After a weeks-long trial that saw bitter infighting and hours of arguments, the U.S. Senate has voted to acquit U.S. President Donald Trump of two impeachment-related charges.
The Republican-held upper chamber voted 52 to 48 on Wednesday afternoon to acquit the president of the first impeachment charge against him, abuse of power.
Senators voted 53 to 47 on the second impeachment article, obstruction of Congress.
At issue was whether Trump corruptly used the power of his office to pressure Ukrainian officials to announce separate investigations into former vice-president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as into unsubstantiated claims that the country had meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
In December, the House of Representatives — Congress’ lower chamber — impeached Trump for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
But even though he was impeached, Wednesday’s vote means Trump will remain in the office until the November general election.
Here’s what experts say could happen next.
Aaron Ettinger, a political science professor at Carleton University, said after the acquittal vote, the impeachment process is “over and done with.”
“All that kind of drama of the past two years sort of gives way to November, I suppose,” he said.
However, Ettinger said Wednesday’s decision will “certainly” embolden Trump because he knows now that there are no “fetters on his activity.”
“He knows he’s not going to be held to account by the Senate and he knows that the Democrats have limited ability to constrain him in the House of Representatives,” he said.
Ettinger said Trump motivates his base by acting like a “bull in the china shop.”