U.S. senator Tim Scott defends the president citing opportunity zones and criminal justice reform.
The two U.S. senators from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both voted to acquit President Donald Trump after a three-week impeachment trial during which Republican leaders refused to allow additional witnesses or evidence to be considered.
U.S. Lindsey Graham’s vote was never, ever, ever in doubt; he has been an outspoken supporter of Trump throughout the proceedings, immediately dismissing the idea of fulfilling the Constitutional duty for the impeachment before the Senate was handed what amounts to an indictment by leaders of the Democratically controlled House.
“The President was acquitted today by the Senate and will be exonerated by the American people in November when he is reelected to a second term,” Graham said in a statement.
Senators are called to “try impeachments” in the Constitution, voting on whether to impeach and remove based on the initial charges and any additional evidence presented.
South Carolina’s other U.S. senator, Tim Scott, also joined his Republican colleagues in voting to acquit the President. U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only GOP member to cross party lines to cast a vote to convict Trump of abuse of power.
On the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, Scott was not as dismissive as Graham, instead attempting to lay out a defense. After accusing Congressional Democrats of deception, Scott made a case against impeachment based on a strong economy and opportunity zones.
Trump was accused of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power after he pressured Ukranian leaders to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden leading up to the Democratic primary contests and the 2020 election.
The facts of the interactions laid out in media reports, investigations, and by the president’s own aides were never contested — that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine pending assurances of a Biden inquiry. But nonetheless, Republicans in the Senate pushed to hurry the hearing and acquit the president.
With little to say about the facts before the Senate, Scott retreated to talking points accusing Democrats of trying steal the election.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the Republican members who was undecided until Tuesday, told CBS that she thought the president learned his lesson and would “be much more cautious in the future.”
Shortly after Republicans voted to clear him, Trump tweeted a mocked-up Time magazine cover showing campaign signs teasing his endless reign as president.
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