Trump’s impeachment trial: Who are Republicans Voting to Convict Trump? What’s Next?
|Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney.|
7 Republicans votes that Trump is guilty
Just seven Republican senators voted to convict Donald Trump, acknowledging that the former president incited a deadly mob to attack the Capitol and try to overturn an American election because he could not come to grips with his own loss, Buzzfeednews reported.
Sens. Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey voted with Democrats to hold Trump responsible for the attack, and his hours of inaction as his supporters breached the Capitol, coming dangerously close to members of Congress and the vice president as some of them chanted “Hang Mike Pence!”
Mitch McConnell blames Trump for riots
After the vote, the senior Republican in Congress, Senator Mitch McConnell, said Mr Trump had been "responsible" for the assault on the Capitol, according to BBC.
This was despite him voting against conviction, arguing it was unconstitutional now that Mr Trump was no longer president. Mr McConnell was instrumental in delaying Mr Trump's trial until after he left office, on 20 January.
One of the seven Republicans to break ranks was Susan Collins, who argued by "subordinating the interests of the country to his own selfish interests, [Trump] bears significant responsibility for the invasion of the Capitol.
|Mr Trump faced a single charge of incitement to insurrection after pro-Trump supporters stormed Congress on 6 January. Five people died. |
Democratic prosecutors argued he stoked the mob with false claims the election was stolen. Mr Trump's lawyers denied his words amounted to incitement, and said the Senate should not try a former president.
Impeachments of US presidents are rare. Only two other presidents have been impeached, while Trump is the only man to face the process twice.
"The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the constitutional standard of 'high crimes and misdemeanours' and for those reasons I voted to convict Donald J Trump."
The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, called Republicans who did not support conviction "cowardly".
That the bulk of Republicans backed the former president suggests his enduring influence over the party and its voters.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz said the trial "merely satisfied Democrats' desire to once again vent their hatred of Donald Trump and their contempt for the tens of millions of Americans who voted for him".
After the acquittal Donald Trump denounced what he called a "witch hunt" and talked about the future, without specifically saying what he would do next, Telegraph reported.
"We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future," he said.
Being convicted would have barred him from running again for the presidency in 2024.
"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," Mr Trump said.
|The Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump on Saturday, with 7 Republican senators voting to convict. James Martin/CNET|
Hours before the verdict Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, told colleagues he intended to acquit.
However, moments after the verdict, Mr McConnell addressed the chamber and spent 20 minutes lambasting Mr Trump as "practically and morally responsible" for the riot, accusing him of shouting conspiracy theories "into the largest megaphone on planet Earth".
Mr McConnell added that Mr Trump could still be prosecuted, as a private citizen, for any criminal misconduct in office. The Republican leader said: "He's still liable for everything he did in office. Didn't get away with anything yet."
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