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The US Senate on Saturday ruled that Ex-President, Donald Trump is not guilty of inciting insurrection at the Capitol. This is the second time the US senate would be acquitting Trump.
Senators voted 57-43 to acquit the former president on Saturday.
Seven Republicans joined the 50 Democrats to find the former Republican President guilty.
But they fell short of the 67 votes needed to convict him.
Trump left office on Jan. 20, so impeachment could not be used to remove him from power.
But Democrats had hoped to secure a conviction to hold him responsible for a siege that left five people including a police officer dead and to set the stage for a vote to bar him from ever serving in public office again.
Given the chance to hold office in the future, they argued, Trump would not hesitate to encourage political violence again.
Trump’s attorneys argued that his words at the rally were protected by his constitutional right to free speech and said he was not given due process in the proceedings.
Republicans saved Trump in the Feb. 5, 2020, vote in his first impeachment trial, when only one senator from their ranks – Mitt Romney – voted to convict and remove him from office.
Romney voted for impeachment on Saturday along with fellow Republicans Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Pat Toomey, and Lisa Murkowski.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted ‘not guilty,’ offered scathing remarks about the former president after the verdict.
‘There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,’ he said.
‘The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.’
The drama on the Senate floor unfolded against a backdrop of gaping divisions in the pandemic-weary United States along political, racial, socioeconomic, and regional lines.
The trial provided more partisan warfare even as Democratic President Joe Biden, who took office on Jan. 20 after defeating Trump in the November election, called for healing and unity after his predecessor’s four turbulent years in power and a caustic election campaign.
Seventy-one percent of American adults, including nearly half of all Republicans, believe Trump was at least partially responsible for starting the Capitol assault, but only about half of the country thought Trump should be convicted of inciting insurrection, according to an Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters.
Trump, 74, continues to hold a grip on his party with a right-wing populist appeal and ‘America First‘ message. The wealthy businessman-turned-politician has considered running for president again in 2024.
Trump is only the third president ever to be impeached by the House of Representatives – a step akin to a criminal indictment – as well as the first to be impeached twice and the first to face an impeachment trial after leaving office. But the Senate still has never convicted an impeached president
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK