After a two-week-long impeachment trial, US President Donald Trump was acquitted of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Senate Republicans found that the allegations of Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political opponent and interfering with witness testimonies did not justify removal from office.

"I think it is a partial exoneration. So, I will partly agree with you. By the way, I'm one of the few people in [...] Team Trump who wanted witnesses because I think the witnesses would have achieved that full exoneration," former National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump member and close Trump ally, Steve Cortes, said.

Trump is the third US president to face an impeachment trial and the first to have a trial without witnesses after Senate Republicans voted against allowing additional evidence to be presented.

Cortes stressed the importance for presidents to be able to have confidential conversations with his advisers under executive privilege "it's something that's important, not just for President Trump to protect, but important for any president to have protection".

The vote to convict Trump of abuse of power was bipartisan with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney joining Senate Democrats in a guilty vote. Only Republicans voted to acquit, and several of these senators openly said the president's actions were wrong.

"Despite what the Democrats wanted to tell us, that [Trump] supposedly controls Republicans on the Hill with an iron grip, I think we've seen actually exactly the opposite, particularly when it comes to the Senate," Cortes said.

Trump delivered remarks following the acquittal vote, calling for a celebration and saying he had endured a corrupt "witch-hunt" since the day he announced his run for president.

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Source: Al Jazeera