World What the 7 Republicans Who Voted to Convict Donald Trump Have Said About Their Decision
12 Senators Will Serve as Impeachment Trial Jurors for a Third Time
Just over two decades ago, a dozen senators were already serving in the Senate during former President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.Presidential impeachments were incredibly rare throughout U.S. history, with the first taking place in 1868 against former President Andrew Johnson. That impeachment resulted in a narrow acquittal in the Senate. The next presidential impeachment trial did not take place until 1999, when former President Clinton was put on trial. Clinton was also acquitted, as was Trump during his first Senate trial on February 5, 2020.
Seven Republican senators voted alongside 50 members of the Democratic caucus to convict former Presidenton Saturday.
The final tally of 57-43 fell short of the 67 votes needed to convict Trump on the House impeachment charge of inciting the January 6 insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. However, the count total has been touted as the most bipartisan impeachment vote in U.S. history. Trump's acquittal marks the end of a five-day impeachment trial.
The GOP senators backing Trump's conviction include Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania,of Utah, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
McConnell, Graham, and Grassley voted against Bill Clinton in his 1998 impeachment. They just acquitted Trump of inciting an insurrection.
The Senate acquitted Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection in his second impeachment trial. Some senators who voted in Trump's impeachment trial also voted in Clinton's more than two decades ago.Six of the Republicans who voted for acquittal were also sitting senators in 1999, during the impeachment trial of then-president Bill Clinton.
Here's how they explained their decisions this weekend.
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
In a statement released Sunday, Murkowski addressed her reasoning for voting to convict Trump.
"The facts make clear that the violence and desecration of the Capitol that we saw on January 6 was not a spontaneous uprising," Murkowski said. "President Trump had set the stage months before the 2020 election by stating repeatedly that the election was rigged, casting doubt into the minds of the American people about the fairness of the election."
She added that during the events of the mob riot on January 6, "President Trump was not concerned about the Vice President; he was not concerned about members of Congress; he was not concerned about the Capitol Police. He was concerned about his election and retaining power."
Louisiana GOP Official Calls Bill Cassidy a 'Senator Without a Party' After Impeachment Vote
"We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Senator Cassidy to convict former President Trump," the LAGOP said in a Saturday tweet. "Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him."We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump. Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.
Of the seven senators, Murkowski is the, spurring speculation she'll face a .
Susan Collins of Maine
During afloor speech on Saturday following the vote, the former president, saying that he created a "dangerous situation" and put his "selfish interest" over the interests of the country.
"That attack was not a spontaneous outbreak of violence. Rather, it was the culmination of a steady stream of provocations by President Trump that was aimed at overturning the results of the presidential election," said Collins.
Collins added that Trump worked to undermine the election results and rile up his followers to "fight" against the reality of President's victory.
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Cassidy echoed Collins' remarks in a video posted toon Saturday following the vote.
'Shocking and disappointing': North Carolina GOP slams Burr for voting to convict Trump in impeachment trial
The North Carolina GOP slammed Burr's vote to convict Trump for "incitement of insurrection." The state party called Burr's vote "shocking and disappointing."Burr, a reliable conservative, was one of 7 Republicans who crossed party lines to convict Trump of "incitement of insurrection" for the former president's role in the deadly January 6 Capitol riots.
"Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person," Cassidy said. "I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty."
Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty. pic.twitter.com/ute0xPc4BH— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) February 13, 2021
During a Sunday appearance onNews' This Week with host George Stephanopoulos, Cassidy noted that ."
"But if you describe insurrection as I did, as an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, we can see the president, for two months after the election, promoting that the election was stolen," Cassidy said.
"[Trump] then scheduled the rally for January the 6th, just when the transfer of power was to take place, and he brought together a crowd, but a portion of that was transformed into a mob," Cassidy added. "And when they went into the Capitol, it was clear that he wished that lawmakers be intimidated."
He continued: "All of that points to a motive and a method, and that is wrong. He should be held accountable."
Seven GOP Senators Vote to Convict Trump During Second Impeachment Trial
Senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Patrick Toomey, Bill Cassidy and Richard Burr joined all of their Democratic colleagues to vote for a conviction on Saturday.Senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Patrick Toomey, Bill Cassidy and Richard Burr joined all of their Democratic colleagues to vote for a conviction.
Mitt Romney of Utah
Romney shared similar sentiments for his decision to vote against the former president on Saturday.
"President Trump attempted to corrupt the election," Romney said, referencing Trump's efforts to pressure the Secretary of State of Georgia to falsify election results and inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.
"President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol," Romney added. "Each and every one of these conclusions compel me to support conviction."
Richard Burr of North Carolina
Burr, who plans to retire next year, previously voted to dismiss the impeachment trial on constitutional grounds, but yesterday heof the aisle by voting for Trump's conviction.
He said in a statement released Saturday, "The Senate is an institution based on precedent, and given that the majority in the Senate voted to proceed with this trial, the question of constitutionality is now established precedent. As an impartial juror, my role is now to determine whether House managers have sufficiently made the case for the article of impeachment against President Trump."
Having established that, he went on to say that "Trump violated his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution."
GOP Senator Richard Burr, Approaching Retirement, Shocks Democrats With Vote to Convict Trump
U.S. Senator Richard Burr, who is planning to retire next year, joined six of his GOP colleagues and voted with Democrats unsuccessfully to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the violent riot that smothered the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Burr hadn't publicly indicated how he planned to vote. When he voted for conviction, Democratic senators gasped and visibly reacted.Republican U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey had already signaled their openness to finding Trump guilty, but Burr, of North Carolina, had remained an outlier.
He continued, "The President promoted unfounded conspiracy theories to cast doubt on the integrity of a free and fair election because he did not like the results. Asmet to certify the election results, the President directed his supporters to go to the Capitol to disrupt the lawful proceedings required by the Constitution. When the crowd became violent, the President used his office to first inflame the situation instead of immediately calling for an end to the assault.
"As I said on January 6th, the President bears responsibility for these tragic events. The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Therefore, I have voted to convict."
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Toomey, following his vote to convict the former president, released a statement Saturday evening to express his discontent with Trump's actions. The senatorhe would not seek re-election. Last month, he , saying he was no longer a "viable candidate" for elected office following the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"I was one of the 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump, in part because of the many accomplishments of his administration. Unfortunately, his behavior after the election betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him," Toomey said in a Saturday tweet.
"His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction," he added.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland says he would have voted to convict Trump in Senate impeachment trial
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said he would have voted to convict Trump if he were in the Senate. Hogan said that Trump's fate would likely be decided over the next two years. "I think he's still going to face the courts and the court of public opinion," Hogan said. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said on Sunday that he would have crossed party lines to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial if he were a member of the Senate.
His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) February 13, 2021
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Sasse said in a statement on Saturday that he made a promise to "always vote my conscience even if it was against the partisan stream."
"I cannot go back on my word, and Congress cannot lower our standard on such a grave matter, simply because it is politically convenient," Sasse added.
The Nebraskan Senator noted that "an impeachment trial is a public declaration of what a president's oath of office means and what behavior that oath demands of presidents in the future."
Two days after the riot, Sasseto say he was open to ousting Trump, telling anchor , "The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because as I told you, I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office."
Newsweek reached out to each of the senators' offices for additional comments but didn't hear back in time for publication.
Lisa Murkowski Doesn't Think Donald Trump Will Be Reelected After Capitol Riot Footage .
"I just don't see how Donald Trump will be reelected to the presidency again," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters during the second day of former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial.Murkowski made the remarks as Trump's unprecedented second impeachment trial continued in the Senate. The senator is one of a handful of Republicans in the upper chamber who may vote to convict Trump, although she voted against his conviction at the conclusion of his first impeachment trial in February 2020.