Trump impeachment: Senate falls short of majority needed to convict

Trump impeachment: Senate falls short of majority needed to convict”

While lawmakers acquitted Trump of inciting the January 6 Capitol attack, they voted 57-43 to convict him - short of the two-thirds majority needed to find him guilty.

Sadly, given the polarization that Trump both promoted and profited from - and a stark divide in the media landscape - numerous former president's most fervent followers will see his acquittal as vindication of a president who was subjected by the House to "constitutional cancel culture". Fiercely loyal pro-Trump Republicans, and the base of the party they represent, are colliding with more traditional Republicans who believe the former president is damaging the party's national appeal.

Democrats holding out long-shot hopes of convicting Trump would have needed 17 Republicans to prevail, which as expected proved an unreachable goal.

"The vast majority of the Senate Republican caucus, including the Republican leader, voted to acquit former President Trump, signing their names in the columns of History alongside his name-forever", Schumer said.

Five people died, including a rioter who was shot, and a police officer. Burr and Toomey have said they will retire and not seek reelection when their terms expire next year, and Murkowski and Collins have histories of clashing with Trump over health care and other policies.

Separately, a Georgia prosecutor said earlier this week that she's opened a criminal investigation into "attempts to influence" the outcome of last year's general election.

McConnell's relationship with Trump plummeted after Trump's denial of his November 3 defeat and relentless efforts to reverse the voters' verdict with his baseless claims that Democrats fraudulently stole the election.

The trial highlighted the extraordinary danger lawmakers faced on January 6 when Trump urged his followers to march to the Capitol in an effort to prevent lawmakers from certifying his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election.

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He said there was no evidence that Trump incited an "armed insurrection" to "overthrow the US government" and to think that Trump would have wanted that is "absurd". Consider the way some state party organizations have reacted to members of Congress who voted their conscience in the impeachment process.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a former ally of Trump who has blamed him for the insurrection, also warned Saturday the ex-president could be prosecuted in the future. But he blasted a shambolic performance by Trump's legal team at the start of the trial while praising Democrats for presenting a compelling case.

Cassidy, in a brief statement following his vote Saturday, said: "Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person".

McConnell went further and suggested Trump could face charges now that he is out of office. By any standard, managers from the House of Representatives established that Trump bears responsibility for the violent assault on the Capitol by crazed supporters eager to stop Congress from ratifying Joe Biden's victory in a free and fair election. That we must be ever vigilant. That could expose Republican senators seeking reelection in 2022 to primaries from conservatives seeking revenge, potentially giving the party less appealing general election candidates as they try winning Senate control.

"Tribalism is a hell of a drug, but our oath to the Constitution means we're constrained to the facts", Sasse said Saturday.

Fair-minded Americans - including many Trump voters - should come away from this revealing trial resolved never to allow Donald J. Trump to be treated as a legitimate participant in American political life, let alone be returned to the White House.

Romney broke with his party again - as he did on one of two impeachment articles in Trump's first impeachment trial a year ago - and voted "guilty".

Presidents Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999 were acquitted and received unanimous support from their Democratic Party.

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