Welp, the inevitable has come to pass. Senate Republicans are immoral partisan loyalists (except for Mitt Romney). And President Trump shall remain in office until (hopefully only until) next January.
The Senate took its historic vote Wednesday in the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, voting almost entirely along party lines to acquit him of all charges —despite the preponderance of evidence and everyone's obvious knowledge of his guilt. In the end, a president reaching out to a much weaker foreign power and withholding military aid, against the foreign policy and laws of his country, in order to achieve his own conspiracy-theory-fed political ends, is now officially not impeachable. Whatever will he get up to next?
Now that Trump has carte blanche to erode our democracy further and do everything he feels necessary to hold on to power, it should be a fun year.
Sen. Mitt Romney was the only Republican in the chamber to vote to convict on one of the articles of impeachment, the abuse of power one. Romney gave an emotional speech on the Senate floor today, calling the president's actions "grievously wrong."
"The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust," Romney said, according to NPR. "What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine."
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times today, discussing how many Republican senators cast their votes out of fear — namely fear of the wrath of Trump-loving constituents, much the way they cast votes to authorize the Iraq War, many of them against their better judgement, in 2002.
"History has indeed taught us that when it comes to the instincts that drive us, fear has no rival," Brown writes. "As the lead House impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, has noted, Robert Kennedy spoke of how 'moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle.'"
Trump is trumpeting the acquittal as a great "VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax." Except it was never a hoax. And I'm not sure if anyone actually believes it was a hoax no matter how many times he says it. But I can't keep talking. I'm done.
Here's what various California Democrats had to say, following the acquittal:
This is a sad day for our country. After a sham trial with no witnesses or documents presented, Senate Republicans put party over country and acquitted the President.— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) February 5, 2020
History will remember your actions. #DefendOurDemocracy https://t.co/8D5tGgRCUy
Today, I voted guilty on both articles of impeachment against President Trump. Yesterday, I spoke on the Senate floor about my decision. https://t.co/d3DJvVJwjC— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) February 5, 2020
The Senate vote to remove @realdonaldtrump was bipartisan despite the shameful outcome and indefensible efforts of his partisan enablers. @SenatorRomney made the right choice: to carry out his duty to protect the Constitution from a President who is violating it.— Rep. Jared Huffman (@RepHuffman) February 5, 2020
There will be moments in time where we experience incredible disappointment. Today will be one of those days.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) February 5, 2020
But the greatest disappointment of all will be if we give up the fight. We must never give up fighting for our country. pic.twitter.com/C2ht5xuo5b
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also put out a statement Wednesday afternoon calling Mitch McConnell a "rogue leader" of the Senate whom the founding fathers couldn't have imagined.
Today, the President and Senate Republicans have normalized lawlessness and rejected the system of checks and balances of our Constitution. Our Founders put safeguards in the Constitution to protect against a rogue president. They never imagined that they would at the same time have a rogue leader in the Senate who would cowardly abandon his duty to uphold the Constitution.
President Trump was impeached with the support of a majority of the American people – a first in our nation’s history. And now he is the first President in history to face a bipartisan vote to convict him in the Senate. A full 75 percent of Americans and many members of the GOP Senate believe the President’s behavior is wrong. But the Senate chose instead to ignore the facts, the will of the American people and their duty to the Constitution.
The President will boast that he has been acquitted. There can be no acquittal without a trial, and there is no trial without witnesses, documents and evidence. By suppressing the evidence and rejecting the most basic elements of a fair judicial process, the Republican Senate made themselves willing accomplices to the President’s cover-up.
Sadly, because of the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution, the President remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to. The House will continue to protect and defend the checks and balances in the Constitution that safeguard our Republic, both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion. Democrats will continue to defend our democracy For The People.