Donald Trump found ‘not guilty’ of inciting Capitol riots in impeachment trial

This post was originally published on this site

Trump lawyers celebrate acquittal
What to watch next

Donald Trump has been acquitted by the Senate on the charge of inciting the Capitol riots on January 6.

With a vote of 57-43, the US senate fell short by 10 votes of the two-thirds majority it needed to convict Mr Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Seven Republicans broke party ranks to vote against Mr Trump, making it the most bipartisan vote in the history of presidential impeachments.

Republican senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania voted with the Democrats.

In a statement made after his aquittal, Mr Trump said his movement “has only just begun” and slammed the trial as “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.”

The Democrats argued in the short five-day trial that Mr Trump caused the violent attack by repeating for months the false claims that the November 2020 election was stolen from him, and then telling his supporters gathered near the White House that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden.

But Mr Trump’s lawyers claimed that the rioters acted on their own accord and that the former president was protected by freedom of speech, an argument that resonated with most Republicans.

They said the case was brought on by Democrats’ “hatred” of Mr Trump.

One of the house prosecutors, Rep Madeleine Dean, said in closing arguments: “Senators, we are in a dialogue with history, a conversation with our past, with a hope for our future.

“What we do here, what is being asked of each of us here in this moment will be remembered. History has found us.”

A mob of Mr Trump’s supporters breached the US Capitol on January 6, forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm Mr Biden’s victory in the November election.

Five people died, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was injured while confronting protesters.

During the trial on Wednesday, Democrats showed videos of the Capitol assault that they said included of “shocking violence and bloodshed” against police officers.

If Mr Trump had been convicted, the Senate would have taken a second vote on whether to ban him from running for office again.

The former president, who was aquitted in his first impeachment trial in February last year, rejected an invitation to give evidence in person in the second trial.

Aditional reporting by Associated Press.

Related Posts