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Thomas Gallatin / Feb. 6, 2020

Trump 'Acquitted for Life'

As predicted, the Senate voted to acquit Trump of the Dems' partisan impeachment charges.

Wednesday was a great day for our Republic’s Constitution and Rule of Law.

For only the third time in U.S. history, the Senate voted on presidential impeachment articles, and in this case, to acquit president Donald Trump of the politically-motivated articles of impeachment introduced by partisan House impeachment managers. To this day, no U.S. president has been convicted by the Senate and removed from office, and with President Trump the vote wasn’t even close. In a clear repudiation of the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment charade, the Senate voted 53-47 and 52-48 acquitting Trump of the Democrats’ two vacuous charges. Predictably, the lone Republican siding with the Democrats on the “abuse of power” charge was, unsurprisingly, Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee who lost to Barack Obama. Thus ends the most hyper-partisan impeachment in U.S. history.

Trump celebrated his acquittal and promised to further respond to “our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” by noon Thursday. It certainly is a big win for the president, for the Republican Party, and for the country. Once again, the wisdom of our Framers was poignantly displayed, as the Democrats’ politically motived gambit failed precisely because impeachment was never designed or intended to be used as a political tool by the opposing party to oust a duly elected president over purely partisan sentiments. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Chalk up one more victory for the Framers of the Constitution, who realized the dangers of political factions and created the Senate to check them.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s petulant action of tearing up her copy of Trump’s State of the Union Address perfectly matched the grossly partisan nature of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. Thus, in response to her declaration that Trump is “impeached for life,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shared a video of himself declaring Trump “Acquitted for life” as he tears up a copy of the articles of impeachment.

Getting back to the vote, what may have come as a minor surprise was the fact that Joe Manchin (WV) and Doug Jones (AL), Democrat senators representing solidly pro-Trump states, voted to convict Trump. Then again, it’s really not surprising at all. In Jones’s case, his chance for winning reelection in 2020 in deep-red Alabama is so slim that no matter how he voted he’s unlikely to win — so why break with his party? He might as well be a loyal sailor and go down with the ship.

In Manchin’s case, the calculation was that of pragmatism. He’s not up for reelection until 2024, so that was hardly a pressing concern. The bigger factor was his standing within the party and the reality that if the Democrats win control of the Senate in November he doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of Chuck Schumer for failing to hold the party line. In all likelihood, Schumer also engaged in a little quid pro quo with Manchin to ensure his vote to convict. As we have previously noted, the Democrats’ primary aim with their impeachment gambit was not the removal of Trump but winning control of the Senate. Schumer’s oft-repeated talking point is that Senate Republicans held an unfair impeachment trial. For that to have any appearance of credibility, he couldn’t have any Democrat defectors.

Finally, immediately following the Senate’s acquittal vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got back to business by filing cloture on several judges. He continues the unrelentingly effort to act on Trump’s agenda to fill the nation’s federal courts with solid constitutionally committed judges.

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