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Live impeachment trial updates: Senate votes to acquit Trump

The outcome was effectively assured after senators on Friday voted against hearing witnesses, also largely on party lines.
Image: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House voted to send impeachment articles against President Donald Trump to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially received the House managers on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House voted to send impeachment articles against President Donald Trump to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially received the House managers on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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Senators voted Wednesday to acquit President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment.

Only one Republican broke rank to vote with Democrats: Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Trump on abuse of power. The vote on the second article, obstruction of Congress, came down on party lines.

The outcome was effectively assured after senators on Friday voted against hearing witnesses, also largely on party lines.

Read the latest news and analysis below:

Live Blog

Pelosi unleashes on Trump: 'I shredded his state of his mind address'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that she felt “liberated” as she lashed out at President Donald Trump for the “falsehoods” she said he had spread in his State of the Union address and defended her decision to tear up a copy of his speech.

“I tore up a manifesto of mistruths,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference, referring to the moment on Tuesday when she ripped up a copy of Trump’s address to the nation once he finished speaking.

“It was necessary to get the attention of the American people to say, ‘This is not true, and this is how it affects you,’” she said. “And I don’t need any lessons from anybody — especially the president of the United States — about dignity.”

“He has shredded the truth in his speech, he shredded the Constitution in his conduct, I shredded his state of his mind address,” she added.

FIRST READ: Romney's impeachment vote didn't change the outcome but it did change the narrative

At the end of the day, the Senate didn’t need to censure President Trump over the Ukraine scandal — because Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, did it for the chamber on Wednesday afternoon.

What Trump did in his dealings with Ukraine "was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”

While Romney was the only Republican senator who voted to convict President Trump in his impeachment trial, he wasn’t some random GOP senator – he was the party’s last presidential nominee. If Democrats were only going to get one GOP vote, he was one to get.

It helps explain why no Democratic senators — including Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and Doug Jones — broke from their party. And it puts pressure on moderate and at-risk GOP senators – like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Cory Gardner and Martha McSally – to explain why they didn’t see the same simple facts above that Romney saw.

Get the rest of First Read.

Yovanovitch: Despite 'shocking' treatment, 'I have no regrets'

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post on Thursday that while she found her treatment during the Ukraine saga "shocking," she doesn't regret her testimony in the impeachment inquiry that followed.

"We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act," Yovanovitch wrote. "It has been shocking to experience the storm of criticism, lies and malicious conspiracies that have preceded and followed my public testimony, but I have no regrets. I did — we did — what our conscience called us to do. We did what the gift of U.S. citizenship requires us to do."

The last year, she wrote, has shown "we need to fight for our democracy."

"This administration, through acts of omission and commission, has undermined our democratic institutions, making the public question the truth and leaving public servants without the support and example of ethical behavior that they need to do their jobs and advance U.S. interests," Yovanovitch added.

"The next generation of diplomats is counting on something better."

‘Dishonest and corrupt’: Trump unloads at National Prayer Breakfast after acquittal

President Donald Trump blasted "dishonest and corrupt" people Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, bashing his impeachment at the nonpartisan event with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just steps away.

"As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people," Trump said. "They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country."

"Weeks ago, and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, fortitude and strength to do what everyone knows was right," he continued.

Entering the stage, Trump lifted up a copies of USA Today and The Washington Post with headlines reading "ACQUITTED" and "Trump Acquitted" splashed across the front pages, displaying them to the crowd.

The moment comes one day after the Senate voted to acquit Trump on both impeachment charges he faced — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

Read more here.

'One place left to hold him accountable': Trump acquittal raises stakes for Democrats

Donald Trump has survived impeachment, a federal investigation and three years of near-constant legal and in-the-streets resistance, raising the stakes of this year's election on what Democrats see as the last real check on the president's power.

With the Senate's votes Wednesday to acquit the president of impeachment charges brought against him by the Democratic House, Trump's opponents have shot all of the most powerful arrows in their quiver save one — the voters.

Both parties argue that the outcome of the monthslong impeachment saga will play to their advantage this fall.

Read the story.

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Trump allies revel in end to 'hoax' impeachment, Democrats say vote 'normalized lawlessness'

Although President Donald Trump's acquittal was all-but-certain with Republicans holding the Senate majority, supporters of the president continued to rally behind him on Wednesday after he was found not guilty on both articles of impeachment.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., posted a video on Twitter of him saying "Acquitted for life" while ripping the articles of impeachment, an obvious parody of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tearing Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., one of the president's closest allies in the Senate, said Wednesday in a statement that now "the cloud over the presidency has been removed."

“This partisan-driven impeachment has done injury to the office of the presidency and was an injustice to President Trump," he said. “Unfortunately, I doubt my Democratic colleagues, who are being driven by unlimited hatred of President Trump, have the ability to move on."

Pelosi laced into Republicans in biting statement in which she said Republicans have "normalized lawlessness" and called McConnell "a rogue leader" and "cowardly" for abandoning his oath.

"Our Founders put safeguards in the Constitution to protect against a rogue president. They never imagined that they would at the same time have a rogue leader in the Senate who would cowardly abandon his duty to uphold the Constitution," she said. “The President will boast that he has been acquitted. There can be no acquittal without a trial, and there is no trial without witnesses, documents and evidence."

Read more here.

White House reacts to vote: 'Full vindication and exoneration'

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement celebrating "the full vindication and exoneration" of the president and attacking Democrats.

"The Senate voted to reject the baseless articles of impeachment, and only the President’s political opponents – all Democrats, and one failed Republican presidential candidate – voted for the manufactured impeachment articles," she said, adding that Trump "is pleased to put this latest chapter of shameful behavior by the Democrats in the past, and looks forward to continuing his work on behalf of the American people in 2020 and beyond."