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Oregon’s Senators Blast Their Colleagues’ Votes to Acquit President Donald J. Trump on Impeachment Charges

Wyden calls Trump's defense "a fiction," while Merkley calls his acquittal "a dark, tragic day."

As observers on both sides of the aisle had long predicted, the U.S. Senate today voted largely along party lines to acquit President Donald J. Trump on two impeachment charges.

Among Republicans, who control the Senate by a 53 to 47 margin over Democrats, only U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted to convict Trump, on the charge that he abused the power of his office by pushing for Ukrainian officials to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Romney called Trump's tactics, which included withholding $391 million in military aid earmarked for Ukraine, "the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine," according to The New York Times.

Oregon's two U.S. senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Democrats, said the Senate got it wrong.

"Today I voted to remove Donald Trump, for his abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. His whole defense amounted to a fiction. The president was not fighting corruption in Ukraine, he was causing it," Wyden said in a statement. "There is no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump misused his office to extort a foreign nation to drum up sham investigations of his political rival."

Merkley echoed Wyden's disappointment.

"Today, is a dark, tragic day for our nation," Merkley said in a statement. "The Senate majority's refusal to hold a full and fair trial, its blessing to the president to use the powers of the government to attack his political opponents, and its decision to cover it all up are a blow to the heart of the separation of powers. They are a blow to the very idea that We the People are in charge.

"Government of the people, by the people, and for the people is not a birthright. It is a precious gift bequeathed to us by those who came before us. It will take the goodwill and good faith of the American people to maintain it. I believe in our constitution, I believe in checks and balances, I believe in We the People. If we are going to leave future generations of Americans the same gift we received, all of us are going to have to fight like hell to restore and defend it."