The US Senate has failed to gather enough votes to convict former President Donald Trump, after a Democrat-led impeachment trial. Trump had been accused of “incitement of insurrection” after the peaceful Capitol Hill Protests.
The Senate voted 57-43 on Saturday in favour of impeachment, falling short of the 67 votes needed to comprise the constitutionally required two-thirds majority.
Democrats managed to win two more Republican votes, compare to when the Senate voted in late January to go forward with the trial. A staggering seven Republican Senators broke ranks with their party to find Trump guilty, fearing repercussion by their voters.
Former President Donald Trump found not guilty by the US Senate of incitement of insurrection. The vote to convict was 57-43. (2/3 majority was needed). pic.twitter.com/sETOBeiT5X— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 13, 2021
The five Republicans who voted to hold the trial – Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Ben Sasse (Nebraska) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) – also voted to convict Trump.
They were joined by Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) and Richard Burr (North Carolina). Toomey and Burr have announced plans to retire, so they won’t have to face the prospect of Trump’s campaigning against their re-election in 2022.
Trump was impeached last month, for the second time, over his words to Patriots on 6th January, when he encouraged them to ‘peacefully and patriotically’ make their voices heard against the rigged election.
One Trump supporter was shot dead by Capitol police, a police officer died in unclear circumstances, and three other participants died of “health emergencies”. Two police officers committed suicide in the days after.
Democrats accusing Trump of inciting the debacle displayed video montages of the President firing up his supporters at rallies and speeches, while Trump’s defence team played footage of Democrats making similarly incendiary speeches to their own followers and suffering no legal blowback.
With Trump now cleared of all charges, the President is free to run again for office if he so wishes, a move that a majority of Republican voters say they would support.