Impeachment wild card Kyrsten Sinema ended months of ambiguity and voted to convict the president.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voted Wednesday to convict President Donald Trump on both impeachment charges against him — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The moderate Democrat had not made her position known until shortly before the vote, and said her choice came down to her duty to uphold the constitution.
“The facts are clear; security aid was withheld from Ukraine in an attempt to benefit the president’s political campaign,” Sinema said in a statement. “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.”
Republican Sen. Martha McSally joined the rest of her party in voting to acquit Trump. She explained her vote by saying while Trump’s actions were “inappropriate,” they did not rise to the level of impeachment.
“Even if all the House Democrats allege is accurate, even if John Bolton supports their allegations in his book, even if other negative information comes out in the future, this does not rise to anywhere near the level of throwing the president out of office or off the ballot for the first time in American history,” she said in a statement.
Only one senator voted against the GOP grain: Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.
Romney voted “guilty” for abuse of power, becoming the first senator to vote to remove a president from his own party.
The final vote tallies came out to 48-52 for abuse of power and 47-53 for obstruction. Two-thirds of the legislative body would have needed to vote “guilty” in order to convict Trump.
Wednesday’s vote concludes a months-long impeachment saga that began in the U.S. House last September. The House voted to impeach Trump in December based on charges stemming from his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A released transcript of the call and testimony from the impeachment hearing indicate Trump asked Zelensky to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son.
The Trump administration also temporarily denied the foreign country aid, but the motivation for this was disputed between the parties.
Trump took to Twitter shortly after the Senate vote to express his relief that the impeachment trial ended in acquittal.
Trump is the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House. No impeachment as of yet has ended with a conviction in the Senate.