The impeachment trial in Senate regarding U.S. President Donald Trump ended with a victory lap for the Republicans. As the Republicans hold the majority in the Senate, there was no question about the result. Republican Senator Mitt Romney was the only one to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment, accusing him of being “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.” Other Republicans chose to remain aligned with the party.
However, certain Republicans, who think that Trump is not guilty with respect to the Ukraine matter but that he did not act appropriately either, advocate that the voters need to make the decision in 2020. Though, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended that the impeachment trial is political, announcing that he would not be acting like an objective jury member. Voting to convict Trump made Romney a figure unlike any other in American political history. Up until now, no party member in the Senate had voted for the removal of a president from their own party. As a matter of fact, Romney also said he will not be voting for Trump in 2020.
Meanwhile, American Conservative Union (ACU) Chair Matt Schlapp announced that Romney would not be invited to this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Being invited to this conference is considered a serious reference for Republican politicians. Romney was among the Republican Party’s big guns. Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel is also Romney’s niece. In her tweet, McDaniel underlined that this is not the first time she disagrees with her uncle and added that the party stands united with Trump. Additionally, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Romney should be expelled from the Republican Party.
Romney received only a few messages of support from the Republican wing. One of those who supported him was former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who is considered a shining star of the Republican Party. Similar to Romney, Flake was among the rare Republican senators that openly criticized Trump. Senator Flake, who is named among the future Republican presidential candidates, had a falling out with his party for criticizing Trump and could not run for the Senate in the 2018 elections.
Democrats launched an initiative to have Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Acting White House Chief of Staff and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney heard as witnesses in the Senate’s impeachment trial. However, the Senate found it unnecessary for both to testify. In fact, the White House is trying to prevent the book written by Bolton, who was discharged by Trump, which is expected to hit stores in March, from being published based on the grounds that it will be detrimental to national security. Reports were leaked to media that in his book, where he talks about his White House days, Bolton confirms that Trump had told the Ukrainian president the $391-million military aid allocated to Ukraine would not be released if an investigation wasn’t launched on Democrat presidential candidate, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.
The first action taken by Trump, who overcame the impeachment trial, was to discharge Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council, who made a statement against him in the House of Representatives, as well as the U.S. Ambassador to EU Gordon Sondland. Both had provided information confirming that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president regarding the Bidens. Trump had tasked Sondland, who was among the important benefactors of the 2016 election campaign, as ambassador to the EU. Sondland testifying in Congress against Trump despite being his ally was a shock to Republicans.
Democrats lost in the Senate but they are going to continue fighting. Whether it be published or not, Democrats are going to take full advantage of Bolton’s said book against Trump. Yet, it was Neo-Con National Security Adviser John Bolton whom Democrats had targeted the most among the Trump administration. It would not have come to anybody’s mind that Democrats will be using Bolton as a stick in their war with Trump. Bolton, on the other hand, is no less vindictive than Trump and revenge is a dish best served cold.