Trump acquitted: What’s next for the president, Democrats?

The Republican-led United States Senate handed Donald Trump his biggest victory yet on Wednesday after it acquitted the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“It’s a big win for President Trump,” said Jessica Levinson, a professor of law and director of the Public Policy Institute at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

That was indeed the word coming from the White House after the final votes on Wednesday.

“The shame impeachment attempt concocted by the Democrats ended in the full vindication and exoneration of President Donald J Trump,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

Trump on Wednesday spoke from the White House, saying it was a “day of celebration”.

The president labelled the impeachment and Democrats as “evil and corrupt”.

“This should never ever happen to another president,” Trump said in televised remarks. “We went through hell, unfairly. We did nothing wrong.”

Wednesday votes fell largely along party lines, with only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney, breaking ranks to vote with the Democrats on the first article: abuse of power. Even with his support, the vote fell well short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict and remove a president.

Republican senators viewed the case primarily as a partisan attack by Democrats on their president. Democrats meanwhile contend that Trump’s acquittal gives him a greenlight to do similar things in the future.

“If Trump gets re-elected, I don’t think there will be any constraints on what he does,” said John Jackson, a visiting politics professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at the University of Southern Illinois.

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