NC, SC Senators Vote To Acquit Trump In Impeachment Trial
All four North Carolina and South Carolina senators -- all Republicans -- voted Wednesday to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.
South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's staunchest supporters, was most vocal in his passionate defense of Trump when the Senate voted 52-48 to acquit Trump on abuse of power and 53-47 to acquit on obstruction of Congress.
"This partisan-driven impeachment has done injury to the office of the presidency and was an injustice to President Trump," Graham tweeted. "As I said after the Clinton impeachment trial, the Senate has spoken and the cloud over the presidency has been removed. I meant it then and mean it now.
Unfortunately, I doubt my Democratic colleagues, who are being driven by unlimited hatred of President Trump, have the ability to move on. The President was acquitted today by the Senate and will be exonerated by the American people in November when he is reelected to a 2nd term."
This partisan-driven impeachment has done injury to the office of the presidency and was an injustice to President Trump.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 5, 2020
As I said after the Clinton impeachment trial, the Senate has spoken and the cloud over the presidency has been removed. I meant it then and mean it now.
Sen. Thom Tillis, who is up for reelection this year as North Carolina's junior senator, issued the following statement:
"This entire impeachment effort was motivated by partisan politics and a desire to remove the President from office instead of allowing the American people to decide his fate at the ballot box in November. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats denied the President basic due process rights from the start and ultimately presented a weak case for removal that was rejected by the Senate. The President has been acquitted and we now need to move on. I’m committed to continuing my work to deliver more results for North Carolinians to keep our economy and military strong."
Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina's senator who has said he will retire when his term is up in 2022, also voted not guilty on both charges.
He issued the following statement:
“In my 25 years representing North Carolina in Congress, I have cast thousands of votes, each with their own significance. I approached today’s vote with sober and deliberate consideration, conscious of my Constitutional responsibility to serve as an impartial juror. The Senate’s role is to determine whether the House has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and whether, if true, these charges rise to the level of removing the President from office.
“The House had ample opportunity to pursue the answers to its inquiry in order to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They chose not to do so. Instead, investigators followed an arbitrary, self-imposed timeline dictated by political, rather than substantive, concerns. When due process threatened to slow down the march forward, they took shortcuts.
“The Founding Fathers who crafted our modern impeachment mechanism predicted this moment, and warned against a solely partisan and politically-motivated process. They understood that an impeachment process rooted purely in disagreements about policy would subordinate the Executive to Congress, rather than delineating it as a co-equal branch of our federal government. Instead, they believed issues that do not meet the Constitutional threshold for impeachment should be navigated through our electoral process.
“To remove a U.S. President from office, for the first time in our history, on anything less than overwhelming evidence of ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ would effectively overturn the will of the American people. For these reasons, I voted to acquit the President on both articles of impeachment.”
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott spoke on the Senate floor before the impeachment vote, saying, in part: "You cannot mix facts and fiction without having the premise of deceiving the American public, and that's what we saw here in our chambers... Let's vote no on these motions today and give back to working -- and get back to working for the American people."