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The Senate has acquitted Donald Trump for inciting the deadly January 6 Capitol insurrection in his second impeachment trial. Fifty-seven senators backed convicting the former president, but the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. It was the most bipartisan impeachment trial verdict ever, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats to convict.
Senate Major Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Republicans for siding with a president who tried to overturn an election and incited a mob to attack the Capitol.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: “This was about choosing country over Donald Trump. And 43 Republican members chose Trump. They chose Trump.”
Shortly after the vote, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to clear Trump, took to the floor to criticize the former president.
Sen. Mitch McConnell: “There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” But McConnell went on to defend his vote to clear Trump on constitutional grounds. “But in this case, the question is moot, because former President Trump is constitutionally not eligible for conviction.”
Trump could have been tried while still in office, but McConnell refused to bring senators back from recess in January to hold a trial.
Calls are now growing for Trump to face criminal prosecution, as well as the formation of a government commission to investigate what happened. Meanwhile, some Republicans who voted to convict Trump are already facing fallout. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy was censured by the Louisiana GOP, while the North Carolina Republican Party will vote on censuring Richard Burr today.