Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is expressing disappointment in Senate Republicans after President Donald Trump was acquitted on the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges. The Senate voted 52-48 and 53-47 against impeaching the president yesterday.
In a statement after the vote, Pelosi, who fought to make the trial fair in the Senate, claimed that Republicans ignored the system of checks and balances set up when the country began. She went on to say that Trump was impeached in the House with the support of the American people and that while many GOP lawmakers agreed, the Senate did not vote based on their beliefs, but simply did what the president wanted.
The exception was Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted guilty on the allegation of abuse of power, saying that it was his duty to be impartial as he swore in his oath of office. He also noted he thought the case for impeachment had been made.
"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."Since the impeachment process began, Pelosi worked to have the president held accountable for two allegations — abuse of power in his oath of office by interfering with a foreign government and compromising national security, as well as obstruction of Congress for directly telling staff to ignore House subpoenas. Once the House voted to impeach the president on December 18, 2019, Pelosi held the articles of impeachment to try to ensure the Senate would give the allegations a fair look. Almost a month later, she signed the articles and sent them to the Senate to begin their review. She said at the time House Democrats wanted to see what Senate Republicans were "willing to do and when they're willing to do it," according to NPR.
However, the Senate voted against hearing witnesses during the trial, to which Pelosi came out saying that no matter what happened in the end, Trump would always be impeached.
"This president is impeached for life regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell," Pelosi said. "There is nothing the Senate can do to ever erase that."
Pelosi may not be done with Trump yet. During a press conference on January 30, when asked what she would do if Trump was not impeached, the speaker of the House commented, "We'll see what happens after that," according to ABC News. What she meant by that remains to be seen.