Where Trump's Acquittal Fits Into the History of Impeachment, According to HistoriansBreaking News
tags: historians, impeachment, acquittal
On Wednesday, the Senate ended President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with a result that was momentous, if not surprising: with their vote not to convict him and remove him from office, he became only the third President in American history to reach that point.
Trump was acquitted on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, with Utah Senator Mitt Romney breaking away from his fellow Republicans by voting to convict Trump on the first charge. But that wasn’t the only historic moment in this historic trial.
Here, six historians reflect on how the 2020 impeachment trial fits into the larger scope of American political history — and how it will be remembered.
Carol Anderson, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University:
Watching the refusal of evidence reminded me of a case in which a black man, Robert Mallard, was killed [by a white mob], and during the [January 1949] trial, two of the jurors came out of the jury box and testified on behalf of the defendant and then went back to the jury box to help find the defendant not guilty. When that case hit, folks were like, “What?” The Republican Senators in the impeachment trial did the same thing. Here we are, 70 years later, as if we haven’t learn a doggone thing. Senators Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell said their minds are made up. Folks who are supposed to be the jury said we know what we’re going to do. That’s Robert Mallard’s case…
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