DONALD Trump, the former President of the United States of America Former US President has been acquitted on a charge of incitement of insurrection.
After a five-day impeachment trial in the US Senate, the vote was largely split along party lines with 57 lawmakers voting to convict and 43 voting to acquit. That fell short of the two-thirds the Democrats needed to convict Trump.
Seven Republican senators voted to convict the former president.
This was Trump’s second impeachment trial, the only time a president has been through this process twice. Trump’s first impeachment trial, which took place in February 2020, ended in an acquittal of charges that he tried to pressure Ukraine to investigate now-President Joe Biden.
Democrats had hoped that Republicans, who had experienced the riot first-hand and were deliberating at the scene of the crime, would cause them to put politics aside and vote for conviction.
The US Senate voted 57-43 in favour of convicting the former president on Saturday, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict him on a charge of inciting the mob that attacked the US Capitol on the 6th of January, during the certification of Joe Biden’s election win.
While the vote reflects the deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats, it also magnifies the deep divisions within the party.
Trump left office on January 20, so impeachment could not be used to remove him from power but Democrats had hoped to secure a conviction to hold the former president responsible for the Capitol siege and set the stage for a vote to bar him from serving in public office again.
Trump welcomed his acquittal and said in a statement that the movement to ‘Make America Great Again’ has only just begun.
“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 honourably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate,” he said in the statement.