Trump acquitted at impeachment trial
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just announced that the Senate will give Chief Justice John Roberts a golden gavel to thank him for his time presiding over the trial.
Roberts presided over the trial while still serving on the Supreme Court.
"We know full well that his presence as our presiding officer came in addition to — not instead of — his day job across the street. So the Senate thanks the chief justice and his staff who helped him to perform this unique role," McConnell said.
Here's how McConnell described the award:
"We typically award this to new senators after about 100 hours in the chair, but we can all believe that the chief justice has put in his due and then some."
Senators just voted to find President Trump not guilty on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress.
The vote was 53-47. GOP Sen. Mitt Romney — who voted to convict Trump on the abuse of power charge — voted to acquit him on this charge.
Moments ago, Trump was acquitted on the other article of impeachment, abuse of power. The two votes bring the historic and bitter impeachment fight to a close.
Watch the moment Chief Justice John Roberts reads the verdict:
Senators just acquitted President Trump on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power. They're now moving on to the second article, obstruction of Congress.
Again, the senators will vote from their desks when their names are called, saying either “guilty” or "not guilty."
At least 67 senators need to vote guilty in order to convict Trump.
Senators just voted to find President Trump not guilty on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power.
The vote was 52-48. GOP Sen. Mitt Romney was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump. He's the first senator in US history to vote to convict a president from the same party in an impeachment trial.
The Senate will now vote on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress.
Watch Chief Justice John Roberts read the results:
More than 34 senators have voted to acquit President Trump on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power.
Remember: Senators can change their votes until Chief Justice John Roberts gavels the vote in.
The vote is ongoing.
Senators are voting on whether on convict President Trump on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power.
The senators will vote from their desks when their names are called, saying either “guilty” or "not guilty." At least 67 senators need to vote guilty in order to convict Trump.
After this vote, they'll move onto the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress.
In the days leading up to today's final vote, White House officials were confident in the outcome: President Trump would be acquitted. So instead they focused on having a bipartisan impeachment vote.
And with Sen. Romney's announcement he will vote yes on the articles, there will be a bipartisan vote — just not the one Trump's impeachment team wanted.
In discussions with Trump in the last several days, aides reassured him they could likely get at least one red state Democrat to vote for his acquittal, focusing on Doug Jones, Kyrsten Sinema or Joe Manchin.
Today, all three of those Democrats announced they would vote to convict Trump.
Officials seemed the most confident that Manchin would vote to acquit, based on conversations aides had with Republican senators in recent days. Then, moments before the vote Wednesday, Manchin announced he's voting yes on both articles.
"I did not expect this," one official texted about the decision.
While Sen. Mitt Romney’s colleagues have said the Utah senator’s vote was a personal choice and one they generally respect, behind the scenes there is significant frustration with his decision to vote to convict President Trump.
Romney did not tell any colleagues about his decision in advance of the speech this afternoon.
Yet his team did craft press rollout — several print interviews and a TV interview embargoed until his delivery — that has irked colleagues.
“I’ll give him this: professional rollout,” one GOP Senator told CNN. “Not very collegial, but very professional.”
A bigger issue, several GOP aides said, was the possibility Romney’s decision would step on the headline of the President’s acquittal in the press.
“All you guys are going to lead with Romney,” one senior GOP aide said. “Not the fact the President was acquitted and is through with this.”
Before the vote, members of GOP leadership had emitted a confidence that Romney would vote with them only to leave them all surprised watching TV.
To be clear, Romney was at the point where he owed his colleagues little.
His pleas for witnesses and documents in closed-door meetings in the final week were largely scoffed at and ignored, according to people in the room.
Sen. Joe Manchin will vote to convict President Trump on both articles of impeachment this afternoon, according to a statement.
This means that the vote will be 52-48 with only GOP Sen. Mitt Romney breaking ranks.
Here's what Manchin said in a statement:
"Voting whether or not to remove a sitting President has been a truly difficult decision, and after listening to the arguments presented by both sides, I have reached my conclusion reluctantly. For the reasons above I must vote yes on the articles of impeachment. I take no pleasure in these votes, and am saddened this is the legacy we leave our children and grandchildren. I have always wanted this President, and every President to succeed, but I deeply love our country and must do what I think is best for the nation.”