President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial ended Wednesday with a mostly predictable vote that split almost perfectly down party lines.
The official vote was almost anticlimactic after an app misfire sent Monday night’s Iowa caucuses into chaos. Trump followed that with a barn-burner of a State of the Union address — complete with a century-old Tuskegee Airman, a Presidential Medal of Freedom for Rush Limbaugh and a live surprise military family reunion — that didn’t even acknowledge the Democrats’ three-years-long effort to oust him.
It wasn’t until Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast and East Room press conference that Trump publicly called out his detractors, making it clear that the fight was far from over.
As always, the Daily Caller wades through the most recent stories to break down the most important details and new information.
The key players:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a show of ripping up her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address, saying that it was the nicest thing she could think of to do under the circumstances. She followed that with her weekly press conference, where she repeated her claim that Trump was “forever impeached.”
I’m speaking with reporters live from the U.S. Capitol. https://t.co/CEf7GBFCwb
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 6, 2020
- Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney became a lightning rod for praise from the left and scorn from the right when he announced that, after much prayer and consideration, he would vote to convict Trump on the first count of the impeachment — abuse of power. Romney’s vote ultimately made no substantive difference, as it still left Senate Democrats with a 15-vote deficit.
Mitt Romney announces that he will vote to convict and remove President Trump from office on the abuse of power article.
“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.” pic.twitter.com/dYAVXFSms0
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 5, 2020
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the Senate’s role in preventing “partisan flames from scorching our Republic” ahead of the final vote.
Moments like this are what the Senate was made for. The Framers knew the country would need a firewall to keep partisan flames from scorching our Republic.
So they created the Senate. Today, we will fulfill this founding purpose.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) February 5, 2020
- McConnell then concluded proceedings by gifting Chief Justice John Roberts the Senate’s Golden Gavel — and immediately moved to approve more Trump-appointed federal judges.
Mitch McConnell Presents Chief Justice Roberts With The Senate’s Golden Gavel https://t.co/BsiegPfRuU
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 5, 2020
Mitch isn’t wasting ANY time https://t.co/g1QUGEj3X8
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) February 5, 2020
The White House response:
After largely ignoring the impeachment during his State of the Union Address, Trump hit the ground running the morning after the final vote. Taking aim at both Romney and Speaker Pelosi during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast — while Pelosi was seated just feet away — the president made it clear that he was displeased with the way he had been treated.
Trump went on to give a rambling speech in the White House’s East Room, calling the Russian collusion narrative “bulls**t” and calling out the House’s lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff, former FBI Director James Comey and others.
— Dan Scavino Jr.???????? (@Scavino45) February 6, 2020
The hot takes:
- Speaker Pelosi tells Trump that he is “impeached forever. You’re never getting rid of that scar.”
Trump will never live down being #ImpeachedForever.
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) February 6, 2020
- Presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used Trump’s speech to make a new ad for his campaign.
Trump was in rare form during his post-acquittal speech. pic.twitter.com/jq8NTTn5yd
— Team Bloomberg (@Mike2020) February 6, 2020
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed that Republicans knew they were on the wrong side and voted to acquit Trump because they feared being attacked by him once it was over.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, speaking to reporters, said, “There’s a whole lot of Republicans, I believe, who knew we were right, but said I don’t want the bother of being attacked relentlessly by the president and hard right.” https://t.co/0reXeYfijo
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 6, 2020
- The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel said that Romney’s flip to convict on the abuse of power charge would not send the message he apparently hoped it would. “Mitt Romney may think he’s taking a shot at POTUS. But any real damage he causes will in fact be to Senate Rs in tough races. Schumer’s goal with all this was retaking the Senate. If he succeeds, he’ll hopefully remember to send Romney a thank you,” she tweeted.
Mitt Romney may think he’s taking a shot at POTUS. But any real damage he causes will in fact be to Senate Rs in tough races. Schumer’s goal with all this was retaking the Senate. If he succeeds, he’ll hopefully remember to send Romney a thank you.
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) February 5, 2020
Response: “IT’S OVER!”
NOT GUILTY on both articles!
This sham impeachment is OVER!
President @realDonaldTrump ACQUITTED!
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) February 5, 2020
TRUMP VINDICATED! The Dems’ impeachment sham is finally over.
Americans saw through it from the start. But Dems shredded our Constitution and tore America apart to carry out their political hit job anyway.
The verdict is FINAL. It’s time to MOVE ON. pic.twitter.com/e12q1kuHva
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 5, 2020
— Detmer for Congress 2020 (@DetmerMike) February 5, 2020
— Bradley Byrne (@BradleyByrne) February 5, 2020
It’s Feb 6, 2020, & I just left a great WH celebration w/ an economy & natl security that’s strong & growing stronger, the Trump-Russia collusion delusion over & this scam impeachment over. I’m pleased to report that Donald J. Trump is acquitted forever & is still your President.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) February 6, 2020
VERDICT: Not Guilty.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 5, 2020
This partisan-driven impeachment has done injury to the office of the presidency and was an injustice to President Trump.
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.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 5, 2020
Now that it’s over, we’ll be turning our attention to the 2020 Democratic primary. Weekly updates with all the big stories, debate reactions, poll surprises and hot takes will be available here starting Friday, February 14.