Donald J. Trump became the third sitting president in United States history to be acquitted of impeachment charges on Jan. 5. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-48 in favor of acquitting the president on Impeachment Article I: Abuse of Power and 53-47 on Impeachment Article II: Obstruction of Justice.
This acquittal comes after a Dec. 18 decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President Trump with a vote of 230-197 on Article I and 229-198 on Article II.
Representative Will Hurd, congressman from the 23rd District of Texas and former Texas A&M student body president, said on the House floor before the vote on the articles of impeachment that he would not support the removal of the president after initially being undecided.
“Throughout this process, the American people have learned of bungling foreign policy decisions, but we have not heard evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of bribery or extortion,” Hurd said. “Today we have seen a rushed process divide our country. Today, accusations have been hurled at each other questioning one another’s integrity. Today, a dangerous precedent will be set — impeachment becoming a political tool.”
Hurd, a former CIA officer, voted nay on both articles of impeachment and said Americans should focus on their similarities rather than differences.
“This institution has a fabled history of passing legislation that has not only changed our country but has inspired the world,” Hurd said. “This feat has been possible because this experiment we call America has one perpetual goal — make a more perfect union. We can contribute to this history if we recognize the simple fact that way more unites our country than divides us. Tomorrow can we start focusing on that.”
Trump’s acquittal comes after the Senate Republicans took an unprecedented vote to deny witnesses during the trial for the first time in history. Representative Bill Flores, congressman for Texas District 17 which includes College Station, said he believes the impeachment trial was a targeted attack on the president with partisan motives.
“Today, the Senate acquitted President Trump and finally put an end to the House Democrats’ political impeachment trial,” Flores said in a statement. “After hearing evidence laid out by both sides, the Senate reached the same conclusion that House Republicans and some Democrats did, that this impeachment was a political hit-job meant to overturn the 2016 election and influence this year’s election.”
Utah Senator and the 2012 Republican Party nominee for president, Mitt Romney became the first U.S. senator to ever vote to remove a president from his party. Flores said that with impeachment behind them, Congress will now get to address issues that Texans care about.
“Americans want Congress to focus on bipartisan solutions to fix real-world problems,” Flores said. “It is my hope that with the impeachment sham behind us, we can now address the issues that hardworking Texan families care about most – border security, immigration, prescription drug prices, health care reform, pandemic defenses and infrastructure.”
Both Flores and Hurd are not seeking reelection in 2020, with 15 candidates running to fill Flores’ seat in District 17 and 16 candidates running to fill Hurd’s seat in District 23.