Barely fourteen hours after the US Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, indications are that the president is receiving a more positive rating across the country.
Some US media outlets have reported a small surge in support for Mr. Trump, in part due to the failed bid by the Democrats to remove him from office, but also because of the negative press that has plagued Monday’s chaotic Democratic caucuses in Iowa.
Wednesday night’s Senate vote brought to an end a historic trial that was centered on Mr. Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine. His acquittal had been pretty much a foregone conclusion following the Senate’s decision, last Friday, to vote down the prosecution’s demand for live witnesses and new documents.
On the first charge (abuse of power), the Senate Wednesday voted fifty-two-to-forty-eight to acquit Mr. Trump. One Republican, Mitt Romney of Utah, crossed party lines to join Democrats in voting to convict him.
But on the second charge of obstruction of Congress, the inter-party divide was total, with Senator Romney opting to side with his Republican majority to acquit the president.
Throughout the Senate trial, Mr. Trump’s House prosecutors accused him of stonewalling the House impeachment probe, blocking witnesses and denying documents. His conviction in December by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives makes him only the third US president to be impeached, behind Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
Also, his acquittal by the Senate comes hot on the heels of a State of the Union address in which the president pointed to the strong economy as vindication of his first three years in office. The speech ended with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of Mr. Trump’s prepared remarks.
The crux of the case against Donald Trump is the allegation that he withheld hundreds of millions of Dollars in military aid as well as a White House meeting to pressure Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate his political rivals.