US President Donald Trump speaks about his Senate impeachment trial in the East Room of the White House in Washington DC on Thursday.
US President Donald Trump speaks about his Senate impeachment trial in the East Room of the White House in Washington DC on Thursday.
AFP

As expected, President Trump was found not guilty by a partisan Senate on Wednesday. Impeached by the House of Representatives for abusing his power and for obstructing the Congress, Trump relied on the Republican majority to get away unscathed. He had withheld vital security aid to Ukraine, which is fighting Russia-backed rebels, unless Ukraine ordered a corruption probe against former Democratic Vice-President Joe Biden, who at the time looked as the most likely challenger in the coming presidential election. Trump denied vital documents and ordered key witnesses not to appear before the impeachment committee, thus attracting the obstruction of the Congress charge. But the Senate took a partisan attitude from the start of the trial, refusing to summon witnesses. All through, Trump insisted that the impeachment was a hoax, while not addressing the charges even edgeways. The third president in the US history to be impeached and the first to seek re-election, Trump, however, is unlikely to suffer in the popularity ratings with his base standing by him. Though the Senate did not convict him, he was far from vindicated. But thanks to deep partisanship in the US today, Trump continues to be popular. And seems well set to get re-elected in November. The traditional State of the Union Address a few hours before the Senate vote showcased the brazen, offensive Trump boasting of his real and unreal achievements. His refusal to shake the extended hand of the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the latter to dramatically tear the Trump address in full view of the people. Meanwhile, Trump’s proposed visit to India later this month ought to see him in a gung-ho mood with Prime Minister Modi keen to remove the recent irritants in the trade ties. India will be keen for Trump to restore the Generalized System of Preferences for Indian exports while Trump will look for a grandest possible reception with an eye on the audiences back home in the election year. Modi can be relied upon to lay out the works to make Trump feel er,… well, triumphant.

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