After being impeached by the House of Representatives on January 13, 2021, and then facing a swift Senate trial starting on February 9, 2021, Donald Trump has been acquitted.
With a vote of 57-43, this is the first time since 1868 that a president was acquitted by the Senate minority.
In order to remove the president, the Senate would have needed a two-thirds majority vote. Failing to meet this majority means that Donald Trump has been acquitted.
Facing down a team of Democrats and seven Republicans, Donald Trump’s legal team encountered criticism for its shoehorned defense, equating the Democrats’ use of figurative protest language to the rhetoric that Trump used on January 6th. Even with these criticisms, the majority of Republicans refused to vote against the president.
McConnell saw a Capitol Police Officer die at the scene and two more commit suicide afterward, stating “Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking” the riot. However, Mitch McConnell voted to acquit the former president.
Trump was accused of inciting an insurrection following his January 6 address to a group of his supporters. The address took place about a mile away from the Capitol building. Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to protest at the Capitol, stating “We’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, we’re going to walk down to the Capitol… We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. Lawfully slated” and following his address, thousands of his supporters marched on the capitol.
This vote also marks the second time that Donald Trump has been acquitted by the Senate.
No other president has been both impeached twice by the House and been acquitted twice by the Senate. This was also the most bipartisan conviction vote in US history with seven republicans voting to convict the president. This also marks the fourth time a president has been impeached and not removed.
Since he has not been convicted, the former president could run for president in 2024 if he so chooses.