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US President Trump found not guilty on both impeachment charges

Reuters, AP, February 6, 2020 8:00AM Kids News

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A still from video from Wednesday, February 5 of the impeachment vote in the Senate on the second charge, obstruction of Congress, against President Donald Trump. Picture: Senate Television via AP media_cameraA still from video from Wednesday, February 5 of the impeachment vote in the Senate on the second charge, obstruction of Congress, against President Donald Trump. Picture: Senate Television via AP

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US President Donald Trump has been acquitted* of the charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress*.

His impeachment* trial ended after senators* stood at their desks in the Senate* in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, US, to give their votes of “guilty” or “not guilty” as the roll was called.

Senators voted 52-48 in favour of Trump on the charge of abusing his power and 53-47 in favour of Trump on the charge of obstructing Congress.

At least two-thirds of the 100 senators had to vote “guilty” to remove him from office.

A conviction on either count would have elevated Vice President Mike Pence into the presidency.

Immediately after the vote, which happened on Wednesday US time, Trump tweeted “VICTORY”.

“I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” he said on Twitter.

media_cameraUS President Donald Trump arrives for a “Keep America Great” election campaign rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US on January 14, 2020. Picture: AFP

The abuse of power charge stemmed from his request that Ukraine investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden, a contender for the Democratic* nomination to face Trump in the November 3 election.

Democratic primary candidate Joe Biden makes a statement on whistleblower report and President Trump media_cameraDemocratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden makes a statement on Ukraine corruption on September 24, 2019, in Wilmington, Delaware, US. Picture: AFP

The charge of obstructing Congress was about blocking witnesses and documents sought by the House* relevant to his dealings with Ukraine.

The two articles of impeachment were approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives* on December 18, 2019.

In the Senate, the votes followed mostly party lines, with Republicans voting for Republican Trump and Democrats voting to convict.

Only Republican Senator Mitt Romney joined the Democrats in voting to convict. No Democrat voted to acquit*.

Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee*, called the President’s actions in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden “grievously* wrong” and said Trump was “guilty of an appalling* abuse of public trust”.

Biden has accused Trump of “lies, smears*, distortions* and name-calling.”

President Trump Acquitted by Senate

No president has ever been removed by the Senate and this was only the third presidential impeachment trial in US history. President Andrew Johnson (1868) and President Bill Clinton (1998-9) were also both acquitted of their impeachment charges.

US President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address media_cameraPresident Donald Trump waves after delivering his State of the Union address in the chamber of the US House of Representatives at the Capitol Building on February 4, in Washington, DC, the day before his impeachment acquittal. Picture: AFP

Trump called the impeachment an attempted coup* and a Democratic attempt to annul* his 2016 election victory.

“President Trump has been totally vindicated* and it’s now time to get back to the business of the American people,” Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said in a statement.

media_cameraA protester waves a US national flag upside down, in a sign of distress, outside the Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2020, after the US Senate acquitted the US president in his impeachment trial. Picture: AFP

GLOSSARY

  • acquitted: free someone of a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty
  • Congress: US parliament, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate
  • impeachment: process by parliament of charging a government official
  • senators: elected member of the Senate
  • Senate: upper chamber or house of the US Congress. Australia also has a Senate as its upper house of parliament
  • Democratic: describing a member of Democratic Party in US politics
  • House: short for House of Representatives
  • House of Representatives: one of two chambers of US Congress. Australia also has a House of Representatives as its lower house of parliament
  • acquit: find not guilty of a criminal charge
  • nominee: person who is nominated
  • greviously: to a severe or dangerous degree
  • appalling: horrific; causing shock
  • smears: damage the reputation of someone with false claims
  • distortions: misleading accounts or exaggerations
  • coup: a sudden, violent or illegal seizure of power from a government
  • annul: declare invalid
  • vindicated: clear of blame or suspicion

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. Name the building and city where the US Congress carries out its business.
  2. What were the two impeachment charges? What were they about?
  3. Name the two major US political parties. Which one does Trump lead?
  4. What are the two chambers or levels of the US Congress called? What are they called in the Australian parliament?
  5. How many impeachment trials have there been? What were the results?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Explain your vote
Imagine that you are a Democrat who voted that Donald Trump was guilty. Write a letter to your local voters explaining why you believe that he should have been removed from office. Then, imagine that you are a Republican who voted that Donald Trump was not guilty. Write a letter to your local voters explaining why you think that he deserves to stay in office.

Time: allow 45 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Civics and Citizenship, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
‘Only the voters should decide to get rid of a leader at election time, not politicians.’

Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons why you agree or disagree.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Civics and Citizenship, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
The glossary of terms helps you to understand and learn the ambitious vocabulary being used in the article. Can you use the words outlined in the glossary to create new sentences? Challenge yourself to include other VCOP (vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation) elements in your sentence/s. Have another look through the article, can you find any other Wow Words not outlined in the glossary?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think Donald Trump is a good president? How will you feel if he is re-elected?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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