Donald Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial
Washington, Feb 14: Former US President, Donald Trump has been acquitted on charges of inciting the violence at the US Capitol, after a majority of the Senate Republicans closed ranks and refused to punish him in the historic second impeachment trial.
The five day trial saw the Democratic prosecutors argue that Trump betrayed his oath by whipping up his supporters into storming Congress in a last ditch attempt to cling to power.
Following four days of impeachment trial, the 100-member Senate voted to impeach Trump by 57-43 votes, 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.
Trump faced the charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly January 6 assault of the US Capitol by his supporters.
Even as seven Republican Senators voted in favour of impeaching Trump, the Democrats, who have 50 members in the Senate, failed to get the necessary two-thirds or 67 votes to impeach the former president.
Trump is the first-ever president to have been impeached twice and the first president to have faced impeachment after leaving office.
Seven Republican Senators -- Bill Cassidy, Richard Burr, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey -- voted in favour of impeaching him.
Trump released a statement soon after the acquittal, saying "no president has ever gone through anything like it".
"It is a sad commentary on the times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree," he said.
"I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate," he said.
This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country, he said.
"No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago," Trump said.
The Washington Post said that the result underscored Trump's continued grip on most Republicans despite the party losing control of both the White House and Congress during his tumultuous tenure.
"I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth. My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country," Trump said in the statement.