Despite seven Republicans crossing party lines, the Senate failed to meet the two-thirds threshold required to convict the former president
Former President Donald Trump was acquitted Saturday, January 13 by the United States Senate of charges related to the insurgency at the United States Capitol on January 6.
On January 13, Trump became the only president in U.S. history to be indicted twice and the first to stand trial while out of office. The trial lasted five days, with defense attorneys and leaders (attorneys for the House of Representatives) presenting their arguments and testifying in support of their respective positions.
Some House Republicans criticized the speed of the proceedings and the lack of an investigation or formal hearing. Leading House Rules Committee member Rep. Tom Cole ended his remarks by saying Democrats should take action to unite us. Instead, they only divide us further.
Democrats, for their part, have argued that the impeachment process must move forward quickly to maintain a functioning democracy. Representative Ilhan Omar urged Republicans to vote to impeach Trump, saying those who stormed the Capitol building were specifically instigated by the President of the United States.
Despite Republican disapproval, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans crossing party lines and voting to impeach, including Republican conference representative Liz Cheney.
After the House sent the single indictment article to the Senate, the trial began. On January 26, senators took an oath of impartiality. Almost immediately, several Republicans tried to end the trial on constitutional grounds, including Senator Rand Paul, who brought in a motion to dismiss on the basis that Trump was no longer in office. Forty-five Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported Paul’s position.
When the trial officially began on February 9, Trump’s lawyers presented more than four hours of argument on whether Donald John Trump was subject to the jurisdiction of an impeachment court for acts committed then. that he was President of the United States, notwithstanding the expiration of his term. mandate in this office. The debate ended with a 56 to 44 vote that paved the way for the trial.
After several days of questioning by senators and final arguments, the Senate voted to acquit Trump on charges of inciting an insurgency on Capitol Hill. Although seven Republicans crossed party lines and voted to convict former President Trump, the Senate did not meet the two-thirds threshold required for sentencing.
Reactions to the decision erupted from both sides. Despite Trump’s acquittal vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned Trump’s actions and said he held him directly responsible for the events of January 6.
There is no doubt that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for bringing about the events of the day, McConnell said. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting according to the wishes and instructions of their president.
McConnell also dispelled the argument of Trump’s lawyers that the impeachment was intended to deprive the 74 million American voters who voted for Trump in the 2020 election.
It’s an absurd deviation, McConnell said.
In the end, McConnell said the Constitution did not allow the Senate to convict the former president, so he voted to acquit Trump.
President Biden released a statement after the Senate vote. The statement underscored the bipartisan vote to impeach and condemn Trump. Although the result did not lead to a conviction, Biden maintains that the merits of the charge are not in dispute. Biden also sought to remind the American people that democracy is fragile and requires vigilance. He urged people to see that they have a duty and a responsibility to stand up for the truth and reject lies.
Finally, former President Trump released his own statement, claiming the Democratic Party had a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer crowds, excuse rioters and transform the justice into a tool of political revenge.
Trump went on to say that impeachment was another phase of the biggest witch hunt in our country’s history.
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