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Arizona political leaders react to acquittal in Trump impeachment trial

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)

PHOENIX — Arizona political leaders were quick to respond Wednesday after President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial came to a close when the Senate voted against removing him from office.

As expected, opinions were split along party lines.

Republicans celebrated the decision, with Sen. Martha McSally calling the impeachment process a “political weapon by an oppositional party.”

McSally voted to acquit Trump on both articles of impeachment.

“The Democrats simply failed to convince the Senate—or the American people—that the president should be removed from office,” McSally said in a statement. “It is only fair that the American people decide who their president should be.”

The outcome capped nearly five months of impeachment proceedings launched in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House and ended with acquittal on two charges in Mitch McConnell’s Senate.

It was the third Senate impeachment trial in U.S. history. The president was acquitted each time.

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs called the impeachment process a “vindictive attempt” by Democrats to remove Trump from office.

“Radical Democrats weaponized the impeachment process using a razor-thin record of evidence for their case, which was fueled by presumptions and hearsay,” Biggs said in a statement. “The damage they inflicted on the institution of Congress and the Constitution will be felt for generations.”

Other Arizona Republicans expressed their support for Trump on Twitter.

Arizona Democrats had a much different tone to the acquittal.

Senate candidate Mark Kelly said the process was filled with partisanship and that witnesses should have been called.

Kelly said he would have voted Trump guilty on both articles of impeachment. Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema voted to convict Trump on both articles.

“This process should have been about finding the truth and enforcing the rule of law, and had I been in the Senate, I would have pushed to hear from firsthand witnesses,” Kelly said. “That is not what the Senate chose to do, and so Arizonans must reach conclusions based on the available information, which includes the president’s own words and the case as it was presented.”

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva called out Republicans in Congress for not impeaching Trump.

“Sadly, Congressional Republicans serving as Trump’s willing enablers have put their own personal interests over those of the country,” Grijalva said in a statement. “They’ve made a mockery of our democracy and their participation in this cover-up will forever stain their legacy.”

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