Impeachment: Trump remains in office

US President Donald Trump was cleared of all charges in the impeachment proceedings on Wednesday. Of the Republicans, only Senator Mitt Romney voted against acquitting Trump of charges of abuse of power. Commentators are at odds over who is responsible for the failed impeachment and what it means for US politics.

Open/close all quotes
La Stampa (IT) /

Bye-bye, checks and balances

For Alan Friedman, Trump's acquittal is a defeat for the rule of law. The US journalist writes in La Stampa:

“The most worrying aspect of the acquittal is not that Trump will not have to pay for his attempt to blackmail and corrupt a foreign leader. The real problem is that the Republican Party has had no qualms about making him the first president in history to be above the law. The famous system of checks and balances and the separation of powers seem to have come unhinged. The Supreme Court is well on its way to becoming a gang of Republican partisans who are pro-Trump and anti-abortion [a ruling on abortion is expected in March]. ... In view of Trump's authoritarian impulses, this is reason for me and at least half of my countrymen to be very worried indeed.” (DE) /

New hope in November

Despite its failure, the impeachment process was urgently needed, ARD's Washington correspondent Claudia Sarre stresses on

“The impeachment proceedings were no 'farce', as many critics claim. They were bitterly needed to make public the lack of integrity and decency of this president. And quite incidentally they have shown how little backbone the Republicans have - and how the country is increasingly splitting into two camps. One hope remains: that as many voters as possible have seen through the Republicans' inglorious game and will make their choice accordingly on November 3.”

Népszava (HU) /

A conscientious Republican

Mitt Romney has earned a place in the history books with his solitary vote, Népszava says:

“Romney didn't reproach the president for his peccadilloes, his style, or his merciless attacks on himself. He even mentioned that he agrees with Trump on many issues. ... However, he had to consider the vow he made before God, he said. And also the fact that Trump tried to use blackmail to force Ukraine to take steps that would harm his political rivals at home. Many cynical politicians worldwide are now laughing at Mitt Romney. But this does not alter the fact that he went down in history on Wednesday. He is the first senator to have voted to remove a president who belongs to his own party from office in an impeachment procedure.”