Trump Acquitted in Second Impeachment Trial
The Senate fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to impeach former President Donald Trump Feb. 13. Seven Republicans and all 50 Democrats found Trump guilty of incitement of insurrection.
The trial lasted five days, making it the shortest in presidential history, with Democrats relying primarily on video evidence to convict Trump.
The footage released showed how close the rioters were to members of Congress and left those who were there emotionally impacted. Trump’s defense team said he is protected by the First Amendment and the pre-planned attack could not have been a result of his speech.
However, after the first day of trial, 44 Republicans voted that the impeachment was unconstitutional because Trump was no longer in office.
Although acquitted, Sen. Mitch McConnell did not vote to convict Trump but still held him accountable.
“There is no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” said McConnell.
The Senators who crossed party lines received backlash from some sects of the Republican Party.
The Louisiana Republican Party tweeted “We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump.”
Sen. Cassidy responded with “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
“I share the disappointment of many of our grassroots leaders and volunteers over Senator Toomey’s vote today,” Lawrence Tabas, Pennsylvania Republican Party chairman said.
Tabas said the trial was “an unconstitutional theft of time and energy that did absolutely nothing to unify or help the American people.”
“I did what I thought was right, and I would certainly like to think that regardless of my political circumstances or whether I was running for office again or not, I would do the same thing,” said Sen. Patri Toomey.
President Joe Biden released a statement saying “while the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute.”
Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” and “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the violence unleashed on the Capitol,” Biden said.
After the verdict was announced, Trump also released a statement.
“I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth…My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country,” the statement read.
“I also want to convey my gratitude to the millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding, God-and-Country loving citizens who have bravely supported these important principles in these very difficult and challenging times.”
Trump is still eligible to run for the 2024 election and has hinted that his role in politics is not over.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” said Trump.