Skip to main content

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on Feb 6, 2020, one day after his acquittal by the Senate of two impeachment charges in a near party-line vote.

DOUG MILLS/The New York Times News Service

A day after his acquittal in the Senate, President Donald Trump lashed out at his political opponents Thursday in speeches both vengeful and celebratory, saying he was completely vindicated in impeachment proceedings that have bitterly divided the country.

His rivals in the Democratic Party, meanwhile, appear to be in disarray. The national party chair is calling for a review of the Iowa caucuses, that took place Monday, after long delays in the results being released. Both Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg have claimed victory in the first test of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

On impeachment, Mr. Trump told a gathering of Republican lawmakers and administration officials at the White House Thursday afternoon that, “It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. This should never, ever happen to another president, ever.”

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Trump’s remarks capped off a tumultuous period in Washington that has exacerbated a fierce partisan battle months ahead of the November election.

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted the President on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, voting largely along political lines. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump did not shake hands with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before his State of the Union Address. After its conclusion, Ms. Pelosi, in turn, ripped up a copy of the speech in front of the cameras.

At the end of a charged chapter in U.S. politics, Mr. Trump indicated that he would not let the country forget the unfairness of impeachment. At a White House prayer breakfast on Thursday morning and again in the afternoon, Mr. Trump held up copies of newspapers announcing his acquittal, describing impeachment as “a horrific incident for this country.”

He attacked Democrats, including California Congressman Adam Schiff, the lead House impeachment prosecutor, calling him “a vicious, horrible person.”

Mr. Trump singled out Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the only Republican to vote to convict Mr. Trump, referring to him as a “failed presidential candidate” who “used religion as a crutch.”

Mr. Romney had given an emotional speech citing his Mormon faith as compelling him to vote in favour of conviction on one of the charges. He has faced a sharp backlash from Republican colleagues, some of whom have called for his removal from the party.

The President also assailed Ms. Pelosi, mocking her for saying that she has prayed for him. “I doubt she prays at all,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Pelosi fired back at a news conference Thursday, pointing out that the House of Representatives had voted to impeach the President in December. “You’re impeached forever,” she said. “You are never getting rid of that scar.”

Mr. Trump repeatedly cast himself as a president under siege since the day he took office, referring to impeachment and last year’s investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian political interference as proof that Democrats were attempting to stage a political coup.

He also used his Thursday remarks as a victory lap. The President spent the better part of his speech thanking and congratulating Republican members of Congress, whom he repeatedly referred to as “warriors” and said the impeachment process has renewed momentum for the party heading into the fall election.

“They say the spirit of the Republican Party right now is stronger, I think, than it’s ever been in the history of our country,” he said.

The Senate acquittal dealt a blow to Democrats, already facing a presidential nomination race mired in controversy.

On Thursday, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez called for a review of the results in the Iowa caucuses. “Enough is enough,” Mr. Perez said on Twitter. “In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.”

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Trump pointed to Iowa as evidence that Democrats were unprepared to govern the country. “They can’t count some simple votes and yet they want to take over your health-care system,” he said.

The impeachment proceedings have also intensified the spotlight on former vice-president Joe Biden, coming off what appeared to be a fourth-place finish in Iowa. Mr. Trump’s efforts to compel Ukraine to investigate an energy company that employed Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, while Mr. Biden was vice-president formed the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

In a sign that Mr. Trump’s acquittal has not closed the book on Congressional investigations, Senate Republicans said this week that they would request Hunter Biden’s travel records while he was under the protection of U.S. Secret Service.

House Democrats meanwhile said they plan to subpoena former national-security adviser John Bolton amid revelations that he plans to outline new details of the President’s Ukraine pressure campaign in memoirs to be published next month.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies