In what critics called the final act of a “ham-handed coverup” by Republican lawmakers, President Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate on both impeachment counts—one for abuse of power and one for obstruction of Congress—approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last month.
In the first vote on abuse of power, the vote was 48 in favor of conviction and removal of the president with just one Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, joining with the 47 members of the Democratic caucus. All 52 other Republicans in the Senate voted to acquit.
“The American people will not take this assault on our democracy sitting down. We will organize like never before to hold Donald Trump and Senate Republicans accountable at the ballot box this November.”
—Sean Eldridge, Stand Up America
In the second vote on obstruction of power, the vote was 47-53, strictly along party lines.
Immediately following the vote, progressives expressed outrageand condemned the senators who voted to acquit the president.
Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, was among those who said that while the outcome was not unexpected, it would not soon be forgotten.
“Americans deserved the truth, but they got a ham-handed coverup instead,” Hobert Flynn said. “The Republican majority in the United States Senate denied the American people the truth and violated their oaths of office in a fruitless attempt to sweep Trump’s illegal acts under the rug.”
“In a cowardly and disgraceful final act to their show trial,” she continued, “Senate Republicans—with the notable exception of Mitt Romney—buried their heads in the sand and voted to condone President Trump’s blatant abuse of the powers of the presidency. Make no mistake about it, this was nothing more than an attempted partisan coverup for the shameless and illegal conduct of Donald Trump.”
“The Republican majority in the United States Senate denied the American people the truth and violated their oaths of office in a fruitless attempt to sweep Trump’s illegal acts under the rug.”
—Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause
“This is not an ‘acquittal,’ this is a cover-up,” said Stand Up America founder and president Sean Eldridge in a statement. “What Republican senators just did threatens the foundation of our democracy and upends the rule of law.”
Eldridge called the Senate vote part of a “sham trial that hid evidence from the American people,” and accused Republicans of choosing “partisan cowardice over patriotism.”
“The American people will not take this assault on our democracy sitting down,” said Eldridge. “We will organize like never before to hold Donald Trump and Senate Republicans accountable at the ballot box this November.”
Today Senate Republicans voted to acquit Donald Trump on both impeachment charges (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress). We won’t forget the Republicans who put party over country though. We’re going to replace them. Join us: https://t.co/pT854XDgn9 pic.twitter.com/yKu6q456Iw
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) February 5, 2020
Rahna Epting, executive director of MoveOn Political Action, echoed the call for electoral payback. “Republican senators may have failed to do their job, but voters won’t fail to do ours,” said Epting. “We have one message for Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans who time and time again have helped cover up his abuses: We will see you at the ballot box.”
“This trial may close, but this movement continues,” said By the People executive director Alexandra Flores-Quilty.
Flores-Quilty added that her group and others would continue to push to hold both Trump and Republican lawmakers accountable.
“Just as past Americans came together to defeat kings and Jim Crow, we will unite to make this country what it should be,” said Flores-Quilty. “A government of, by, and for the people.”