The Senate on Saturday acquitted the former U.S. President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, voting him not guilty for inciting riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The second impeachment trial lasted 5 days with House managers and defense attorneys presenting evidence and arguments from both parties.
DETAILS OF THE TRIAL
The final vote was 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, including 7 Republicans joining the Democrats supporting conviction, but could not surpass the two-thirds majority.
The seven Republicans who voted in support of the conviction included Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey.
The vote reached 55-45, with five Republicans voting with the Democrats. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham initially voted no, later changing his vote to yes, making it the most bipartisan impeachment trial in U.S. history
Burr, the former Senate Intelligence committee chairman, voted earlier this week that the trial was unconstitutional. Burr and Toomey are retiring from the Senate by the end of 2022.
Trump’s attorney, Michael Van der Veen argued that Trump did not incite a riot that had already been planned, repeating the falsehood that the rioters represented both left and right groups despite the video evidence and court documents displaying that the riot was perpetrated by Trump supporters.
The final vote came down to the fifth day of the trial after a surprise Democratic request for witnesses was asked for on Saturday. The House lead impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, informed that the managers were seeking to subpoena Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who revealed a conversation between House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump, where the former President claimed that the rioters were more concerned about the election results than McCarthy was.
After several hours of negotiations among Senate leaders, managers and Trump’s legal team, the managers agreed to take into consideration the Herrera Beutler’s statement as evidence.
Following the vote, there appeared to be some confusion in the Senate regarding the consideration of evidence, with one senator asking what exactly they were voting for, followed by the recess.
The vote was to decided the obvious dilemma Trump had posed to several congressional Republicans regarding the aftermath of January 6, where the number of Republicans was higher than what Trump’s attorneys had anticipated. The final vote was 57-43, short of 67 guilty votes needed to convict.
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