News, Politics

Donald Trump Found “Not Guilty” at Impeachment Trial

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A gavel and a sign that says "impeachment"
Impeachment by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

As expected, US president Donald Trump was found not guilty of doing either of the two things he was charged with.

Trump was “acquitted on both articles of impeachment.” That means that the Senate voted that he didn’t “abuse his power” or “obstruct Congress.”

Trump will continue to be the US president. In order to have been removed from his job, two-thirds of the senators would have had to vote against him.

The senators voted 52 to 48 that Trump did not abuse his power as president. And they voted 53 to 47 that Trump did not obstruct Congress.

There are more Republican (Trump’s political party) senators than Democratic senators.

Only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney, voted against Donald Trump. He voted to convict Trump on the “abuse of power” charge.

Shortly after the vote on Wednesday, Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted that Mitt Romney “should be expelled from the GOP.” (GOP stands for Grand Old Party, a nickname for the Republican party.)

Trump had been accused of abusing his power as the president of the United States by trying to get the government of Ukraine to investigate his political opponent, former US vice-president Joe Biden.

After Trump was charged, there was a trial but the Republican-heavy Senate did not allow the Democrats to call any witnesses to explain why they felt the charges were valid.

It is only the third presidential impeachment trial in US history.

THINK AND DISCUSS

Point-of-View: In a speech before the vote, Senator Mitt Romney summed up his reasons for voting the way he did, saying what he felt the president had done: “The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president’s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. … Corrupting an election to keep one’s self in office is perhaps one of the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”

Compare and Contrast: Read the tweet by Donald Trump Jr. in the article. Use these two statements to compare and contrast the points-of-view of Mitt Romney and Donald Trump Jr. How does each feel about the impeachment and about the vote? What tells you that?

History: Donald Trump wants to be president for another term. That makes him the only US president to seek re-election in American history. What other historical moments are taking place because of this impeachment? What do you think will come of it all–how will it be remembered?

Math: How many senators voted, in total? Create a math problem (using addition, subtraction and/or percentages) using the numbers in this article, or any additional numbers concerning the voting that you find in your research.

LINKS

It is interesting to read big news articles about the same event, covered by media that are in different countries or which have different points of view–for instance, Canadian, American and UK newspapers. Or kid-friendly news (like TKN) vs. other news organizations.

Front pages of various US newspapers after the Trump acquittal: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-14-newspapers-around-the-country-covered-donald-trumps-acquittal-2020-2

CBC (Canadian) (Note: article contains a mild swear word in a statement by Trump): https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-day-after-impeachment-1.5454006

BBC (UK): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51394383

ABC News (US) (Note: article contains a swear word, that has been asterisked **** out): https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-respond-senate-trial-acquittal-noon-remarks-white/story?id=68800473

Fox News (US) (Note: article contains a mild swear word in a statement by Trump): https://fox8.com/2020/02/06/president-trump-to-deliver-first-remarks-since-acquittal-at-national-prayer-breakfast/