Former President Donald Trump has been acquitted of inciting mob to attack the Capitol after the Senate voted 57 to 43.
Seven Republicans (Senators Sasse, Romney, Burr, Collins, Murkowski, Toomey and Cassidy) joining Democrats on the charge of incitement.
Democrats needed two-thirds of the Senate to vote guilty to convict.
Impeachment charges are political, not criminal. An impeachment acquittal essentially means the Senate did not find cause to remove a president from office.
If DonaldTrump had been convicted, the Senate could also have voted to prevent the former president from ever holding office again.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the article of impeachment on January 13, with the support of 10 Republicans.
It was the verdict everyone expected, but the day was not without its drama. Seven Republicans voted along with Democrats to convict Donald Trump of inciting the violent attack on the Capitol last month.
In the end, they didn’t get the two-thirds majority they needed.
Donald Trump is the first president to be impeached twice and has set a record with the most votes to convict by members of his own party.
After Donald Trump was acquitted, first up was the leader of the Democrats in the Senate.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer: “January 6 will live as a day of infamy in the United States. The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.”
He criticized the 43 senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump who effectively “signed their names alongside his” in the history books.
The Democratic senator insisted one thing is certain – that Trump’s legacy will be embroiled in this scandal forevermore, making it nearly impossible for him to ever hold elected office again.
As the senator spoke, however, the Trump team released a statement promising a future for the Make America Great Again movement. Without a conviction, there is nothing barring Donald Trump from holding office again.
Whether Donald Trump runs again remains to be seen. But he will certainly wield his influence in other ways.
Donald Trump once again avoided conviction by the Senate because his fellow Republicans, by and large, stuck by his side.
He did not emerge from this impeachment trial unscathed, however.
One of the most memorable portions of the prosecution case by House managers were the new videos of Trump’s supporters, wearing Make America Great Again hats and waving Trump flags, ransacking the Capitol.
Those images will forever be associated with the Trump brand. Every rally he holds from here on will evoke memories of that riot.
In a video message posted to the White House’s Twitter account, President Trump has condemned the violence in the Capitol last week, saying “violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement”.
He did not make any reference to impeachment.
The president ends with a call for unity.
“All of us can choose by our actions to rise above the rancor and find common ground and shared purpose. We must focus on advancing the interests of the whole nation, delivering the miracle vaccines, defeating the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, protecting our national security and upholding the rule of law,” Donald Trump said.
“Today I am calling on all Americans to overcome the passions of the moment, and join together as one American people,” he said.
“God bless you, and God bless America.”
When he was first impeached in 2019, President Trump became part of a small group of rebuked US leaders.
After today, President Trump is the first president to be impeached twice.
Only two other presidents in history have been impeached by the House of Representatives – Andrew Johnson, back in 1868, and Bill Clinton in 1998.
President Richard Nixon stepped down and resigned.
But to date, no president has ever been removed from the White House by Congress.
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