Senate acquits Trump in his second impeachment trial

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial to investigate the insurrection that occurred on January 6 at the Capitol Building ends in an acquittal

Mya Collins, News Writer

The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump in a 57-43 vote on Saturday for inciting the insurrection on January 6.

Trump’s second impeachment trial was a direct result of the storming of the Capitol building where several thousand of his supporters protested in an effort to delay the certification of President Joseph Biden’s victory. 

The impeachment trial began on February 9 with lead impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin’s opening statement. “[Trump’s lawyers’] argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office, you do it with constitutional impunity,” Raskin said. “This would create a brand new January exception to the Constitution of the United States of America.” 

He makes a point to emphasize that the Democrat’s case is “based on cold, hard fact.” “The evidence will show that he clearly incited the January insurrection,” Raskin said. “It will show that Donald Trump surrendered his role as commander-in-chief and became the inciter-in-chief.”

“Was it foreseeable that the violence would erupt on January 6th if President Trump lit a spark?” Democratic impeachment manager Joe Neguse said. “Was it predictable that the crowd at the ‘Save America rally’ was poised on a hair-trigger for violence that they would fight literally if provoked to do so? Of course it was. When President Trump stood up to that podium on January 6th, he knew that many in that crowd were inflamed, were armed, were ready for violence. It was an explosive situation. And he knew it.”

Trump’s defense attorneys claimed that the former president did not encourage the protestors on January 6, and they were therefore protected by the First Amendment.

“We know that the president would never have wanted such a riot to occur, because his long-standing hatred for violent protesters and his love for law and order is on display, worn on his sleeve, every single day that he served in the White House,” attorney Bruce Castor said.

Andrew Solender, a Forbes staff member, wrote, “[Michael] van der Veen said impeachment is only happening because ‘House Democrats hate’ Trump, calling it ‘political vengeance’ and claiming ‘history will record’ it as an attempt to ‘smear, censor and cancel’ Trump and his voters.” Van Der Veen went on to reference the impeachment as “constitutional cancel culture.”

“We can’t possibly be suggesting that we punish people for political speech in this country,” Castor said as he referenced the former president’s speech on January 6 in which he told his supporters to “fight” for their country.

Of the 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the senate, 17 GOP members were needed to tip the scales in favor of Trump’s impeachment. With only seven Republicans voting for his impeachment, Trump managed to make it out on the other side of this incident unscathed to make American history yet again.