Former president Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate in his second impeachment trial. 57 senators voted to convict, including 48 Democrats, 7 Republicans and 2 Independents. The final count: 57-43.
The seven Republican senators who voted to convict include Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The Senate needed 17 Republicans to vote “guilty” in order for conviction.
Immediately following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor. “This was the first presidential impeachment trial in history in which all senators were not only judges and jurors, but witnesses to the Constitutional crime that was committed,” Schumer said. “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.”
Schumer went on to say that the violent insurrection would never have happened if not for Trump’s incitement, saying in conclusion, “He deserves to be permanently discredited, and I believe he has been discredited in the eyes of the American people and in the judgment of history.”
Trump released a lengthy statement following his acquittal, thanking his legal team while also criticizing Democrats and vowing to continue his political quests. “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” he said. “In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people.”
Trump was impeached by the House last month for “incitement of an insurrection.” House impeachment managers held that he incited the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, which took place when supporters of his who had gathered to protest the certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 win breached the Capitol during the congressional vote. In total, five people died, including one Capitol police officer. In the following days, two other responding officers died by suicide. Many others were hurt.
Democrats relied on footage, both existing and never-before-seen, to make their case during the Senate trial. The clips showed officers being attacked by protesters and revealed how close rioters came to lawmakers, including Sen. Mitt Romney and former vice president Mike Pence.
Trump’s defense argued, among other things, that the Democrats manipulated their evidence and were engaging in “Constitutional cancel culture.” Conviction precludes an impeached president from seeking office again.
In February 2020, during Trump’s first impeachment trial, Senators voted 52-48 in favor of acquitting him of abuse of power and 53-47 in favor of acquitting him of obstruction of Congress. Romney was the only Republican to vote in favor of conviction at that time.