Trump Acquitted in Second Impeachment Trial
Former President Donald Trump was acquitted of an insurrection incitement charge by the Senate on Saturday.
Fifty-seven senators voted to convict Trump. A conviction requires a 67 vote supermajority.
All 43 senators who voted to acquit Trump are Republicans. All Democrats voted to convict him. Seven Republicans joined the Democrats.
“I had concerns with the lack of due process and constitutionality of this trial going in, and I voted twice to say so. But I had a duty as a juror to listen to the arguments of both sides and keep an open mind, which I did,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who voted to acquit, said in a statement shortly after the vote.
“After hearing the arguments presented, I voted to not convict for a number of reasons, including the fact that I don’t think the Senate has the authority to try a private citizen.”
“The House Impeachment Managers launched an unconstitutional show trial to humiliate the former President and his supporters. The Impeachment Managers have accomplished nothing but to extend the pain of the American people. They achieved one thing—Donald J. Trump’s acquittal,” added Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), another acquittal vote.
Democrats alleged many Republicans already had their minds set on acquitting Trump even before the trial started.
“They were clearly in the position that regardless of the evidence right they were going to vote,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told reporters after the vote.
In this video image, House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) speaks during closing arguments in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 13, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)
The House of Representatives impeached Trump on Jan. 13 while he was still in office on a single article of impeachment, incitement of insurrection, alleging he was behind the storming of the U.S. Capitol one week prior.
Democrats in the House served as impeachment managers, or de facto prosecutors, trying to convince the Senate to convict Trump on the charge.
“Senators, what greater offense could one commit then to incite a violent insurrection at our seat of government during the peaceful transfer of power?” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead impeachment manager, said during the trial.
Trump not only provoked a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol, but then sat back and watched “in delight” as the building was attacked, he claimed, “violating a sacred oath and engaging in a profound dereliction and desertion of duty.”
Trump’s lawyers argued the trial was unconstitutional since the former president is a private citizen now and accused Democrats of showing selectively edited videos that omitted key evidence, such as Trump telling supporters on Jan. 6 to go to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically.”
Trump was acquitted by the Senate last year on two charges relating to a phone call he shared with Ukraine’s president.
Trump, in a statement after Saturday’s vote, said Democrats are “given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance.”
He also said he always has, and will, champion “the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”
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