US Senate acquits Trump over charges of instigating deadly Capitol riot
November 28, 2022
USA

US Senate acquits Trump over charges of instigating deadly Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (US) – The US Senate acquitted Donald Trump on Saturday of instigating the mob that breached into the Capitol last month, exempting him over charges of conviction in his second impeachment trial in a year.

The Senate voted 57-43 supporting the conviction of the former president, falling short of the two-thirds majority for the same, required on a charge that he instigated the attack while overseeing the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election win.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted “not guilty,” in the trial, putting forth remarks about Trump after the verdict.

He said, “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”

President Joe Biden said that while the vote did not actually lead to a conviction, it was pointed out that the substance of the charge was not in dispute, and a record number of Republicans had voted for conviction of Trump.

Biden said in a statement, “This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America. And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”

In the vote, seven of the 50 Senate Republicans joined hands with the chamber’s unified Democrats, to favour the conviction.

During the trial, senators viewed graphic video of the assault, which had a police officer screaming in pain as he was crushed in a door, the mob chanting “hang Mike Pence” on its hunt for the vice presidentt.

Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead Democratic prosecutor from the House of Representatives, said, “The bottom line is that we convinced a big majority in the Senate of our case.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the fact that Republicans refused to have Trump accountable would be remembered “as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history.”

The hasty end to the trial permits Biden to go ahead with his agenda to boost the economy with a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill and further confirmation of his cabinet members.

Trump said in a statement after his acquittal, “This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.”

Trump has considered running for president again in 2024.

Romney voted for conviction on Saturday along with fellow Republicans Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Pat Toomey, and Lisa Murkowski.

“His actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power – the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy – were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction,” Collins said after the vote.

The House gave approval to the single article of impeachment against Trump on January 13, and 10 Republicans joined the chamber’s Democratic majority.

During the trial, nine House lawmakers serving as trial managers, or prosecutors, urged senators to convict Trump to hold him accountable for a crime against American democracy and to prevent a repeat in the future. They said Trump summoned the mob to Washington, gave the crowd its marching orders and then did nothing to stop the ensuing violence.

The defense lawyers levelled accusations against democrats for not only trying to silence Trump as a political opponent, who according them were afraid of him for the future but also trying to attempt to criminalise political speech with which they disagreed.

Trump’s acquittal does not eliminate the possibility of other congressional action against him, like a censure motion, however, Pelosi said such a measure would allow Republicans who cast their votes against conviction “off the hook.”

McConnell said Trump was now a private citizen and indicates he is likely to still face criminal prosecution for his acts. “He didn’t get away with anything. Yet,” McConnell said.

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