As Republicans rallied behind President Trump, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, joined Democrats in voting to convict, the only senator to cross party lines.
WASHINGTON — After five months of hearings, investigations and revelations about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, a divided United States Senate acquitted him on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress to aid his own re-election, bringing an acrimonious impeachment trial to its expected end.
In a pair of votes whose outcome was never in doubt, the Senate fell well short of the two-thirds margin that would have been needed to remove the 45th president. The verdicts came down — after three weeks of debate — almost entirely along party lines, with every Democrat voting “guilty” on both charges and Republicans uniformly voting “not guilty” on the obstruction of Congress charge.
Only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, broke with his party to judge Mr. Trump guilty of abuse of power.
It was the third impeachment trial of a president and the third acquittal in American history, and it ended the way it began: with Republicans and Democrats at odds. They disagreed over Mr. Trump’s conduct and his fitness for office, even as some members of his own party conceded the basic allegations that undergirded the charges, that he sought to pressure Ukraine to smear his political rivals.
But in a sign of the widening partisan divide testing the country and its institutions, the verdict did not promise finality, which members of both parties conceded would come only after the November election.The president himself did not directly address his acquittal, but shortly afterward, he announced on Twitter that he would make a public statement on Thursday at the White House about what he called “our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax.” He then tweeted an attack ad against Mr. Romney that called the senator a “Democrat secret asset.”
At the Capitol earlier in the day, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who presided over the trial, put the question to senators shortly after 4 p.m.: “Senators how say you? Is the respondent, Donald John Trump, president of the United States guilty or not guilty?”
Seated at their mahogany desks, senators stood one by one to answer “guilty” or “not guilty” to each of the two articles of impeachment.
“It is, therefore, ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles,” declared Chief Justice Roberts after the second article was defeated.