The Senate failed to convict former president Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial on Saturday, with 57 Senators voting to convict the former president and 43 voting against it. Seven Republicans joined the Democrats and two independents in voting to convict, but they fell short of the 67 votes required for a two-thirds majority.
All 43 votes to acquit came from Republicans. The Republicans who broke with the majority of their party to convict are:
- Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
- Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
- Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)
- Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)
- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.)
Trump was impeached for “inciting violence against the Government of the United States” during the events on and leading up to January 6th as well as his efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The Senate trial came to a close Saturday afternoon following a back-and-forth in the morning around allowing witnesses to testify. Although the Senate voted 55-45 to allow witnesses Saturday morning after Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) came forward with details about a call between Trump and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, impeachment managers and Trump’s defense lawyers reached a deal to bypass witness testimony. Instead of having Herrera Beutler testify, they entered her statement about the call into the official record.
It was a bizarre impeachment trial where the location of the trial was also the scene of the crime, and the jury was composed of victims of the attack. The Republicans’ refusal to convict Trump, even though his actions threatened their own safety, underscore the constitutional crisis we are living in.
As impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said in his closing arguments, “This trial, in the final analysis, is not about Donald Trump. The country and world know who Donald Trump is. This trial is about who we are, who we are.”
He continued, “Are we going to defend the people who defend us? Not just honor them with medals, as you rightfully did yesterday, but actually back them up against savage, barbaric, insurrectionary violence?”
Apparently, the answer to his question is no.