Manchin, Sinema Vote to Convict President Trump on Impeachment Charges

Moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voted to convict President Donald Trump on impeachment charges, but Trump was ultimately acquitted on Wednesday afternoon.

“The charges brought against President Trump are serious and carry grave consequences for our nation,” Manchin said in a statement.

Earlier in the week, the senator suggested that censuring Trump would be a better option than impeachment. But Manchin’s latest move meant that Trump did not have bipartisan support for acquittal.

“The evidence presented by the House Managers, including video testimony of witnesses under oath in the House of Representatives, clearly supports the charges brought against the President in the articles of impeachment,” Manchin added. Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Manchin, a Democrat who represents a staunchly Republican state, was viewed as a possible swing vote during the impeachment trial. Sinema was viewed in a similar light, although she had issued virtually no public statements on impeachment until Wednesday.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington on July 10, 2019. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for JDRF)

“Today, I vote to approve both articles, as my highest duty, and my greatest love, is to our nation’s Constitution,” Sinema said in a statement, announcing that she would vote to convict. “The facts are clear; security aid was withheld from Ukraine in an attempt to benefit the president’s political campaign. While White House attorneys claim this behavior is not serious, it is dangerous to the fundamental principles of American democracy to use the power of the federal government for personal or political gain.”

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who also represents a deep red state, also said he would convict Trump on Wednesday.

“After many sleepless nights, I have reluctantly concluded that the evidence is sufficient to convict the president for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” Jones said.

The freshman senator added that he has read thousands of transcript pages, watched testimony videos, took notes, and discussed the case with staff, constituents, and staff members.

No other Democrats voted to acquit the president.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) broke ranks with the GOP and also voted to convict Trump, explaining on the Senate floor that “the president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival,” meaning that he is “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

Before the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) implored other senators to vote against the two articles of impeachment passed in House.

“The United States Senate was made for moments like this. The Framers predicted that factional fever might dominate House majorities from time to time. They knew the country would need a firewall to keep partisan flames from scorching, scorching our Republic,” he said ahead of the final vote.


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