The U.S. Senate voted Feb. 5 to acquit President Donald Trump of charges of abusing his power and obstructing the Congressional investigation of his request to Ukraine to investigate a potential rival in his re-election run.
The vote was mostly party-line: Republican U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah joined Minnesota's senators and other Democrats in voting to convict Trump of abusing his power.
Minnesota Democrats Angie Craig and Dean Phillips had joined other House members in voting to impeach Trump for wrongdoing last year. They accused Trump of delaying hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to coerce Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Trump's supporters took several stances in response, ranging from conceding his actions were inappropriate to denying any wrongdoing. Trump repeatedly said his conversations with Ukraine's president were perfect and were meant to fight corruption.
Here's what several local and national figures said about the Senate vote:
Trump at the White House, Feb. 6, about the impeachment process: "It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars. And this should never, ever happen to another president, ever."
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to MSNBC Feb. 3 before voting to convict: "I am sickened by what my Republican colleagues have been saying. ... They didn't want to hear the truth."
U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., in a Senate speech Feb. 4 before voting to convict: “The core question of this impeachment trial is this: Do we say that it is OK for the President to use his office to advance his personal political interest while ignoring or damaging the public good? My answer is no."
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on Twitter Jan. 30, before he voted to acquit: "It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. ... But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate."
Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, to NPR on Feb. 4 on whether Trump should continue investigating Biden: "Absolutely, 100%. I would have no problem with him doing it. In fact, I'd have a problem with him not doing it. I think he would be saying that Joe Biden can get away with selling out the United States."
Romney on the Senate floor Feb. 5 before voting to convict, speaking about Trump's actions: "It 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."
Several GOP candidates to run against Angie Craig this November also commented on the vote.
- Tyler Kistner of Prior Lake in a written statement Feb. 5: "Since 2018, Minnesotans have been pushed to the wayside so Angie Craig, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could wage a political war to overturn the 2016 election because they didn’t like the outcome."
- Regina Barr of Inver Grove Heights on Twitter Feb. 5: "Finally! President Trump can continue on with the business of running our country. Angie Craig and Nancy Pelosi's attempt to remove OUR duly elected President from office and interfere with his 2020 re-election has failed."
- Kerry Zeiler of Cottage Grove in a written statement Feb. 4: "The attempt to stain a political opponent with a partisan impeachment is an unforgivable abuse of power. ... If elected, I will introduce a bill to Expunge the Articles of Impeachment."