Former US President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate Saturday in an impeachment trial for his role on the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.
This, according to analysts, is a verdict that underscores the sway America’s 45th president still holds over the Republican party even after leaving office.
The final vote tally was 57-43. Seven Republicans voted to convict: Richard Burr of North Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana joining five who were expected to turn against Trump: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
“This has been yet another face of the greatest witch hunt,” said Trump in a statement.
Two Words: NOT Guilty.
“Another swampy impeachment, another Democrat failure,” said Trump’s son, Don Jr.
Trump was the first US president to be impeached twice and now becomes the first president to be twice acquitted. If convicted, senatoe could have taken a simple majority vote that could have barred him from holding office in the future.
However, Saturday’s decision now paves the way – should Trump want to run again – for another stint at the White House in 2024.
Although impeachment managers gave their all in arguing their case, Trump’s acquittal was never in doubt. Seventeen Republicans would have had to join all Democrats to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors, which was a very tall order.
Earlier in the week, several Republicans argued that the trial was unconstitutional, even though a majority of the Senate voted on Tuesday to proceed with the trial.