On Wednesday, the 100-member U.S. Senate acquitted Trump of two articles of impeachment, on which he was impeached by the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives, on Dec. 18. This ends the highly divided U.S. Congress' bid to oust the 45th President of the United States
What happened in the U.S. Senate trial?
A Republicans-controlled senate voted to acquit Trump: 52-48 on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction of Congress, CNN reported. Utah senator Mitt Romney became the only Republican senator to vote in favor of convicting Trump. He choked while stating reasons for convicting Trump.
Rest of the senators voted on party lines. A two-third majority in the senate would have convicted Trump, after which he would have had to turn over his office to Vice-President Mike Pence.
What were the two articles of impeachment?
The impeachment trial stemmed from a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he asked Zelensky to "do us a favor". The "favor" was to dig up dirt against former Vice President and Presidential front-runner Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Hunter Biden held a board position with a Ukrainian natural gas firm, while his father was the U.S. Vice President.
The first article of impeachment accused Trump of 'abuse of power' by withholding $391 million aid to Ukraine to force the President two investigate the Bidens. Trump was also charged with obstruction of Congress after the White House blocked testimony and documents sought by the House impeachment investigators.
The whole issue came into light when a whistleblower revealed the detail, after which the Democrats launched their investigation in September, last year. On Dec. 18, Donald Trump became the third US President to be impeached, after Bill Clinton (1999) and Andrew Johnson (1868), both of whom didn't seek a re-election.
After the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon resigned, before he could be impeached. In November, Trump would be the first impeached President, who'll seek re-election.
Reactions after the Senate acquittal?
Before his acquittal, Trump's approval rating stood at 49%- his personal best, according to Gallup. Trump tweeted that he would make "a public statement tomorrow" to discuss "Country's VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!"
Democrat senate leader Chuck Schumer extended a message to the American people. "Don't lose hope", he said. "There is justice in the world, and truth, and right". "There have been dark periods in our history, but we always overcome", he added.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, called the senate vote a "betrayal of the Constitution" and President Trump as "an ongoing threat to American democracy".