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Today marks a historic moment in U.S. history. Former President Donald Trump is the first president to be acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial for a second time.
The acquittal comes after an impeachment trial where House managers painted Trump as a lingering threat after his supporters rioted at the Capitol on January 6th.
It's Mabinty, with a special edition of OnPolitics.
The Senate fell short of conviction
A 57-43 majority of the Senate voted to convict Trump of inciting the insurrection on Jan. 6 at the Capitol, which left five dead including a police officer and a woman shot by police. The Senate still fell short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. Seven Republicans joined the 50 lawmakers who caucus with Democrats.
The seven Republican senators were:
Richard Burr of North Carolina
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Susan Collins of Maine
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Mitt Romney of Utah
Ben Sasse of Nebraska
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
This is what Burr had to say of his vote: “I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary."
Saturday's vote came after confusion on how to proceed after the Senate unexpectedly voted to call witnesses. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., asked to call Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., as a witness. She had issued a statement Friday about a conversation House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had with Trump during the riot Jan. 6.
The decision to call witnesses would have lengthened the trial, but was reversed after both sides agreed to instead enter the congresswoman's statement into evidence.
More historical facts: Trump was only the third president tried in the Senate; all were acquitted. And he was the first to be tried after leaving office. The Senate vote against Trump was the most bipartisan vote for the conviction of a president in history – the others faced votes entirely from the opposition party.
McConnell voted to acquit. Then he condemned Trump
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., said on the Senate floor that Trump is "practically and morally responsible" for the insurrection on Jan. 6. McConnell said Trump's supporters were “assaulting the Capitol in his name” and "carried his banners” while “screaming their loyalties to him.”
BUT McConnell voted to acquit the president. His reasoning? The Senate has a “specific task” and he does not believe that included convicting a former president.
Team Trump is in a good mood
Trump thanked Republican lawmakers Saturday in a statement, saying they "stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country." And then he attacked Democrats (no surprise there) and painted his second impeachment as "yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,"
USA TODAY congressional reporter Christal Hayes reported that "Trump’s team is VERY happy. They’re calling it a total win."
Trump’s team is VERY happy. They’re calling it a total win.
Van der Veen was smiling, laughing and posing for the cameras. As they got into a subway here in the Capitol, van der Veen laughed and said, “We’re going to Disney World!” and fist bumped another member of Trump’s team pic.twitter.com/YfslDnL8ac
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) February 13, 2021
Trump, who stayed silent during the trial, has not said whether he will run again in 2024 but his acquittal in leaves him free to do so.
'Tribalism is hell of a drug.' Trump impeachment trial reopens GOP battle lines even as he is acquitted
You can read more at USA TODAY's e-edition.
Happy President's Day in advance! — Mabinty
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Impeachment, Donald Trump acquitted of insurrection in the Senate