In a vote of 57-43, the Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump for his role in the January 6 deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate needed 67 votes for a guilty verdict. Only seven Republicans voted guilty in Trump’s second impeachment trial. After his acquittal, Trump released a statement accusing the democrats of a political witch hunt.
“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, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.” -Former President Donald Trump.
The impeachment managers presented a solid case against the former President. Despite video evidence, new security camera footage, social media post, and Trump’s own words, Republicans mostly voted to acquit. Hiding behind the constitutionality of impeaching a former president, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Trump for his role in the insurrection but claimed to put his constitutional duty first. Trump’s attorneys argued the constitutionality of his impeachment trial in their opening arguments. That argument was defeated in a vote of 56-44. In a press conference, Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin said, “Senator Mitch McConnell just went to the floor, essentially to say that we made our case on the facts, that he believed that Donald Trump was practically and morally responsible for inciting the events of January 6. He described it as we did, as a disgraceful dereliction of duty, desertion of his office.”
The hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell’s belief that the impeachment trial was unconstitutional since Trump is no longer the President is dumbfounding, considering McConnell pushed to start the Impeachment trial after the inauguration of now President, Joe Biden.
Many experts agree, most Republican senators worried about their political futures chose to vote to acquit out of fear of retribution from their home states and Trump-supporting constituents. Of the seven Republican senators who voted to acquit, three of the seven senators who voted guilty were rebuked by their home states. Following the acquittal in a press conference, Nancy Pelosi called the 43 Senators who voted to acquit “cowardly.” With his second acquittal, Trump can run for President again in 2024. The Republican party, although divided, appears to remain the “Party of Trump.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the acquittal “un-American” and insulting. For many, Trump’s second acquittal is mind-blowing, considering many Republicans’ lives were also in danger during the January 6 insurrection.
“Let it live on in infamy, a stain on Donald John Trump that can never, never be washed away,” -Chuck Schumer.
Trump continues to face criminal investigations in Georgia, New York, and possibly Washington D.C. He is also facing civil state inquires and defamation lawsuits by two women accusing him of sexual assault. In an interview with CNN Sunday evening, Impeachment Manager Eric Swalwell said he did not know why republicans whose to vote to acquit despite the evidence. He suggested in conversations, Republicans believed he was guilty but were too fearful of voting guilty.
“We didn’t need more witnesses. We needed more spines,” he said.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.