The Senate voted Wednesday to acquit President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, ending a historic Senate trial that was centered on his conduct toward Ukraine but that did not include live witnesses or new documents.

One Republican — Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — crossed party lines to join Democrats in voting to convict Trump on the first charge, abuse of power.

Trump stonewalled the House impeachment probe, blocking witnesses and denying documents. He stands as the third president to be impeached.

The acquittal follows a State of the Union address Tuesday night in which Trump pointed to the strong economy as vindication as he sought to move on from impeachment. The speech ended with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tearing up a copy of Trump’s prepared remarks.

The crux of the case against Trump is the allegation that he withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son. Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was vice president.

●Trump paints strong economy as vindication as he tries to move past impeachment.

●Democrats use State of the Union rebuttal to pivot from impeachment.

●A look at the reality-show reveals in Trump’s speech.

●These Republicans said they hope Trump has learned a lesson from impeachment, but he said he hasn’t.

February 5, 2020 at 8:30 PM EST

GOP senators announced request for Hunter Biden travel records

Shortly after the Senate voted to acquit Trump, GOP Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) announced they would be probing Hunter Biden — just as Trump had wanted Ukraine to do.

In a letter to the head of the Secret Service, the senators write that they are “reviewing potential conflict of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration, particularly with respect to his business activities in Ukraine and China.”

They are seeking from the Secret Service any times that Hunter Biden traveled with protective security detail when his father was vice president and whether he flew on government planes.

By Colby Itkowitz
February 5, 2020 at 8:15 PM EST

Biden says Trump shouldn’t view acquittal as a victory

Former vice president Joe Biden was asked as his first question at a CNN town hall to respond to the Senate’s acquittal vote and Trump’s assertion that it’s a victory.

Biden, who found himself unwittingly at the center of the impeachment inquiry, didn’t opine much, but said, “I can’t imagine being the president of the United States and having a whole party and someone from your own party say you should be thrown out of office and call that a victory.”

By Colby Itkowitz
February 5, 2020 at 7:00 PM EST

Trump tweets video montage attacking Romney

It didn’t take long for Trump to go after Romney for his vote to remove the president from office.

He tweeted a video montage of Romney, calling him a “Democratic secret asset.” The footage includes Romney accepting Trump’s endorsement in 2012 and news coverage of his loss to President Barack Obama and ends with Trump’s win in 2016.

Romney knew that his vote would make him a target of Trump’s wrath.

“I am sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters,” Romney said in his floor speech announcing his vote. “Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?”

By Colby Itkowitz
February 5, 2020 at 6:45 PM EST

Democrats claim some Republicans privately thought Trump was guilty

Several Democrats claimed after the Senate voted to acquit Trump that some Republicans who publicly defended Trump had privately acknowledged he was wrong.

A popular Democratic refrain after the Senate acquitted Trump was that Republicans knew Trump was guilty and let him off anyway.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) accused his Republican colleagues of voting out of fear, not principle. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the GOP knows Trump was wrong, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said some Republicans agreed with Romney in their hearts.

“In private, many of my colleagues agree that the president is reckless and unfit,” Brown wrote in an New York Times op-ed that published after the vote. “They admit his lies. And they acknowledge what he did was wrong. They know this president has done things Richard Nixon never did.”

Schumer, speaking to reporters, said, “There’s a whole lot of Republicans, I believe, who knew we were right, but said I don’t want the bother of being attacked relentlessly by the president and hard right.”

Sanders, speaking about Romney’s vote with Democrats, told reporters, “Senator Romney showed today a lot of courage in his vote, and to be honest with you, I suspect there are a lot of — or at least a number of Republicans who, in their hearts, agreed with Senator Romney.”

By Colby Itkowitz
February 5, 2020 at 6:30 PM EST

Schiff calls Romney’s speech and vote an ‘inspiration’

House Intelligence Committee Chairman and lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) called Romney an “inspiration” Wednesday for breaking with his party to vote to convict Trump on the charge of abuse of power, saying his speech explaining that vote will “change history.”

“I mentioned on the floor that even a single vote can change history, and I think his vote just did,” Schiff said in a brief interview Wednesday. “For a lot of us, when we face difficult votes in the future, we’ll think back to the courage that he displayed, how he put country over party.”

“The fact that this came from the former Republican nominee for president was really powerful,” Schiff said, concluding that Romney’s “vote alone vindicated the faith the Founders put that we were up to the task of self-governance.”

Schiff argued the majority of the House’s case against Trump during the Senate trial, frequently urging Republican senators to shake off political pressures as he appealed to them to convict Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Romney voted to acquit Trump on the obstruction of Congress charge.

But moderate Democrats all voted to convict Trump on both counts, and Schiff congratulated them for “courage” in taking that vote, too.

“There are a number or Democratic senators that showed very similar courage, and that shouldn’t be overlooked, either,” Schiff said. “There were some real profiles in courage here, which give me a lot of optimism. So I leave this optimistic about the future.”

Schiff would not, however, say if the future includes a subpoena for former national security adviser John Bolton. “We’ve made no decisions about Bolton or other things,” he insisted.

By Karoun Demirjian
February 5, 2020 at 6:00 PM EST

Trump to address nation about impeachment on Thursday

Trump announced that he will address the nation from the White House on Thursday afternoon, one day after his acquittal.

“I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” he tweeted.

Trump made no mention of impeachment during his State of the Union address Tuesday night and was largely silent on the topic while Wednesday’s Senate proceedings were underway. He instead sent a string of retweets taking aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for ripping up a copy of his State of the Union address.

By Felicia Sonmez
February 5, 2020 at 5:45 PM EST

Pelosi calls McConnell ‘cowardly,’ says GOP ‘normalized lawlessness’

Pelosi gave a scathing assessment of the Senate’s vote to acquit Trump, whom she called a “rogue president.”

The Founders, she said, “never imagined that they would at the same time have a rogue leader in the Senate who would cowardly abandon his duty to uphold the Constitution” — ripping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

She maintained, as she has stated previously, that the acquittal is illegitimate because the trial did not have “the most basic elements of a fair judicial process.”

Pelosi accused the GOP of “betrayal of the Constitution” and said Trump “remains an ongoing threat to American democracy” because of that.

By Colby Itkowitz
February 5, 2020 at 5:30 PM EST

White House press secretary rails Democrats, Romney after acquittal

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham condemned Democrats as liars and said their “sham impeachment” ended “in the full vindication and exoneration” of Trump.

“The Senate voted to reject the baseless articles of impeachment, and only the President’s political opponents — all Democrats, and one failed Republican presidential candidate — voted for the manufactured impeachment articles,” she said in a statement after the Senate vote.

Grisham accused Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who led the impeachment proceedings in the House, of lying and suggested he should face retribution.

She said the president was “pleased to put this latest chapter of shameful behavior by the Democrats in the past, and looks forward to continuing his work on behalf of the American people in 2020 and beyond.”

Trump’s first tweet after his acquittal was a moving image of him being president for decades and decades to come.

By Colby Itkowitz
February 5, 2020 at 5:20 PM EST

Inside the Senate chamber for Wednesday’s acquittal vote

At 4 p.m., just as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was finishing his remarks, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) walked onto the floor on the Democratic side of the aisle, went straight to the desk of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and touched his arm.

The Democrats whispered to one another and Manchin stood up and hugged her. In a brief break before the trial formally began, Manchin’s Democratic colleagues came over to him in the back of the chamber, hugging him, patting him on the back — finally aware that he would join them in a united caucus vote to remove Trump from office.

As the session began, the public galleries were packed — not quite completely full, but the most crowded they have been during the trial. More than a half dozen spouses were on hand, including Jane Sanders and Marcelle Leahy, wives of Vermont’s Sens. Bernie Sanders (I) and Patrick J. Leahy (D), as well as Connie Schultz, the wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

The back benches on the chamber floor, reserved for members of the House who wanted to attend the trial, were filled with lawmakers from both parties.

As the deputy sergeant at arms called out “hear ye, hear ye” to start the services, Romney slipped into the chamber, one of the last senators to arrive. He stared straight ahead throughout the roll call, occasionally sipping water. Across the chamber, as the last remaining senator whose vote was unknown to the public, Manchin did the same.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead impeachment manager, sat in the first chair of their table, turned at a three-quarters position so that he could swivel his head around the chamber with every senator’s name called out. When each of the two roll calls ended, he pivoted around to stare at the clerks and parliamentarians as they double-checked votes that he was certain to lose, waiting until Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. read out each vote: 48-52, 47-53.

Among the Democrats, Norm Eisen, a senior counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, kept the vote tally sheet for their side, while Trump attorney Jay Sekulow and a legal aide scribbled down the votes of each senator.

After receiving the “golden gavel,” an honor awarded to freshman senators after they have overseen at least 100 hours of Senate debate, Roberts left the chamber, escorted out by four senators. A couple of minutes later, Schiff and his team departed.

By Paul Kane
February 5, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST

McConnell declines to say whether Romney should be expelled from GOP

At a post-acquittal news conference, McConnell was repeatedly asked about Romney’s political future given his vote to convict Trump on an abuse-of-power charge.

A number of influential GOP figures, including Donald Trump Jr., have pressed Senate Republicans to remove Romney from their party’s ranks in the chamber.

But McConnell was notably restrained in his criticism of his Utah colleague and declined to say whether he thinks Romney should be expelled.

“I was surprised and disappointed, but we have much work to do for the American people, and I think Senator Romney has been largely supportive of most everything we’ve tried to accomplish,” McConnell said.

He was far more scathing in his assessment of Democrats, casting their move to impeach the president as a grave misstep.

“Right now, this is a political loser for them,” McConnell said. “They initiated it. They thought this was a great idea. And at least for the short term, it has been a colossal political mistake.”

By Felicia Sonmez
February 5, 2020 at 4:45 PM EST

Roberts receives ‘golden gavel,’ adjourns trial with wishes of happier times

McConnell presented Roberts with a golden gavel “to commemorate his time presiding over this body.”

The gavel, McConnell said, is usually given to senators who have presided over the Senate for 100 hours — but Roberts, he said, “put in his due and then some.”

Roberts spoke briefly at the conclusion of the trial, offering senators his “sincere good wishes as we carry out our common commitment to the Constitution.”

He closed by thanking them for being “generous hosts” and added, “I look forward to seeing you again under happier circumstances.”

By Colby Itkowitz
February 5, 2020 at 4:40 PM EST

Trump campaign says impeachment was ‘worst miscalculation in American political history’

Brad Parscale, Trump’s presidential campaign manager, celebrated Wednesday’s vote, declaring in a statement that the president’s campaign “only got bigger and stronger as a result of this nonsense.”

The impeachment, he added, “will go down as the worst miscalculation in American political history.”

“President Trump has been totally vindicated and it’s now time to get back to the business of the American people,” Parscale said. “The do-nothing Democrats know they can’t beat him, so they had to impeach him.”

Shortly after Wednesday’s vote, Trump himself took a victory lap as well, tweeting an animated video created by one of his supporters suggesting that he will remain president for eternity.

By Felicia Sonmez
February 5, 2020 at 4:30 PM EST

Senate votes to acquit Trump on second impeachment charge, obstruction of Congress

The Senate voted 53 to 47 to acquit Trump on the second impeachment charge, obstruction of Congress. Unlike on the first charge, Romney joined members of his party in voting to acquit Trump on the second charge.

Several Trump administration officials, including Vice President Pence and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, had predicted earlier Wednesday that Trump would be acquitted on a bipartisan vote.

But that prediction did not come true: Republicans did not succeed in persuading any Democrats to cross the aisle in voting for acquittal on either charge.

By Felicia Sonmez
February 5, 2020 at 4:20 PM EST

Senate votes to acquit Trump on abuse of power, the first of two impeachment charges

The Senate voted 52 to 48 Wednesday to acquit Trump on the charge of abuse of power.

The near-party-line vote in the Republican-led Senate came on the first article against Trump, the third president to be impeached by the House.

Several Republicans said Trump was wrong to leverage U.S. aid to Ukraine to pressure a foreign leader to investigate his domestic political rival but argued that it did not warrant a guilty verdict and ouster from office.

By Felicia Sonmez