mitt Romney when he said “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” as Romney discussed his beliefs in God as he voted to convict Trump.

Trump continued with the theme of religion, referencing Nancy Pelosi when he said “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you’ when you know that is not so.” Trump is referring to a comment of Pelosi’s which was made in December after a reporter asked her if she “hated” Donald Trump. She responded, “I was raised in a way that is full, a heart full of love, and always pray for the president. And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time.”

Now that the impeachment has officially come to a close, people are wondering what happens next. For many, focus will now shift to the 2020 election, where current front-runner Bernie Sanders is battling it out with more moderate democrats like Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg for the chance to take on Trump in the November general election.

The impeachment hasn’t had much of an adverse effect on President Trump, as 538’s conglomeration of approval polls have Trump’s Approval rating at 43.9%, the highest it has been since February 2017. Democrats will continue to argue that the not guilty verdict is not a true acquittal, as there were no witnesses called to the Senate trial. On the other side, Republicans will champion the not guilty verdict as a complete vindication of president Trump, and evidence of the corrupt “witch hunt” against him.