Donald Trump was acquitted on impeachment charges by the Senate on Wednesday, but was denied the full support of Republicans as Mitt Romney became the first senator in US history to vote to convict a president from his own party.
The president was acquitted by a vote of 52-48 on the first charge of abuse of power, as Mr Romney broke with the other Republicans in the Senate. The Senate then found Mr Trump not guilty on a second charge of obstructing Congress by a party-line vote of 53-47.
The dramatic rebuke by the senator from Utah, who was the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, gave bipartisan credibility to an impeachment that was otherwise steadfastly opposed by Mr Trump’s party.
Mr Romney, in emotional remarks on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, strongly criticised what he described as Mr Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, a Democratic contender for the presidency, by withholding military aid.
The vote on Wednesday afternoon was the culmination of a months-long process that made Mr Trump only the third president in US history to be impeached by the House and face trial in the Senate. The case has sharply divided US public opinion and split Congress largely along partisan lines.