The Senate’s top Democrat says Jan. 6 will live as a “day of infamy” in American history and the vote to acquit Donald Trump “will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., took to the Senate floor Saturday to decry the Senate’s acquittal of the former president on a charge that he incited the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
He applauded the seven Republicans who joined all 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump.
He called the day of the riot the “final, terrible legacy” of Trump and said the stain of his actions will never be “washed away.”
The Senate acquitted Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing his trial to a close and giving the former president a historic second victory in the court of impeachment.
Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, and he is also now twice acquitted as the majority of Republicans defended his actions. The Senate voted 57-43 that Trump is “not guilty” of incitement. Two thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes, was needed for conviction.
House Democrats argued Trump caused the violent attack by repeating for months the claims the election was stolen from him, and then calling on his supporters to “fight like hell” just before they laid siege to the Capitol. Democrats argued Trump had “obvious intent” as he egged on supporters they said were primed for violence.
Trump’s lawyers argued that the trial was brought on by Democrats’ “hatred” of Trump and it was unconstitutional because he had left office. They said the rioters acted on their own accord, despite Trump’s words. And they argued Trump was protected by freedom of speech and to convict him for something he said would set a dangerous precedent.
The House impeached Trump before he left office for “incitement of insurrection” after the violent mob broke into the Capitol, destroyed property and hunted for lawmakers as they counted the presidential electoral votes.
If Trump had been convicted, the Senate would have taken a second vote on whether to ban him from running for office again. Only two other presidents, Bill Clinton in 1999 and Andrew Johnson in 1868, have been impeached. Both were also acquitted.
Voting to find Trump guilty were: Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Ben Sasse, R-Neb.; Patrick Toomey, R-Pa.
Romney’s “guilty” vote at Trump’s initial impeachment trial last February had made him the first senator to ever vote to convict a president of the same party.
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