After months of investigations and accusations, President Donald Trump was acquitted Wednesday on both articles of impeachment brought against him back in December.
“Today, the sham impeachment attempt concocted by Democrats ended in the full vindication and exoneration of President Donald J. Trump. As we have said all along, he is not guilty,” the Office of the Press Secretary released in a statement on Wednesday.
As many expected, the majority of the U.S. Senate voted along party lines, and in doing so acquitted Trump of the abuse of power charge by a vote of 52-48, and the obstruction of Congress charge by returning a vote tallied 53-47.
One Republican Senator, Mitt Romney (Utah), voted against party lines when he voted to impeach Trump on the abuse of power charge.
“I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability, believing that my country expected it of me,” Romney said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
“The Senate voted to reject the baseless articles of impeachment,” the Press Secretary’s statement read. “Only the President’s political opponents — all Democrats, and one failed Republican presidential candidate — voted for the manufactured impeachment articles.”
Romney cited his faith as a factor for his vote to impeach Trump. Trump responded Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast saying: “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi responded to Trump’s comments on Romney, calling them inappropriate.
"God bless him for his courage," Pelosi said on Romney.
President Trump responded to the impeachment voting results on his personal Twitter page, tweeting a video ending with him standing behind a political campaign sign that reads “Trump 4 EVA.”
On Thursday, Trump delivered actual comments to the media calling the entire process a “witch hunt.”
“A tremendous thing was done over the last number of months, but really, if you go back to it, over the last number of years. We had the witch hunt. It started from the day we came down the elevator, myself and our future first lady, who is with us right now," the President said.
"And it never really stopped. We've been going through this now for over three years,” he continued. “It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars, and this should never, ever happen to another president, ever. I don't know that other presidents would have been able to take it."
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul called the House Democrats’ actions an abuse of power in a statement Wednesday night and said that it took the Senate to end the charade.
“First, it was so-called ‘Russian collusion’ and when the Mueller Report didn’t satisfy their desires, Democrats cooked up two articles of impeachment to accomplish their goal and even attempt to prevent future ballot access,” Paul’s statement said. “America deserves better in the future, and I hope we won’t go down such a partisan-driven path again.”
U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) called the impeachment process phony in a statement following the President’s acquittal. Rogers said the process held hostage much of the real work needed to be done by the country’s congress for months.
“President Trump’s acquittal is confirmation of what we have known all along, that there was not a single shred of evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor,” Rogers said in a statement. “In his State of the Union address, President Trump focused on the 'Great American Comeback' story and I hope we can move forward collaboratively to advance an agenda that puts America first.”
While Rogers and others may be ready to put the impeachment process and trial behind them, Pelosi made sure to mention that the House’s vote to impeach Trump will reflect in American history forever.
“He’s impeached forever, no matter what he says, or whatever headlines he wants to carry around,” said Pelosi in a press conference following Wednesday’s vote. “You're impeached forever, you're never getting rid of that scar. And history will always record that you are impeached for undermining the security of our country, jeopardizing the integrity of our elections and violating the constitution of the United States.”
Representatives Adam Schiff (California), Jerrold Nadler (New York), Zoe Lofgren (California), Hakeem Jeffries (New York), Val Demings (Florida), Sylvia Garcia (Texas) and Jason Crow (Colorado) wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post that they had presented overwhelming evidence that President Trump solicited foreign interference to cheat in the next election.
“No one can seriously argue that President Trump has learned from this experience,” the representatives wrote. “This was not the first time he solicited foreign interference in his election, nor will it be the last. As we said during the trial, if left in office, the president will not stop trying to cheat in the next election until he succeeds. We must make sure he does not.”
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said that House and Senate Democrats have “Trump derangement syndrome” while on Fox News Channel’s "Hannity" on Wednesday.
“In other words, whatever he is for, they just have a Pavlovian negative response to it almost immediately,” he explained.
He later added, “this was a thoroughly political maneuver. If it was, it was stupid. It backfired. The President has the best numbers he has had since he has been in office. My members who are in tough races are all looking at better numbers than they were before impeachment started.”
Despite the recent events, Pelosi says she should be able to continue to work with the President.
"We had a strained relationship for a while,” she told reporters. ”We were able to keep government open and push back on his threats to shut down government if we didn't do this and didn't do that."
The duration of Pelosi’s and Trump’s working relationship will be decided later this year, as President Trump’s acquittal comes less than 10 months away from the next Presidential election.