WASHINGTON: The Republican majority Senate acquitted United States President Trump of charges stemming from his efforts to press Ukraine to announce probe that would benefit him politically.
The Senate decision closed a four-month battle for and against impeachment of the president almost entirely along party lines.
During the trial, Democrats argued that the Republican president was trying to cheat in the coming election by trying to damage a potential opponent.
The Republicans in their reminder said that Democrats were improperly inflating the presidential missteps into impeachable offenses and trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
Republicans in defence of Trump’s actions strongly supported his acquittal, but several said the Democrats had proven that he acted improperly—though not in a manner deserving of impeachment.
President Trump was denied a unanimous support from Republican senators when Senator Mitt Romney of Utah voted to convict on the first article of impeachment.
On the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, all 47 Democratic-aligned senators and Senator Romney voted to convict, falling short of the 67 needed to remove the president from office.
On the obstruction of Congress article, the vote also failed, with all Democrats and no Republicans finding the president guilty.
The impeachment probe grew out of a phone call last summer in which Mr. Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden, a top Democratic presidential contender, while holding up congressionally approved aid to the country.
Mr. Romney was the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party. In the impeachment trials of Democratic presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, no Democratic senators voted to convict.