Trump acquitted in impeachment trial

Trump acquitted in impeachment trial

U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell excoriated Donald Trump on Saturday for being "morally responsible" for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but said he voted to acquit him at the impeachment trial because he believes the Senate had no jurisdiction over a former president. The vote was split more or less along party lines.

Democrats failed to get the two-thirds majority vote to find him guilty of inciting an insurrection.

Romney's "guilty" vote at Trump's initial impeachment trial last February made him the first senator to ever vote to convict a president of the same party. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Lindsey Graham of SC, who changed his vote to yes after initially voting no. The trial provided more partisan warfare even as Democratic President Joe Biden, who took office on January 20 after defeating Trump at the ballot box on November 3, called for healing and unity after his predecessor's four turbulent years in power and a caustic election campaign.

But the defense team repeatedly proclaimed Trump's innocence, insisting "the act of incitement never happened" and rioters acted alone.

Trump is only the third president ever to be impeached by the House of Representatives - a step akin to a criminal indictment - as well as the first to be impeached twice and the first to face an impeachment trial after leaving office.

While describing the vote on whether to convict as a "close call", McConnell told colleagues in a letter that "I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we, therefore, lack jurisdiction".

Cafaro said Republican lawmakers remaining faithful to Trump were making an "incredibly risky" gamble. But if there will be witnesses, he said he will need "over 100 depositions", including of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Trump acquitted in impeachment trial

With the impasse resolved, the Senate began hearing closing arguments, evenly divided in time. The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives. "I believe the Framers understood that convicting a former president and disqualifying him or her from running again pulls people further apart". When McCarthy "finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol", she wrote.

"McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters", Ms Herrera-Beutler said.

"I don't know why you're laughing", he responded.

Democrats pounced on her statement. How much did it cost Trump?

Trump's lawyers argued the trial was unconstitutional because he had already left office and that his remarks were protected by the constitutional right to free speech.

This was Mr Trump's second impeachment. One of the most memorable portions of the prosecution case by the impeachment managers were the new videos of Trump's supporters, wearing Make America Great Again hats and waving Trump flags, ransacking the Capitol.

On the Senate floor, Trump counsel Michael van der Veen, a personal-injury lawyer by day, tried in every way to demonstrate his indignation at the late revelation. "We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future", Trump said.

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