The Senate just voted to acquit former President Trump in his second impeachment trial. The vote was 57-43, with seven Republicans joining the Democrats. Senators needed a two-thirds majority to convict Trump.
These are the seven Republicans who voted to convict the former President:
- Richard Burr
- Bill Cassidy
- Susan Collins
- Lisa Murkowski
- Mitt Romney
- Ben Sasse
- Pat Toomey
Impeachment charges are political, not criminal. An impeachment acquittal essentially means the Senate did not find cause to remove a president from office.
Of course, Trump is no longer in office. But if Trump had been convicted, the Senate could also have voted to prevent the former president from ever holding office again.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the article of impeachment on 13 January, with the support of 10 Republicans.
Trump’s office released a statement just moments after he was acquitted.
“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. I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”
He does not mention the 6 January riot, rather reiterates the narrative that Democrats are the party that supports rioters and mobs.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tore into the Senate’s decision to acquit former President Trump, calling the vote “un-American” and insulting to patriots who gave their lives for our republic over the centuries.
“The former President inspired, directed, and propelled a mob to violently prevent the peaceful transfer of power, subvert the will of the people, and illegally keep that President in power,” he said, speaking moments after the upper chamber had voted to acquit Trump.
“There is nothing, nothing more un-American than that,” he continued. “There is nothing, nothing more antithetical to our democracy… insulting to the generations of Americans patriots who gave their lives to defend our form of government.”
Schumer went on to say the events of Jan. 6, would be Trump’s “final terrible legacy” and the 57 Republicans who voted to acquit would be forever linked to that legacy.
“Let it live on in infamy, a stain on Donald John Trump that can never, never be washed away,” he said.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said he voted to convict former President Trump “because he is guilty.”
“Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty,” Cassidy said in a statement released after his vote.
Cassidy was one of seven Republican senators who joined Democrats in voting to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump was ultimately acquitted as Democrats failed to get enough Republicans to join them in convicting Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said if former President Trump was still in office, “I would have carefully considered whether the House managers proved their specific charge.”
“But after intense reflection, I believe the best constitutional reading shows that Article II Section 4 exhausts the set of persons who can legitimately be impeached, tried or convicted. It’s the president, it’s the vice president and civil officers. We have no power to convict and disqualify a former office holder who is now a private citizen,” McConnell said.
“Donald Trump’s no longer the president. Likewise, the provision states that officers subject to impeachment and conviction shall be removed from office if convicted,” he said, emphasizing “from office.”
McConnell did not count out the possibility of Trump being tried in civil or criminal courts.
“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office as an ordinary citizen unless the statute of limitations is run, still liable for everything he did while in office. Didn’t get away with anything yet. Yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one,” he said.
McConnell said the Senate’s decision to acquit Trump does not condone the violence on Jan. 6.
“It simply shows that senators did what the former President failed to do. We put our constitutional duty first,” he said.
As Senate majority leader last month, McConnell rebuffed calls by Senate Democrats for a speedy trial during Trump’s final days in office.
This story been updated with additional information.
ATR News Contributing Editor Andy Burton in Livonia, MI contributed to this report.