Trump acquitted in trial amid rupture in GOP

Clay Curtis
February 14, 2021

On 6 January, a mob that had previously attended a Trump rally in Washington DC, stormed Capitol Hill as senators inside were ratifying the U.S. presidential election result.

"Everyone knows you can not impeach a former president", came the answers. A two-thirds majority vote in the evenly divided chamber was required to convict Trump, with an additional vote needed to disqualify him from running for the presidency again.

The senator was one of only seven Republicans who voted to convict the former president on Saturday.

Another of Mr Trump's lawyers, Bruce Castor, said: "We are extraordinarily gratified that the United States Senate decided, as they did, to protect our constitutional way of life and not go down the road of endless impeachments".

A majority of United States senators, including seven Republicans, voted 57 to 43 in favour of convicting Trump on a charge of incitement to insurrection.

Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in the final days of his four-year presidency, becoming the first US president in history to face such a rebuke twice.

Despite Trump's acquittal, Raskin hailed Democrats' efforts as the "most bipartisan presidential impeachment" in the US history. "That it must always be defended", he said in a statement, calling on Americans to stand against extremism, defend the truth and defeat the lies. That we must be ever vigilant.

The Senate acquitted Mr Trump of incitement to insurrection following the storming of Congress on 6 January.

In a statement after the acquittal, Mr Trump said it was "a sad commentary on our times" that the Democrats had been given a "free pass to transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree".

President Joe Biden said Saturday that despite Donald Trump's acquittal in the US Capitol insurrection trial the charges against him are not in dispute and the attack shows "democracy is fragile".

Joe Biden

"I think the clear message that we get from the proceedings in America is that, after all the toings and froings and all the kerfuffle, American democracy is strong", he said.

After Moffat-as-Carlson brought on Bennett-as-McConnell, his final guest, he asked why he didn't vote to impeach Trump. Mr McConnell said that though he believed former officials were not eligible for impeachment or conviction, Mr Trump was not beyond the reach of ordinary courts of law. "We need Trump-plus".

It was known on the final day that McConnell would vote to acquit.

That the bulk of Republicans backed the former president suggests his enduring influence over the party and its voters.

"Our historic, patriotic and lovely movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun", he said.

The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi called Republicans who did not support conviction "cowardly".

At its most basic level, this is a win for the former president.

Casey has said the impeachment trial wasn't about punishing Trump but about protecting the republic.

He continued to call the second impeachment trial the "dumbest" trial he has ever seen because "the jurors who were deciding the case were the ones attacked by the defendant, the trial took place at the scene of the crime and then, after the trial ended, one of the jurors who voted to acquit Trump ran out and said, 'Someone's got to prosecute this guy, he did it, this man belongs in jail!'" The House Managers and Mr. Trump's defense team agreed to a stipulation to admit into the record a mere written statement by Congresswoman Beutler, not delivered in person under oath or via a deposition.

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