Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate for a historic second time. The final vote offered few surprises, as only seven Republicans joined the entire Democratic caucus to vote to convict Trump, falling TK votes of the required two-thirds majority necessary.
The basis for Trump’s second impeachment was the allegation that the former president incited the deadly insurrection carried out by his supporters on the Capitol building that occurred on January 6th.
Republican Senators Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, and Pat Toomey broke party ranks and voted guilty. No Democratic Senators voted not guilty.
The result of the vote was predictable, but the final day of the impeachment trial was not without a rollercoaster of twists and turns. The day opened with a surprise vote to call for witnesses, which as approved, looked likely to cause the trial to last a few more weeks.
After a couple of hours of recess and backroom negotiations, a bipartisan agreement was found to enter reports of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler into the official record. Reports surfaced Friday evening that she had heard House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy retell a story of Trump refusing to offer aid to the Capitol under attack.
Trump’s defense team responded by threatening to call a large number of witnesses that included Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and it appears the prospect of delaying the Biden administration’s Covid relief proposal took priority over calling witnesses, which likely would not have changed the outcome of the trial.
The lack of a conviction may look like a loss to the House Managers teams, but they have received bipartisan praise for a focused, thorough and emotionally resonant case presented. At the end of the day, however, the Republican caucus proved to be too loyal to the former president, despite loads of evidence presented that, as Rep. Liz Cheney said, Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”
Watch above via CNN