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Inhofe says he'll vote for acquittal

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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said Monday that he will vote to acquit President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment, making official a vote that was never in doubt.

“I think you know how I’m going to vote,” the Oklahoma Republican said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“I’m going to vote to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment.”

Inhofe said House Democrats had presented no evidence that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to force that country to conduct investigations that might help Trump politically.

The House investigation centered around the partial transcript of a phone call last July between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“There was nothing wrong with President Trump’s phone call with President Zelensky,” Inhofe said Monday, adding that the witnesses interviewed in the House investigation provided only second-hand information.

A vote on whether to acquit the president or remove him from office is set for Wednesday in the Senate. All Republicans — who comprise the majority of the Senate — are expected to vote for acquittal of the Republican president.

Inhofe, who has been in the Senate since 1994, voted in 1999 to remove former President Bill Clinton from office for lying under oath and obstruction of justice. In 1999, the Senate was controlled by Democrats, who voted to acquit the Democratic president.

In his remarks, Inhofe said that Clinton had admitted perjury before “he was even impeached,” but Clinton had not done that.

Inhofe said that he listened to the lawyers during the Trump impeachment trial in the last two weeks “and quite frankly, some of them I didn’t understand what they were saying.

“But I do know pretty much what’s going on around here. And in this case, the reasons behind why the president should not be impeached are common sense: He didn’t commit a crime.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›