Former US president Donald Trump was acquitted on Saturday on charges of inciting an insurrection at the US Capitol, after a majority of Republicans in the Senate closed ranks and voted against the motion to impeach him in a historic second impeachment trial.
The five-day trial saw Democratic prosecutors argue that Trump betrayed his oath by whipping up his supporters into storming Congress in a last-ditch attempt to cling to power. They used the dramatic videos of the Jan. 6 riots to bolster their case.
The impeachment trial failed on Saturday with a 57-43 majority which fell short of the two-thirds needed in the Senate. However, it was reported that seven Republicans joined with Democrats to seek Trump’s conviction.
Trump, welcomed the verdict and denounced the proceedings as “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” In a statement issued to the press, the former President said that “our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.”
“We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future,”
US President Joe Biden said that despite the acquittal, the charges against Trump are “not in dispute” and called on Americans to defend democracy.
Trump was impeached by the US House of Representatives on Jan. 13 where the Democrats have the upper hand. The impeachment came after a week of the violent insurrection at the US Capitol which stunned the nation and the world.
Democrats argue that Trump’s behavior was an “open and shut” case of impeachable conduct, charging him with false statements on the Presidential elections being stolen, inciting his supporters to attack Congress and stopping the certification of Biden’s victory.
The Republicans have denied the charges and have argued that Trump’s speech to supporters was rhetorical. The Republicans also argue that the Senate had no constitutional jurisdiction to try a former president.
While the Democrats have said that Trump impeachment trial will continue in the courts, his son and many Republicans are celebrating the acquittal.
“Great week. Trump beats impeachment. Dems in disarray. The Lincoln Project burnt to the ground. The RINOS in the GOP establishment exposed & collapsing. Cuomo & Dem Govs in free fall. The media depressed and lashing out at Dems for their impeachment fail. #MAGA ascending again!”, tweeted Donald Trump Jr.
The Republicans have charged the Democrats for doctoring the evidence to impeach Trump. They have said that the Democrats altered the date on the image of Trump’s tweet placed as evidence to make it look like was made during the Capital Hill violence.
They also accused the house managers of being partisan towards the Democrats and working in cohorts with them against Trump instead of going by evidence placed about the wrong-doing of the Democrat members.
Trump’s lawyer also accused the media of being news hungry, partisan and for following an agenda to target Trump. He said that the media despite knowing about the false evidences did not report the same.