Donald Trump Acquitted!
With a vote of 57-43, The Democrat-led U.S. Senate failed to convict former President Donald Trump a second time over the allegation that he incited the Capitol riot that occurred on January 6.
House managers pull out every dirty trick they had up their sleeves to make the case to convict President Trump, but in the end, they fell short of the 67 votes needed for a conviction.
There were seven Republican defections though. All seven senators are safe from any election retribution by Trump and his supporters, with Sens. Pat Toomey and Richard Burr retiring in 2022, while Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Benn Sasse were all just reelected and would be in office for the next six years.
Shortly after being found innocent of the incitement allegation, President Trump released a statement regarding the “witch hunt.”
“I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth,” Trump said. “My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.”
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago.”
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. 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. There has never been anything like it!”
Both Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn voted against conviction and sounded off after the vote was concluded.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R) :
“The impeachment of Donald Trump on the charge of incitement was merely a rushed act of partisan retribution. I was against the Senate taking jurisdiction in this trial from the start, as the House had chosen to impeach without providing due process or introducing evidence.
“The House brought only one charge before the Senate: incitement. Donald Trump used heated language, but he did not urge anyone to commit acts of violence. The legal standard for incitement is very high and it is clear by the results of this vote that the House Managers failed to present a coherent standard for incitement.
“In the United States, politicians from all parties and across the country routinely use words and phrases like ‘fight,’ ‘win,’ and ‘take back our country’ in speeches and interviews, including numerous Senate Democrats and House Impeachment Managers. Using this rhetoric is not impeachable, whether made by Republicans or Democrats.
“As I’ve said repeatedly, what we saw on January 6 was a despicable terrorist attack on the United States Capitol and those who carried it out should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Unfortunately, this impeachment trial did nothing to bring the domestic terrorists who committed this heinous attack to justice. It merely satisfied Democrats’ desire to once again vent their hatred of Donald Trump and their contempt for the tens of millions of Americans who voted for him.
“Doing so did nothing to address the many critical challenges facing our country. This impeachment certainly didn’t help the tens of millions of Americans out of work or the millions of kids who aren’t able to go to school.
“As always, I will continue to work to ensure that America defeats the coronavirus pandemic while pursuing a vision for the country that expands freedom and opportunity for each and every American.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R):
“The January 6th attack on the Capitol was horrific and appalling. Those who planned and participated in the violence that day should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I agree with Speaker Pelosi that a 9/11-type of investigation is called for to examine and address the confluence of causes for those shocking events and to help prevent them from ever happening again.
“This trial reminded us that too many public officials, including the President, have used reckless and incendiary speech. In these politically-polarized times, we all need to be more careful with our words and how they may be perceived by others.
“However, I’ve had concerns about this snap impeachment from the start. The arguments of the House Impeachment Managers that the Constitution permits the impeachment of a private citizen, the free speech protections of the First Amendment don’t apply, the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment is optional, and that the trial may include a presiding officer who also serves as a juror all were a bridge too far.
“Ultimately, I am also concerned about establishing a dangerous, and sure to be used in the future, precedent of impeaching a former President after he or she has left office. This practice would, I fear, make impeachments a routine part of our political competition as a tool of the majority party to exact political revenge over the minority party. Given that the Constitution makes legal offenses committed while in office subject to investigation and prosecution, as warranted, after a President is no longer in office, I believe that is the Constitutional method of accountability – not impeachment.”
So what’s next for Trump? No one knows.
But with 2022 right around the corner, it’s almost certain that Trump will focus his ire against Republican House members who vote to impeach him.
Expect several of these House Republicans to announce their retirement from the House of Representatives.