Navigation
  •  

Senate acquits Fmr. President Trump for 2nd time in impeachment trial; fail to get 67 votes to convict

President Donald J. Trump waves Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at Joint Base Andrews, Md., as he boards Air Force One to begin a trip to Florida. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
February 13, 2021

On Saturday, the Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump on impeachment charges of inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when demonstrators stormed the building.

The Senate voted 57-43 to convict Trump. The vote fell short of the 67 vote threshold needed to convict in a Senate impeachment case.

All Democrats and seven Republicans voted to convict Trump. Those Republicans were Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Pat Toomey (R-PA).

The final trial vote came after Senators reversed an earlier vote to call witnesses, in a move that would have likely extended the trial by months.

The Senate instead allowed House lead impeachment managers to read into the record an account from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) who said she witnessed a phone call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in which she said Trump “repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol,” Beutler wrote. “McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’”

After Raskin announced his plans to call Beutler to testify and present documents, Trump defense team lawyer Michael van der Veen said he would call numerous witnesses of his own, saying, “I’m gonna slap subpoenas on a good number of people.”

Rather than hear from additional witnesses, the Senate took a second vote instead have Beutler’s account read into the record and then proceed to closing arguments.

With Saturday’s vote, Trump is the first president in U.S. history to have been impeached twice by the House of Representatives and acquitted twice by the Senate.

Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial last year for charges he abused his power as president to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate indications former Vice President Joe Biden pressured past Ukrainian officials to fire the prosecutor investigating his son Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian oil company, Burisma.

In December, Hunter Biden disclosed the FBI is investigating him for possible tax fraud involving overseas business dealings connected to China and Ukraine.

Following his acquittal, Trump thanked his defense team and the members of Congress who voted in his defense. Following his defense team, which accused Democrats of having their own examples of language that incited violence, Trump said, “It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree. I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”

Trump also said, “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.”

In remarks following the final vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “This trial wasn’t about choosing country over party, even not that. This was about choosing country over Donald Trump. And 43 Republican members chose Trump.”

Though voting to acquit Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “There is no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”

Here’s Trump’s full statement after his acquittal:

I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth. 

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.

Our cherished Constitutional Republic was founded on the impartial rule of law, the indispensable safeguard for our liberties, our rights and our freedoms. 

It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree. I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.  

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. 

I also want to convey my gratitude to the millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding, God-and-Country loving citizens who have bravely supported these important principles in these very difficult and challenging times.   

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! 

We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future.  Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.  

We remain one People, one family, and one glorious nation under God, and it’s our responsibility to preserve this magnificent inheritance for our children and for generations of Americans to come. 

May God bless all of you, and may God forever bless the United States of America.