Politics The final day of the Trump impeachment trial was shaped by McConnell, Democrats, and breakaway GOP senators
What to expect at Trump's second impeachment trial
The former president has been impeached on a charge of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.Mr. Trump will likely be acquitted, but senators are still obligated to sit through hours of arguments from House impeachment managers and the president's attorneys. The House impeached Mr. Trump on January 13, one week after the assault on the Capitol, on a charge of inciting an insurrection. Ten House Republicans joined every Democrat in voting to impeach Mr. Trump.
- Democrats asked GOP senators to put aside politics to convict Trump, but it wasn't enough.
- The effort to convict Trump for "incitement of insurrection" fell short by a 57-43 margin.
- Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Richard Burr of North Carolina surprised many with votes to convict.
An emotional appeal to the nation's spirit defined former President Donald Trump's; Democrats tried to use the chaos and terror of the Capitol siege to drive Republicans to put aside their natural political instincts in the name of justice.
Trump’s impeachment trial is imminent. GOP senators are working to cast it as a Democratic plot.
Republicans claim the trial is constitutionally illegitimate. Most scholars disagree.The dismissals and distraction tactics suggest that after a brief period of uncertainty about whether to censure Trump, Republicans are poised to present a fairly united front in rejecting the case that Trump should be convicted for his role in inciting the January 6 insurrection.
For the, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the crux of their argument contended that only accountability can deter deadly political violence in the future. Democrats reinforced that concept by playing never-before-seen and from the fateful day of January 6 when rioting insurrectionists .
"This cannot be our future," Raskin said during the trial on Tuesday. "This cannot be the future of America. We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people."
The effort to convict Trump for "incitement of insurrection"by a 57-43 margin. A conviction required two-thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes.
Impeachment trial puts Trump back in the spotlight. That might not be a good thing for him
Prosecutors want to bar Trump from future office and render his support radioactive; backers say impeachment is likely to help him politically.The historic second impeachment trial, which began Tuesday, focuses on accusations that he incited a violent insurrection Jan. 6 with his actions and words before the assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters seeking to overturn the presidential election.
All 50 Democrats in the Senate voted to convict Trump, while seven Republicans crossed over to support the former president's conviction, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The remaining 43 Senate Republicans opposed the former president's conviction.
Here's what shaped the final day of impeachment:
McConnell voted to acquit Trump
For four years, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell worked in tandem with Trumpscores of conservatives to the federal judiciary, including three Supreme Court justices: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
But after the Capitol riots, McConnell distanced himself from the former president andthat individual impeachment decisions were a "vote of conscience."
LIVE COVERAGE: Democrats focus on Trump remarks before attack on Capitol
The Senate kicks off day two of the second impeachment trial of former President Trump on Wednesday.While the first day focused on the constitutional question of whether the Senate could hold a trial for a former president, the actual oral arguments begin today.The historic trial centers on whether Trump incited a mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, sending lawmakers fleeing for safety and temporarily halting Congress's certification ofWhile the first day focused on the constitutional question of whether the Senate could hold a trial for a former president, the actual oral arguments begin today.
In the end, McConnell decided that he would not vote to convict Trump.
"While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we therefore lack jurisdiction," McConnell said to GOP colleagues early on Saturday.
After the final vote on Saturday, McConnell heaped blame on Trump,for spreading debunked claims of voter fraud after his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
"There is no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the event of that day," he said.
Video: Senate votes to acquit former President Donald Trump (ABC News)
The Latest: Republicans criticize Trump lawyers' performance
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 6:35 p.m. Senate Republicans had sharp criticism for former President Donald Trump’s lawyers after the opening of his second impeachment trial. Many said they didn’t understand Trump’s lawyers’ arguments as they sought to persuade the Senate to dismiss the trial on constitutional grounds. Trump was impeached by the House for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Louisiana Sen.
Still, McConnell, a sly 36-year veteran of the upper chamber, chose to play the long game. Trumplike-minded GOP candidates in the 2022 midterm elections and the Kentucky conservative would very much like to control the upper chamber once again.
Democrats demanded to call witnesses and then reversed course after the Senate approved the measure
The US Senate agreedon Saturday, avoiding an extension of the deliberate process that has consumed the Capitol this past week.
The Senate initially passed a motion 55-45 to call witnesses, with five GOP senators crossing over to support the effort. But, after some debate, Democrats changed their minds.
The last-minute debate over witnesses came afterfrom Washington state GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler about a call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California on January 6. Democrats sought to use the conversation to paint the former president as indifferent to the chaos that unfolded that day.
But the agreement to avoid having witnesses testify set the stage for closing arguments from the Democratic House impeachment managers and Trump defense attorney.
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Senate leaders agreed on shaping how former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will be conducted. Oral arguments scheduled to start Tuesday.Buttigieg is not showing any symptoms. A morning test for COVID that the Transportation Department described as routine was negative.
Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, one of the Democratic impeachment prosecutors,to convict and "put country above our party because the consequences of not doing so are just too great."
However, Van der Veenthe trial "a complete charade from beginning to end" and insisted that "the act of incitement never happened."
Republicans who voted to acquit make their stand
While Republicans like Collins and Romney were not huge surprises in terms of their votes to convict Trump, there were some notable exceptions.
Sens. Burr and Cassidy are Southern conservatives who rarely stray from the party line. And yet,the former president's actions on January 6.
"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," Burr said in a statement. "Therefore, I have voted to convict."
He continued: "By what he did and by what he did not do, President Trump violated his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Burr is not running for reelection in 2022.
Republicans acquitted Trump again, but this time is different
Former President Donald Trump's second acquittal by the US Senate proved the enduring power he holds over the Republican Party, with the results Saturday setting the dangerous precedent that even an autocratic leader who violates his oath of office can escape punishment if he bullies enough senators into standing by him. © Alex Wong/Getty Images U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Hispanic pastors at the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. His win came after a feeble defense by his lawyers that amounted to little more than gaslighting and a presentation of falsehoods.
Cassidy,last November, was seen as a wild card vote in recent days the former president's defense strategy earlier this week.
"Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person,"in a recorded statement explaining his vote. "I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty."
Murkowski, who's up for reelection in 2022 andabout calling out Trump in the past, said political considerations were not part of her calculus in voting to convict Trump.
"If I can't say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me?,"to Politico. "This was consequential on many levels, but I cannot allow the significance of my vote, to be devalued by whether or not I feel that this is helpful for my political ambitions."
“We got what we wanted”: Democrats defend the decision not to call impeachment witnesses .
Del. Stacey Plaskett told CNN that “we didn’t need more witnesses, we needed more senators with spines.”Witnesses initially were not expected to be called during the trial, but that expectation was upended Saturday morning when lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called for Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) to be deposed.