United States President Donald Trump on February 7 reportedly dismissed ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland as he had testified in his impeachment probe. According to international media reports, Sondland was a key witness during the impeachment hearing by Democrats-controlled House of Representatives. He had testified that Trump sought a quid pro quo from Ukraine, the intended recipient of nearly $400 million in military assistance that the White House has put on hold.
Sondland said, “I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union”.
Trump was acquitted of all charges on both articles of impeachment as the Republican-majority Senate voted 52-48 to acquit the US President of abuse of power and 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress. Only one Republican, 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney voted to convict the President. The Utah Senator announced his decision hours before the voting took place. In an eight-minute-long speech, Romney said that he believed that what the President did was "very wrong" and that he was following his conscience."
Wednesday's outcome followed months of remarkable impeachment proceedings, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House to Mitch McConnell's Senate, reflecting the nation's unrelenting partisan divide three years into the Trump presidency.
The White House soon after the acquittal also released a statement slamming the entire impeachment process. The statement released read, "The sham impeachment process concocted by the Democrats ended in full vindication and exoneration of President Donald J Trump. As we have said all along, he is not guilty. The Senate voted to reject the baseless articles of impeachment and only the President's political opponents - all Democrats, and one failed Republican Presidential candidate - voted for the manufactured impeachment articles."
However, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly denounced the Senate's decision and said that he remains 'an ongoing threat to American democracy'. The Speaker, in a statement, said that the US President and Senate Republicans have normalized lawlessness and rejected the system of checks and balances of the constitution. Pelosi further added that President Trump remains a threat to US' democracy with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can 'corrupt the elections' if he wants to.