Donald Trump Found Not Guilty In Second Impeachment Trial
Donald Trump has been acquitted in his second impeachment trial following the US Capitol riots.
The former US president was impeached by the House, charged with incitement of insurrection following the January 6 siege that led to the deaths of five people.
Echoing his first impeachment trial, Trump was once again acquitted by the Senate with a final vote of 57-43, with a total of seven Republicans joining Democrats in a bid to convict.
Those Republicans were Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey.
In order to convict Trump, 17 Republicans were needed to achieve the two-thirds majority. Although, while hardly an achievement to celebrate, this does mark the largest bipartisan Senate impeachment vote in US history.
Trump is now not only the first president in US history to be impeached twice, but also the second president to be acquitted with a minority of the votes in his favour after Andrew Johnson in 1868.
Despite the Senate finding the proceedings constitutional, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote in an email to fellow Republicans, ‘While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we therefore lack jurisdiction.’
Trump’s office released a statement following the acquittal that reads, ‘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.’
It continued, ‘This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country… it is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters.’
As he wasn’t convicted, the Senate wasn’t able to vote on whether to bar Trump from ever holding federal office again – paving the way for a future political career, and possibly running for president again in 2024.
It added, ‘Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people.’
McConnell’s email did note that ‘the constitution makes it perfectly clear that presidential criminal misconduct while in office can be prosecuted after the president has left office’, but carefully didn’t clarify whether he believed Trump’s actions warranted criminal prosecution.
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