It was the story that started November 8, 2016. And finally, 1,184 days later, the U.S. Senate finally wrote the last chapter -- acquitting the president of his only true crime: being elected.
It took three years, but the campaign that started the night Americans picked their 45th leader may finally be put to rest. And this afternoon, after a distraction that threatened to eat up his entire first term, Donald Trump celebrated the victory. "This was not part of the deal," Donald Trump told his supporters and family in the White House. "I was going to run for president -- and if I won, I was going to do a great job. I didn't know that... when I got in, I was going to have to run again and again and again every week... But [you] stuck with me. And I'm so glad... because we are making progress and doing things for our country."
For the president, Wednesday's vote was a relief -- not because it was standing in the way of his agenda, but because it was a horrible ordeal for the country. "With all that we've gone through," he said in the East Room, "we've done, I think, more than any president and administration. And really, I say for the most part, Republican congressmen, congresswomen and Republican senators, we've done more than any administration in the first few years" -- despite the ferocious House and liberal campaign against him.
"We've been going through this now over three years. It was evil. It was corrupt," he insisted. "...And this should never ever happen to another president." But even Trump knows that it won't be the end for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "I'm sure they'll try and cook up other things... They'll do whatever they can, because instead of wanting to heal our country and fix our country... [it's] almost like they want to destroy our country." But apart from a lone Republican defector, Senator Mitt Romney (Utah), they won't have much help.
For most people, including Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who joined me on "Washington Watch" Wednesday, the real shame isn't just the unnecessary and vicious attack on Trump, but the time the country has lost getting important things done. The president has done remarkable things, despite having two arms tied behind his back and Congress and the media working against him, but just imagine if Democrats in either chamber who were committed to doing things together. Instead, Kevin warned, there's chatter that the other side is weighing another round of investigations.
"I think [that's] a horrible mistake. They've gotta remember why voters sent them to Congress -- and that's to solve problems for the American people. And there are good things we can do -- but not if they launch another impeachment effort." If liberals try, he predicts, their majority will almost certainly be lost. "I wish Democrats would work with us. But I just I haven't seen I just haven't seen much inkling of that." Maybe now that their impeachment proceedings are over, they'll have the time to try. Either that, or face some angry voters come November.