After a months-long impeachment process that has exposed many divisions in the nation, the Senate voted to acquit President Trump Wednesday on two articles brought by Democratic members of the House: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The votes were 52-48 and 53-47, with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, voting to convict the president on the first article. Other than Romney, the Senate votes fell along partisan lines, with every Democrat voting to convict and every Republican voting to acquit. The acquittal came the day after Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
Speaking Thursday in the East Room of the White House, President Trump celebrated the end of the process, and took aim at those who launched the effort, such as Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person,” the president said, adding that he did not think she was sincere in her prayers.
Throughout the impeachment process, Pelosi often emphasized that it was sad time for the country and said she was praying for the president and urged Americans to be prayerful.
The president also made a point to thank the Republican members of the House and Senate who were either part of his defense team or who most vocally backed him in the past several months. Trump predicted House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would soon become Speaker of the House.
Reactions to the president’s acquittal and White House speech Thursday have poured in. Here’s how some Christian thought leaders and public figures are responding.
Franklin Graham: ‘He’s not guilty’
Evangelist Franklin Graham, who has at times been among the most vocal and persistent defenders of the president, expressed that the impeachment was a waste of time.
“He’s not guilty” wrote Graham on his Facebook page, speaking of Trump.
“This has been such a distraction and a waste of time for our country. There’s so many important things that Washington needs to join the President in focusing on. The President has said he’s not bitter. I wish that Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney, Chuck Schumer and others would give up on their bitterness and hatred and start working with this President instead of against him.
He added: “The Bible warns us, “…if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mark 3:25).
Denny Burk: Victory speech should have been more gracious
Denny Burk, a public theologian and professor at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, said he felt the president should have been more gracious in his address Thursday.
“I suppose this was never in the cards, but the nation really could have benefited from a positive, constructive speech,” Burk tweeted Thursday.
“After a bitter fight, it takes generosity, character, and self-forgetfulness to come up with those kinds of words, but that is not what we have,” he said.
Jim Wallis: Romney deserves credit for vote
Sojourners magazine founder, president and editor-in-chief, Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical, heaped praise on the lone Republican senator to vote to convict the president, noting the role faith played in Romney’s decision.
“I am thankful for Senator Mitt Romney’s courageous decision to be the first Senator ever to vote to impeach a President from his own party by saying, ‘I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.’ And the long poignant pause when he spoke about his faith in the Senate,” Wallis wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter