WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump was acquitted Wednesday in the final day of his weeks-long impeachment trial, despite the votes from the two Virginia Senators who voted to remove him from office.
Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine, both Democrats, voted that he was guilty of the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges that he was impeached on in December.
After the vote on Wednesday, Warner tweeted, "It is the Senate's constitutional responsibility to uphold the bedrock American principle that no one is above the law, not even the President and *especially not the President.*"
In announcing his vote to convict, Kaine said, "Unchallenged evil spreads like a virus. We have allowed a toxic President to infect the Senate and warp its behavior. An acquittal will lead to worse conduct. I will not be part of this continual degradation of public trust."
House Democrats brought the impeachment case against President Trump for his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky when he pressured the country to investigate former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, ahead of the 2020 election.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Dec. 18.
A conviction always seemed like an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate, and in the end, the verdict fell on a mostly party-line vote. On Republican Senator Mitt Romney defected from his party, voting to convict on one of the two charges.
"President Trump is going to be acquitted," Kaine tweeted shortly before the vote. "But let's be clear: an acquittal is not an exoneration. The refusal to allow witnesses and documents—to engineer a sham rather than a trial—will put an asterisk by today in the history books."
The final tallies show that 52 out of 100 senators voted that he was "not guilty" on the abuse of power charge, and 53 senators also voted that he was "not guilty" on the obstruction of Congress investigation.
Two-thirds of "guilty" votes would have been needed for Trump to be removed from office, according to the AP.