In the second impeachment hearing, former President Donald Trump was convicted in
The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump ended on Saturday afternoon, exactly a month and a week after insurrectionists incited a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, with Trump being acquitted for his supposed involvement in inciting the deadly incident. Most senators voted to convict the former president, but they failed to meet the threshold of the super majority needed for a conviction.
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago,” Trump said in a statement.
“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. There has never been anything like it!” concluded the post.
Drama ensued Saturday morning on the Senate floor as senators voted to hear from witnesses. After an approximately one-hour recess, however, the Senate decided that no witnesses would be called, and instead preferred to admit written testimony from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash, into evidence.
Then, their closing statements were made by the prosecution and defense. The Senate chamber fell silent when the vote started as the name of each senator was called. Every senator present, as required by Senate rules, had to pronounce Trump “guilty” or “not guilty” while standing behind their individual desks. A party of 57 senators voted to convict Trump and 43 to acquit him.
With the need to convict two-thirds of the Senate, the vote fell 10 short.
Seven GOP senators, including Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, have joined the Democrats in Trump’s “incitement of insurrection.” vote.
We have a strong and compelling majority of members of Congress, Raskin said, adding that it was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in the history of the world, that the president actually incited violent rebellion against the union and against the Congress.
Many Republican senators stood by the president from the beginning — it was illegal to prosecute a former president with 44 votes on Tuesday.
House impeachment managers argued during the trial that the Jan. 6 riot was the final attempt by Trump to overturn the presidential election. They claimed that he was not an innocent bystander, but rather an insider and the instigator. They claimed that he had laid the groundwork with false claims for months and stolen no evidence of the election, riling up Americans who would turn to violence on Jan. 6.
Michael van der Veen, one of Trump’s attorneys, argued that Trump’s remarks were not aggressive during his speech before the riot because he called for peace, and that Trump had a right to use what is largely standard political rhetoric in the First Amendment, calling on his supporters to “fight.” Van der Veen repeatedly asserted that Trump’s language is almost indistinguishable from similar rhetoric.