President Donald Trump cleared by Senate in impeachment trial

US President Donald Trump acquitted by the Senate in an impeachment trial that accused him of abusing his powers for getting political points.The move was defeated by 54-48 in a final vote in the House of Representatives on January 5. The Democrats had accused Mr Trump of pressuring Ukraine to participate in a smear campaign against his political rivals in Washington.The proceedings had seen months of bitter divide among the lawmakers. The Republicans hold a majority in the US Senate, which ended the bid to remove him from office. Mr Trump will be the first president in US history to run for re-election after an impeachment trial.

If convicted, Vice President Mike Pence would have taken charge of the office. Mr Trump, who is seeking a second term in the November 3 polls, has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the allegations as a political witch-hunt against him by his opponents.“The Democrats know they can’t beat him and so they are coming up with these wild allegations. This is terrible and nonsense,” his campaign office said in a statement.

According to a Gallup poll, Mr Trump’s approval rating surged to 49% this week, a personal best. He said he would speak to people about his latest victory in the impeachment trial soon.Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney was the only lawmaker from the party to convict Mr Trump on the charge of abuse of power. Two other moderate Republican lawmakers, whom the Democrats had their hopes pinned on, did not vote to convict the president.

A move to remove the US president will need at least two-third majority in the 100-member Senate, which seemed a farfetched idea since the Republicans held the House majority.The Democrats sought to impeach the president after he allegedly asked the Ukrainian President to launch a corruption probe against Joe Biden, a Democratic Presidential hopeful and former US Vice President, and his son Hunter.

Mr Hunter who had earlier worked with a Ukrainian Gas Company when his father was in office.Democrats saw the move as a political vendetta against his rivals. Mr Trump had claimed that Mr Hunter unethically held a board position in the company when senior Biden was in office.They also charged the president of withholding some $390 million in security aid to Ukraine for pressuring his Ukrainian counterpart in digging up dirt on the Bidens.

They also accused him of creating obstruction during the trial when the House impeachment committee testimony and documents from the White House.The Democrats had compiled a 28,000-page report after a complaint from an anonymous whistleblower for the impeachment investigation.


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