WASHINGTON – Seven Republican senators and all of the Democrats found former President Donald Trump guilty on Saturday for instigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection, despite the bipartisan vote that was insufficient to achieve the two-thirds majority required for conviction.
In Trump’s second impeachment trial, Republican Sens. Richard Burr from North Carolina, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, Susan Collins from Maine, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Mitt Romney from Utah, Ben Sasse from Nebraska and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania voted for the 45th sentence. President.
The seven GOP senators joined 48 Democrats and two independent senators.
The Senate acquitted Trump in a 57-43 vote on charges of instigating riots for his role in the deadly January 6th Capitol riot. It took Democrats 17 Republicans to join Trump.
Some Republicans who voted in favor of acquittal based their vote largely on procedural rather than the merits of the case. For example, Senate minority chairman Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Trump was responsible for the uprising and suggested that the former president could continue to be prosecuted.
The verdict came after the House impeachment managers reversed course and dropped a call for witnesses that would have delayed the outcome. The acquittal marks the end of a five-day impeachment trial.
Trump is the first president to be tried and tried twice.
Mitt Romney, Utah
Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah speaks to a group of bipartisan lawmakers during a press conference to unveil a COVID-19 emergency relief framework at the Dirksen Senate office building in Washington on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
Caroline Brehman | CQ Appeal, Inc. | Getty Images
During Trump’s first impeachment trial, Romney was the only Republican to quit his party and convict the president. The Senate acquitted Trump in 2020 on impeachment proceedings resulting from his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“President Trump instigated the anti-Congress insurrection by using the power of his office to call his supporters to Washington on January 6th and ask them to march on the Capitol during the vote count. He did so in spite of the obvious and known threats of violence that day, “Romney said in a statement.
“President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, Vice-Presidents and others in the Capitol. Any of these conclusions compel me to support the conviction,” he added.
Susan Collins, Maine
Senator Susan Collins, R-ME, speaks during a hearing for Marty Walsh as Labor Secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 4, 2021.
Graeme Jennings | Pool | Reuters
Collins faced a highly competitive Senate race in Maine last year as she backed Trump’s judiciary nominations but dropped out with her party over the former president’s actions during the Capitol uprising. She declared her vote to be sentenced from the Senate.
“Instead of preventing a dangerous situation, President Trump created one. And instead of defending the constitutional transfer of power, he instigated a riot to prevent that transfer of power from taking place,” said Collins. “His actions – they disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, the hallmark of our constitution and our American democracy – were abuse of power and cause for conviction.”
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, speaks during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions nominations hearing for Marty Walsh to be the Secretary of Labor on February 4, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Graeme Jennings | Pool | Reuters
Murkowski, who is up for re-election in 2022, had previously called for Trump to resign after the Capitol uprising.
“Before anyone assumes the office of president, they must swear to faithfully carry out the office of president and to uphold, protect and defend the constitution of the United States,” Murkowski wrote after the trial.
“President Trump – the nation’s elected leader, the commander in chief of our armed forces – has taken an oath to defend America and all that we hold sacred. He has broken that oath,” she added.
Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania
US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) interviewed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a hearing on “Review of Corporate Loans That Are Critical to National Security” in the Dirksen Senate Office building in Washington on December 10, 2020.
Sarah Silbiger | Pool | Reuters
Toomey had also called for the president to resign. He has stated that he will not run for re-election if his seat expires in 2022.
“I was one of the 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump, partly because of the many achievements of his administration. Unfortunately, his post-election behavior betrayed the confidence millions of us have placed in him,” Toomey wrote in a statement .
“His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction,” he added
Ben Sasse, Nebraska
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) speaks during Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 13, 2020.
Patrick Semansky | Pool | Reuters
Sasse said last month he was open to consideration of impeachment proceedings against the former Republican president.
“An impeachment process is a public declaration of what the presidential oath of office means and what behavior this oath will require of the presidents in the future,” wrote Sasse after a conviction.
“But here’s the sad reality: if we were talking about a Democratic president, most Republicans and most Democrats would just swap sides. Tribalism is a hell of a good drug, but our constitutional oath means we’re on that Limit facts. ” Sasse added.
Richard Burr, North Carolina
Senator Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, speaks during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Work, and Pensions hearing about efforts to reappear during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak June 30 in Washington, DC return to work and school in 2020.
Al Drago | Pool via REUTERS
Burr, who has announced that he will not seek re-election, had previously voted to dismiss the impeachment proceedings for constitutional reasons. Burr’s term ends in 2022.
“I have listened to the arguments on both sides and considered the facts. The facts are clear,” Burr said in a statement.
“By what he has done and what he has not done, President Trump has violated his oath of office to uphold, protect and defend the United States Constitution,” he said, adding that he did not came to this decision frivolously. “
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
US Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) speaks to the media as he leaves after the impeachment executives of the House opened their case against former US President Donald Trump for inciting the fatal attack on the US Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 11, 2021.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters
Cassidy originally said he would dismiss the case on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, but then changed his voice last week, saying Trump’s lawyers had done “terrible” work to clarify the matter.
“He brought a lot together, but part of it was turned into a mob and by the time they walked into the Capitol it was clear that he wished lawmakers were intimidated,” Cassidy told ABC’s This Week, voting for the conviction declared. “And even after he knew the violence was going on, he continued to sanction the mob that was there. And it wasn’t until later that he actually asked them to leave. All of this suggests a motive and a method and that’s wrong – he should be held accountable to be pulled.
Cassidy is already facing a setback in his home state. The Louisiana Republican Party Executive Committee unanimously voted to blame Cassidy for his vote in condemning Trump.
Trump’s defense team denied the former president instigated the attack, arguing that the former president’s rhetoric was protected by the first change. His lawyers also called the trial unconstitutional as Trump was no longer president.
“The Democrats were obsessed with indicting Mr. Trump from the start,” said Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen in concluding arguments.
“In short, this impeachment was a complete charade from start to finish. The whole spectacle was nothing more than the opposition party’s unreserved pursuit of longstanding political vengeance against Mr. Trump,” he added.
Senior impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, urged Senators to review in his closing remarks what he called “overwhelming,” “irrefutable,” and “not refuted.”
“This process is ultimately not about Donald Trump. The country and the world know who Donald Trump is. This process is about who we are,” said Raskin.