Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will vote to acquit Trump of impeachment charges

By Taylor Vance 

TUPELO - Mississippi’s junior U.S. senator voted to acquit President Donald Trump of both impeachment charges brought against him by the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a speech she gave on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican, said the House impeachment managers who acted as prosecutors during the impeachment trial failed to provide enough evidence that would cause her to vote to remove Trump from office.

“The founding fathers warned against allowing impeachment to become a political weapon,” Hyde-Smith said in the speech. “In this case, House Democrats crossed that line. Rejecting the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress articles before us will affirm our belief in the impeachment standards intended by the founders.”

Hyde-Smith’s announcement of voting to acquit the president is of little shock. Trump previously came to Mississippi in 2018 to campaign for Hyde-Smith during her bid for the Senate seat she currently holds.

In her Senate speech, she criticized the impeachment inquiry and described it as a “flawed” and “partisan” process.

“This trial exposed that pure political partisanship fueled a reckless investigation and the subsequent impeachment of the president on weak, vague, and noncriminal accusations,” Hyde-Smith said. “The Democrats’ case – which lacked the basic standards of fairness and due process – was fabricated to fulfill their one, long-held hope to impeach President Trump.”

Hyde-Smith’s remarks come after U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican, also announced Tuesday that he also planned on voting against the impeachment articles, signaling that both of the state’s U.S. Senators will vote to acquit Trump.

As a sitting U.S. senator, Hyde-Smith has been a juror during the past two weeks of the historic trial, where she has listened to Democratic House managers and members of Trump’s legal defense team present arguments before the legislative chamber and answer questions from different senators.

In December 2019, Trump became the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. He is accused of abusing his presidential powers and obstructing Congress. Elected officials in Congress have mostly voted along party lines on matters related to the impeachment process.

On Friday, Hyde-Smith also voted with most of the Republican senators in a 51-49 vote to block witnesses from testifying at the trial, which largely ended the impeachment trial proceedings.

Hyde-Smith and Wicker were both expected to vote to acquit Trump on Wednesday along with most of the Republican senators.