How region's senators voted in Trump impeachment trial
ST. PAUL — The U.S. Senate rebuffed efforts to remove President Donald Trump from office on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in an impeachment trial centered on his alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Voting mostly along party lines, the Senate declined to convict Trump on those articles of impeachment. Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven, both R-N.D., voted to acquit the president on both articles, as did Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds, both R-S.D.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, both D-Minn., were the only senators for the region who voted to convict Trump on both articles. In a statement issued after the acquittal, Thune expressed a desire for the Senate to move on from the impeachment process to other policy issues.
"This has been a highly disruptive process for the American people, and I’m as eager as they are to get back to the agenda they elected us to pursue," he said.
All told, the Senate acquitted Trump of the abuse of power charge by a vote of 48-52, and of obstruction of Congress 53-47. The acquittal was expected in the Republican-controlled Senate, where a two-thirds vote is required to convict and remove a sitting president. It put an end to a process that began in the majority-Democrat U.S. House, which voted in January to impeach Trump.
The two articles of impeachment brought against Trump stemmed from accusations that he pressured his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, now a candidate for president, and his son Hunter.
In his remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, Cramer decried the impeachment process as a partisan attack on Trump. He defended the Senate's handling of the trial, in which no new witnesses or documents were considered.
"The Senate conducted a complete, comprehensive trial resulting, in my view, in a crystal-clear conclusion," he said. "The Democratic-led House of Representatives failed to meet the most basic standard of proof and has dramatically lowered the bar for impeachment to unacceptable levels."
Like his colleagues, Hoeven called in his remarks for the Senate to move on from impeachment to focus on other policy issues. If Trump is to be removed from office, he said, he should be removed by voters in the 2020 election.
In a tweet, Rounds lauded the conclusion of the trial.
"We have overwhelmingly rejected the articles of impeachment and can get back to doing the work Americans sent us here to do," he said. "And we have lots of work to do!"
Smith, in a string of tweets sent after the trial's conclusion, said that "the work of reinforcing the American values of fairness and justice will continue" despite Trump's acquittal. Klobuchar, herself a candidate for president, said in a tweet that the Senate failed to hold Trump accountable.
"History will remember that the majority in this body did not seek out the evidence and instead decided that the President’s actions did not even require a second look," she said.