Trump acquitted in Senate impeachment trial over Capitol siege
- The Senate acquitted Donald Trump after impeachment for the siege of the Capitol.
- Trump was charged with incitement to riot related to the January 6 fatal event.
- All 50 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted in favor of condemning Trump, while 43 Republicans voted in favor of acquittal.
- You can find more stories in Insider’s business section.
The Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump after a controversial impeachment trial for the deadly siege of the Capitol.
The House of Representatives charged Trump last month with incitement to riot related to the January 6 event, which resulted in multiple deaths and shook the political sphere.
All 50 Senate Democrats and 7 Republicans voted to condemn Trump, while 43 Republicans voted to acquit him. A two-thirds majority is required to convict and remove a federal official. In the event of a conviction, the Senate can also vote with a simple majority on whether this official should be prevented from ever holding public office again.
These were the Republicans who voted to condemn Trump: It is. Mitt Romney from Utah, Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Sen. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, Sen. Susan Collins from Maine, Sen. Richard Burr from North Carolina, Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska, and Sen. Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania.
In a statement on Saturday, Trump thanked the senators who voted in favor of the acquittal, railed against his critics and called the impeachment process “another phase in the largest witch hunt in our county’s history.”
He continued, “No president has ever been through anything like this, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the nearly 75 million people, the highest number ever had by a sitting president who voted for us a few months ago. “
The final vote on Trump’s acquittal came after a tumultuous process in which the House’s nine impeachment managers spent hours playing video footage and Trump’s own remarks to demonstrate how his words paved the way for the Capitol uprising.
The oral arguments lasted about ten hours, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the House’s chief impeachment chief, stressed that prior to the siege, Trump had a “pattern and practice” of inciting violence, showing that the insurrection was not an isolated incident.
“These previous acts of incitement shed a harsh light on Trump’s apparent intent” and “inevitable knowledge of the consequences of his incitement and the clear predictability of the violent damage he has caused our people and our republic,” Raskin said Thursday. “January 6th was not an unexpected, radical break with his normal law-abiding and peaceful attitude. This was his state of mind. This was his essential MO.”
The defense, meanwhile, was addressing two main arguments: Trump’s remarks at a “Save America” rally before the siege are protected speeches under the First Amendment, and even impeachment is unconstitutional as Trump is absent from the office and cannot therefore cannot be removed by impeachment.
Trump’s attorneys completed their oral presentation in less than three hours and relied heavily on “whataboutism,” which drew a false parallel between Trump’s demand for his supporters to stop the peaceful transfer of power and the demand by Democratic lawmakers for post-2004 election results and 2016 presidential race.
One of the lawyers, Bruce Castor Jr., also falsely claimed that the Capitol riot was not a riot.
Democrats abruptly withdraw their call to witness
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Saturday’s vote on Trump’s acquittal came after hours of back-and-forth between Democrats and Republicans over the subpoena.
On Friday night, CNN released a bombing report describing a phone call between Trump and the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy on Jan. 6 during the siege. During the conversation, according to CNN, Trump refused to cancel the rioters despite McCarthy’s requests, and suggested that the insurgents were more concerned with the elections than McCarthy.
“Well, Kevin, I think these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said, CNN reported. McCarthy then told Trump that rioters broke into his office, adding, “Who the hell do you think you are talking to?”
Washington MP Jaime Herrera Beutler first revealed the details of the phone call at a town hall earlier this week and confirmed them to CNN. After the story was published on CNN with Herrera Beutler’s testimony, Raskin said he wanted to summon the congressman for her testimony.
Politico reported earlier Saturday that the property managers blinded the Senate Democrats with their request for witnesses and that while Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer had prepared for a possible witness vote, he received no warning before the property managers on Saturday morning Forced a vote.
According to the report, the managers themselves discussed the issue on Friday evening and well into Saturday morning, and by 9 a.m., Senate Democrats still had no idea what their counterparts would do.
The Senate eventually passed the motion to call witnesses by 55 votes to 45, with five Republicans joining forces with Democrats to vote for it. But after about three hours of debate, the Democrats reversed course and agreed with the Republicans not to call witnesses.
Instead, Raskin submitted Herrera Beutler’s statement to the Senate minutes.
“He has decided to keep his own power over American security,” the Democrats conclude
Trump speaks to supporters in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 before an attack on the U.S. Capitol
In their closing arguments, the property managers emphasized Trump’s actions that led to the siege and pounded on his refusal to act during the siege.
Rep. David Cicilline, one of the impeachment managers, said Trump’s words to McCarthy during their phone call were, “You essentially got what you deserve.”
He also referred to a separate conversation Trump had had with Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville during the siege when Tuberville informed Trump that then-Vice President Mike Pence had been evacuated from the building for security reasons.
“Not only was the president fully aware of the vice president’s situation … when he was asked for help, when he was asked to defend the Capitol less than 30 minutes after instigating this violence against his own vice president, President Trump declined this request from for help, “said Cicilline.
Rep. Madeleine Dean, another impeachment manager, commented on how Trump’s supporters believed they were acting on his orders when they stormed the Capitol.
“During his January 6 speech, Trump supporters sang his words to him. They even tweeted his orders live … during the attack, the Capitol insurgents sang Donald Trump’s words from his tweets, rallies and speech on the 6th.” , she said.
“He instigated the violence to stop certification, attacked the vice president, and continued the riot to pressure the vice president to stop certification. He called Sen. Tuberville to stop certification and he refused to send aid to Congress. ” Said Cicilline. “And this Congress and the Vice President of the United States were in mortal danger because they wanted to stop certification.”
Trump “chose to keep his own power over the safety of Americans. I can think of no worse evidence of his state of mind,” he continued.
The defense team, meanwhile, accused property managers of breach of due process and manipulation of evidence.
“The property managers’ false narration is a brazen dishonest attempt to smear and repeal their number one political opponent, repeal the constitution, make neutral statements, use everyday political rhetoric, take words and facts out of context and ascribe the scariest to them and malicious intent is possible, “said Trump attorney Michael van der Veen. “Your story was not based on evidence, but on personal and political animus.”
“They should be canceled,” he added.
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