In one of the least surprising events in Us politics, President Donald Trump has been acquitted of all charges at his impeachment trial.
Well, some call the show on Capitol Hill a trial, but it was really a stage-managed foregone conclusion.
The Democrats who hold majority power in the lower House of Representatives were always going to vote for impeachment and they did.
The Republicans, who hold sway in the Senate were never going to impeach their president, so they didn’t.
In between, both sides tried to manipulate the ‘evidence’ in their favour.
Abuse of power and obstruction allegations
The Democrats accused Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by trying to cajole The Ukraine to investigate the business affairs of Trump’s presidential candidate rival Joe Biden.
The president argued he had done nothing wrong and is touting the total acquittal as full exoneration, only in the legal process no one is found innocent. The way the system works it just means there isn’t enough evidence to find him guilty of the charges.
Tellingly, no witnesses were called to give their version of events.
Either way, Trump will go down in history as the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings.
Behind the impeachment process lies the intense unfairness of the US Senate. Every state has two senators, regardless of how many people live there. That means California, with a population of 30 million has the same representation as Alaska, where 750,000 people live.
Stage managed to boost re-election hopes
Polls suggest voters wanted to read the statements and hear the testimony of witnesses, but senators blocked any attempt to put on a real trial.
So Trump was acquitted, but like all things Trump, the impeachment process seems a charade stage managed to boost his popularity in a year when he hopes for re-election.
The cries of four more years ring out in Washington, but the impeachment result seems to be more about self-interest rather than justice.
“I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit… but this is what the result is,” he said holding up a newspaper headlined “Trump acquitted”.
“We went through hell, unfairly. We did nothing wrong. It was evil, it was corrupt.”