Senate

Trump to make statement on impeachment ‘victory’ on Thursday

The White House on Wednesday declared President Trump had received “full vindication and exoneration” from a “sham impeachment” after the Senate voted to acquit him on charges he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Trump tweeted that he will give a speech from the White House on Thursday in what promises to serve as a victory lap following a roughly four month process that he regularly decried as a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

“I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” Trump tweeted shortly after his acquittal in the Senate.

Trump’s remarks will be highly anticipated as it will likely mark the first time he publicly addresses the impeachment trial since its conclusion.

His tone is likely to be jovial, and White House aides have hinted in recent days that he would plan to declare vindication in the aftermath of the Senate trial despite being just one of three U.S. presidents to be impeached.

The GOP-controlled Senate on Wednesday acquitted Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. On the first article, 52 senators voted to acquit and 48 senators voted to convict. On obstruction, 53 senators voted to acquit and 47 voted to convict.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump on either charge, siding with Democrats on the abuse of power charge but voting to acquit on obstruction.

Every Senate Democrat and independent voted to convict Trump on both charges.

The president’s allies responded to the verdict by declaring he was “forever acquitted,” a jab at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) past statements that Trump would be impeached “forever” regardless of his fate in the Senate.

Press secretary Stephanie Grisham dismissed the significance of the votes to convict, saying they came from “only the President’s political opponents – all Democrats, and one failed Republican presidential candidate,” taking a swipe at Romney without explicitly naming him. 

“As we have said all along, he is not guilty,” Grisham said of Trump. “The President is pleased to put this latest chapter of shameful behavior by the Democrats in the past, and looks forward to continuing his work on behalf of the American people in 2020 and beyond.” 

She also took aim at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), citing his exaggerated account of Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president during a September hearing.

“Will there be no retribution?” Grisham said.

Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign manager Brad Parscale also dismissed impeachment as a political effort, calling it a “transparent effort to interfere with the 2020 election only nine months away.”

The Democratic-led House impeached Trump in December after alleging he withheld security aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine to pressure the country to announce investigations into his political rivals, chiefly Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

A handful of Republican senators have in recent days described Trump’s conduct as inappropriate but argued it did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. 

Trump has been unapologetic about his conduct since the House proceedings first began in September. He has repeatedly insisted the July 25 call in which he urged the Ukrainian president to look into the Bidens was “perfect” and derided the entire impeachment process as a “hoax.”

Bill Clinton, the last president to be impeached, gave a brief Rose Garden statement after his Senate acquittal in 1999 in which he said he was”profoundly sorry” for his actions.

Updated Feb. 5, 5:25 p.m.

Tags Adam Schiff Bill Clinton Brad Parscale Donald Trump Joe Biden Mitt Romney Nancy Pelosi Stephanie Grisham

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