The House impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and the Senate voted to acquit. Only one Republican senator found him guilty, and it wasn’t Susan Collins. Congress was unable to hold Trump accountable, so now the job is ours. Thank Senator King for honoring his oath and serving his constituents ethically and honorably.
President Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress because an investigation sparked by a whistleblower complaint revealed that he orchestrated a shadow diplomatic effort to leverage congressionally-approved taxpayer funds and official state meetings in order to coerce a foreign government into facilitating an attack against his political rival, and then worked to cover up the evidence and obstruct the ensuing investigation. Rep. Pingree voted in favor of both articles of impeachment. Rep. Golden voted yes on Article I and no on Article II. On Jan. 15, the House selected impeachment managers and sent the articles to the Senate for trial. The rules for the trial, approved by a party-line vote, differ from those that governed the Clinton impeachment trial, most notably by offering no guarantee that witnesses or evidence directly impacting the case will be admitted. Despite 75% of voters wanting the trial to include witnesses and evidence, a vote to allow them was defeated. Both King and Collins voted in favor of it. Collins later voted against amendments calling for specific witnesses, except those limited only to John Bolton. Trump’s impeachment is the only impeachment trial in Senate history to exclude witnesses. Collins later spoke on the Senate floor, attempting to justify her plan to acquit Trump by saying that while his conduct was inappropriate, it didn’t rise to the level of impeachable offenses. She later said in an interview that she thought Trump had learned “a pretty big lesson” from the impeachment, and didn’t need any further legislative rebuke. Senator King also spoke, laying out a clear case for conviction. In the end, all Democrats and Independents voted to convict, and all Republicans except Mitt Romney voted to acquit.
As the trial progressed, new evidence continued (and still continues) to emerge:
- Hours after the Senate voted against seeking new evidence in the impeachment case against President Trump, court filings in a FOIA case showed that the administration acknowledged the existence of two dozen emails that could reveal the president’s thinking about withholding military aid to Ukraine.
- The New York Times has obtained a draft outline of a book by Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton, in which Bolton claims that Trump wanted to continue freezing military aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into the Bidens. Newly leaked information also indicates that Trump directed Bolton to assist his pressure campaign. The request came during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included Mick Mulvaney, Rudy Giuliani, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who is now leading Trump’s impeachment defense.
- Information provided by indicted Guiliani associate Lev Parnas continues to challenge the President’s defense. Documents, audio recordings, and video appear to confirm that, contrary to Trump’s statements, withholding military aid and state visits, and removing Ambassador Yovanovich was directly tied to securing an announcement of investigations into the Bidens. They also suggest involvement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, Vice President Mike Pence, and others.
- The Government Accountability Office determined that the Trump administration broke the law when it withheld security assistance from Ukraine.
- Ukraine opened investigations into allegations of illegal surveillance of Ambassador Yovanovitch and the recently discovered Russian hacking of the natural gas company Burisma.
- Newly released, unredacted emails show that President Trump was directly involved in withholding military aid to Ukraine while seeking investigations to benefit his reelection.
THANK SENATOR KING FOR THOUGHTFULLY WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE, LISTENING TO HIS CONSTITUENTS, AND EXPLAINING HIS CAREFULLY-MADE DECISION.
From the beginning of the impeachment process, Senator King gave regular updates to his constituents about his thought process, and offered an insightful view from inside the chamber. After evidence was presented, Senator King came home to Maine, to hold a public forum in order to listen to constituent concerns about impeachment. His speech before casting his vote was logical and evidence-based, and clearly explained how the case proved the President’s corruption, and how the only response to such a result is to convict. He served his constituents with clarity and common sense, and we should give him our thanks. Find his contact info below.
LOOK BACK ON THE FACTS
The House Intelligence Committee published transcripts of its closed-door depositions, as well as key excerpts, “who’s who” info, and “big picture” take-aways HERE. The Washington Post also created a great timeline of all the events at the heart of the impeachment inquiry as well as a succinct overview. If you only have time to read one or two very short things, we recommend this open letter, penned by more than 500 legal scholars, asserting that Trump committed impeachable offenses. We also recommend reading the key excerpts from the Judiciary Committee’s report. There are also many excellent impeachment explainers and analysis available. We’re particularly fond of an explainer created by Vox.
LOOK BACK ON THE SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
Day 14: Final vote. WATCH IT
Day 1: Swearing in. WATCH IT
SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL DOCUMENTS
HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY DOCUMENTS
LOOK BACK ON THE HOUSE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS
[Note: We have included links to the full public hearings, below. You can also find select video clips HERE.]
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARINGS
The House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing featured four constitutional scholars who answered questions about what constitutes an impeachable offense: Noah Feldman of Harvard University, Pamela Karlan of Stanford University, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina, and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University. WATCH IT | KEY TAKE-AWAYS