February 6, 2020 / 2:46 AM / 11 days ago

Factbox: 'A giant asterisk' - quotes from Trump's impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday acquitted President Donald Trump on impeachment charges of abusing his office and obstructing Congress, despite Republican Mitt Romney becoming the first senator in history to vote for the conviction of a president from his own party.

Here are some quotes from a historic day at the U.S. Capitol:

REPUBLICAN SENATOR MITT ROMNEY

“What he did was not ‘perfect’ — no, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER

“The verdict of this kangaroo court will be meaningless. By refusing the facts – by refusing witnesses and documents – the Republican majority has placed a giant asterisk, the asterisk of a sham trial, next to the acquittal of President Trump, written in permanent ink. Acquittal in an unfair trial – with this giant asterisk, the asterisk of a sham trial – is worth nothing at all, to President Trump or anybody else.”

SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL

“We will reject this incoherent case that comes nowhere near, nowhere near, justifying the first presidential removal in history. This partisan impeachment will end today. But I fear the threat to our institutions may not, because this episode is one of a symptom of something much deeper.”

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL

“I have been moved genuinely even to tears very few times in this body but I was riveted by his (Mitt Romney’s) words. I said to myself ... this is why you came here.”

U.S. CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS

“As I depart the chamber, I do so with an invitation to visit the court. ... I also depart with sincere good wishes as we carry out our common commitment to the Constitution through the distinct roles assigned to us by that charter. ... I look forward to seeing you again under happier circumstances.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, on Twitter

“I will be making a public statement tomorrow at 12:00pm from the @WhiteHouse to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!”

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney

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