BREAKING: Former President Trump Acquitted By U.S. Senate

Jack Meyer, Online Editor-in-Chief

On Feb. 13, the United States Senate acquitted former President Donald J. Trump after he was charged with inciting an insurrection. 57 senators (including 48 Democrats, 7 Republicans and 2 Independents) voted to convict Trump, while 43 senators (all Republicans) voted that Trump was not guilty, with the effort to officially convict Trump coming up 10 votes short.

After the Jan. 6 US Capitol riot that led to five deaths, numerous injuries and offices across the Capitol being ransacked and damaged, the House of Representatives quickly moved to draft Articles of Impeachment against then-President Trump. House Democrats noted a speech that Trump gave the same day of the riot where he told his supporters, “If you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Trump later told the rioters to go home hours after they stormed the Capitol and called them “very special.” 

Many speculated that then-Vice President Mike Pence would consult with Trump’s cabinet and possibly invoke the 25th Amendment in order to prevent Trump from having any authority for the remainder of his presidency. However, Pence refused to invoke it, which led to the House drafting (and quickly passing) the Articles of Impeachment one week after the riot occurred. 

By the time the Articles of Impeachment had reached the Senate, Trump had officially left office, which led to some Republicans questioning the validity of the trial. On Feb. 13, after the House impeachment managers and Trump’s attorneys each presented their arguments, the Senate voted in favor of allowing witnesses to present testimony for both sides. However, both legal teams agreed to not call forward any witnesses, and the vote was held that same day. 

Following the trial, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said that Trump’s conduct and actions were “a disgraceful dereliction of duty”, but he did not want the Senate to “grab power the Constitution does not give us.” McConnell also noted that Trump can still be held accountable for his actions in a separate trial, albeit as a private citizen. Senate majority Chuck Schumer called Trump’s actions a “textbook example of an impeachable offense” and said the Senate’s decision will be remembered as a “vote of infamy”.