The Don's Been Acquitted But Could It Really Mean Trump 4Eva?
Soon after Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate, ending the historic impeachment trial, he joked about remaining in power '4Eva' -- here's what clearing The Don means for the U.S.
In a pair of historic votes, Trump has been cleared of all the impeachment charges against him, including accusations of committing "high crimes and misdemeanours" over his dealings with Ukraine.
Senators have voted to acquit him on both articles of impeachment that were approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives in December.
They voted 52-48 on the first article -- abuse of power -- and 53-47 to acquit him on obstruction of Congress.
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican to cross party lines and vote to convict the president of abuse of power.
The vote fell far short of the two-thirds majority needed in the 100-seat Senate to remove Trump from office under the U.S. Constitution.
How did we get here?
The Senate took their time to determine whether to acquit Trump of the charges against him or to convict and remove him from office.
Trump was accused of pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including former vice president Joe Biden, who is a contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the November 2020 election.
Trump was also accused of blocking witnesses and documents sought by the house.
The trial was instigated over a whistleblower complaint that White House officials had made contact about Trump's communication with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, citing concerns that efforts to put pressure on Ukraine "pose risks to U.S. national security", and undermined efforts "to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections".
Trump has consistently denied wrongdoing and has accused Democrats of trying to destroy him politically.
What happens now?
The final vote brings an end to the impeachment trial and Trump will remain in office before he contests the upcoming election.
The acquittal handed The Don his biggest victory yet over his Democratic rivals in Congress, and it was served up nine months before he will ask voters for a second term in the White House.
Following the vote, he posted a video on Twitter showing Trump campaign signs for future elections onwards from 2024, ending with the slogan, 'Trump 4Eva'.
The U.S. Constitution limits a president to serve two elected four-year terms in office.
A second video tweeted by Trump cast Mitt Romney as "slippery".
Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement the President has been "totally vindicated".
"It's now time to get back to the business of the American people," Parscale said.
Trump said he would deliver a public statement on Thursday (local time).
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders have promised to continue investigating Trump and his dealings with Ukraine.
They hope what was revealed about Trump's conduct during the impeachment trial will help to persuade voters against his re-election.