The US Senate acquitted Donald Trump of inciting an uprising when his supporters stormed Parliament in Washington on January 6. Even before the guilt vote ended, it became clear that there was not enough support to convict the former president. In the end, 57 senators (50 Democrats and 7 Republicans) voted 43 against. A two-thirds majority requires 67 members of the Senate. In a statement, Trump described his Senate trial as “another stage in the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.”
The historic second impeachment trial of Trump began last Tuesday and was unprecedentedly swift. Trump’s previous trial lasted 21 days and also ended in acquittal. Also this time, it was clear from the start that there was not enough support among the Republican senators to convict their party member Trump.
The trial of Trump, who did not witness himself, came after his supporters stormed the parliament building. He was accused of inciting his supporters. Trump insisted after his election defeat that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden through fraud. Five people were killed when protesters stormed the Capitol when election results there were approved on January 6.
It is against the constitution
The former president’s lawyers argued that Trump had not invited anyone to do anything criminal. They felt that their client could not be held responsible for the behavior of a “small group of criminals”. This detachment was a complete charade from start to finish. Michael van der Vein, the defense attorney, said the whole scene was nothing more than a sad quest for long-running political revenge against Trump by the opposition party. Moreover, according to lawyers, the Senate is not authorized to try a former president.
Many Republicans supported the latter argument. A proposal to declare the process unconstitutional was endorsed by 45 of Trump’s 50 senators last month. This means that the two-thirds majority required to convict the former president seemed out of reach even before the trial began.
Although Republicans also responded with indignation to the deadly riots, support for Trump’s trial came mainly from the Democratic camp. They could no longer impeach Trump, but the Senate could have decided in a separate vote that he should not be president in the future.
It was unclear earlier in the day that Trump’s trial would reach its climax today. Then prosecutors announced that they wanted Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Butler to be called as a witness. It is said that she heard from the leader of the Republican faction in the House, Kevin McCarthy, that Trump refused to help Congress during the storm.
Summoning Herrera Butler as a witness could slow things down considerably. Prosecutors and the Trump team eventually reached a deal that would prevent the trial from continuing. A statement from the Republican politician was entered as evidence without having to testify.
Trump’s trial was historic for several reasons. It is the shortest presidential impeachment case in US history. Trump is also listed in the history books as the first president to face such a measure twice. The fact that the Senate trial took place after he left the White House was also unique.
Historically large number of ‘dissidents’
The number of Republicans who voted to convict Donald Trump is also unprecedented compared to previous impeachment trials. According to US media, such a large number of senators has never been excluded from such a vote.
Democrat Andrew Johnson had the support of all senators from his party in his impeachment trial in 1868. That was no different at the 1999 Bill Clinton trial. Not a single Democratic senator voted with the Republicans.
The first senator to stand beside a president from his own party was former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Last year, he voted with Democrats in his first impeachment trial. This time, seven Republicans voted to condemn Trump, including Romney. Lisa Murkowski, Suzanne Collins, Pat Tommy, Bill Cassidy, Ben Sacy and Richard Burr also voted to oust Trump.
In a statement, Trump described his Senate trial as “another stage in the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” “It’s a sad comment on our time that a political party in America gets a free ticket to downplay the rule of law, slander law enforcement officials, encourage mobs, absolve rioters, and turn justice into a tool for political revenge,” Trump said. .
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