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Trump acquitted in lightning-fast impeachment lawsuit: what did Trump say, what happens next?



Trump impeachment

James Martin / CNET

On Saturday, after House managers and former President Donald Trump’s defense team closed their closing arguments, the Senate immediately proceeded to a vote in the impeachment trial, voted 57-43 in favor Acquit Trump of the only article of deposition for incitement to insurrection.

Following the innocent vote, majority leader Chuck Schumer said that while the acquittal prevents the senate from voting to prevent Trump from entering office in the future, the American people will hold him accountable. “There is no doubt that Donald Trump has disqualified himself,”

; said Schumer. And if Trump “ever faces public office again, after all we’ve seen this week, I hope and pray and believe he will meet unequivocal rejection by the American people.”

Leading up to the vote, House prosecutors used their closing argument to defend the case that Trump had fueled his followers for “ months ”, leading to the storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, killing five people, including a Capitol Police officer. They also highlighted the danger that former Vice President Mike Pence was in during the uprising, saying it was “unimaginable” that Trump knew nothing about it.

“The cold, hard truth is that what happened on January 6 could happen again,” said Rep. Joe Neguse. “The violence we saw on that dreadful day may be just the beginning.”

Trump’s defense team focused in its closing statement on allegations that the trial was “unfair and unconstitutional,” and on denying that Trump ever instigated an insurrection.

With the trial now closed with a not guilty verdict, here’s what happened this week and what it means for Trump.

Trump impeachment

Former President Donald Trump was the first US president to be impeached twice.

James Martin / CNET

Summary of the vote on the impeachment

After a day that began with House executives asking to subpoena witnesses – making the trial take weeks – the Senate went through the final arguments of House executives and Trump’s defense team before voting.

In a vote of 57-43, the Senate declared that Trump was not guilty of the impeachment articleAmong the 48 Democrats and two independents who voted to condemn Trump were seven Republican senators: Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey.

What did Schumer, McConnell and Trump say after the vote?

After the vote, Schumer criticized the result. “The case of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial was open and closed,” he said. “Even though the Republican senators have prevented the Senate from disqualifying Donald Trump,” Schumer said, “There is no doubt that Donald Trump has disqualified himself, and I hope and pray and believe the American people will take care of that.”

Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who voted innocent, followed Schumer to the Senate floor.

There is no question – no – that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. There is no question about it, “McConnell said. However, McConnell declared his vote to be acquitted, saying that impeachment, conviction and removal are linked, and that voting to convict the former president was not the right way to hold Trump accountable for what he did during his tenure. “We have no power to condemn and disqualify a former office holder who is now a private person,” McConnell said.

In a statement after the vote, Trump accused Democrats of “turning justice into an instrument of political revenge” and defended his reputation. “I have always been and will always be a champion of the unshakable rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to debate current issues peacefully and honorably without malice and without hatred.”

What happens next and what does an acquittal entail?

Now that the Senate finds the former president not guilty, Trump is free to run for public office again in the 2024 or later presidential election. Trump also retains his benefits as a former president, including an annual pension, up to $ 1.5 million in travel expenses per year and a Secret Service security detail for life.

However, Trump could still face criminal charges during an investigation into the uprising by the Justice Department. Georgia prosecutors have also reportedly launched a criminal investigation into a phone call Trump made while he was president, telling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find more votes” so that he could win the 2020 presidential election. .

Some Washington lawmakers say Trump must face censure, a formal, non-binding statement of censure. But after the indictment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scoffed at the idea.

“Censorship is a slap in the face of the constitution that keeps everyone off the hook,” Pelosi said. “Oh, these cowardly senators who couldn’t face what the president did and what was at stake for our country are now getting the chance to slap the wrist? We condemn people for using stationery for the wrong purpose. We do not condemn people for instigating a rebellion that kills people in the Capitol. “

Summary of the impeachment case against Trump

Here is the main evidence the House managers presented this week.

Previously unseen riot images with the assault on the Capitol, including security footage and models showing where rioters were in relation to senators.

Video and audio clips and social media posts showing Trump repeatedly calling on supporters to storm the Capitol before January 6. Video clips of the siege contain chants that threatened violence against Pence and members of Congress, as well as false allegations about the election. Trump deliberately used false allegations of electoral fraud, House executives said, to “instigate an angry base to” fight like hell “” to reverse a legitimate election.

Video and social media posts from supporters attending Trump’s Jan. 6 rally ahead of the Capitol riot, used in an effort to prove a causal link between Trump’s comments at the rally and the rioters’ actions.

Images from Trump rallies from 2016 and 2017, in which Trump urged supporters to attack protesters at the events and praise the attacks, which showed a pattern of supportive violence, according to house managers. They also pointed to Trump tweeting praise when supporters attempted to drive a Biden-Harris campaign bus off the road in Texas in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Trump statements the attack revealed a lack of remorse and refusal to be held responsible, sending a message to future presidents that there would be no consequences for provoking an uprising if the Senate does not vote to condemn, House managers argued. At least 16 officials resigned in the days following the riot, managers added.

Taking over Trump could have political ramifications, they said. They also pointed to the high cost to state and federal governments of preparing for – and recovering from – what they called “ President Trump’s gang, ” and the emotional toll taken by the riot from members of Congress. personnel and workers were demanded.

The first amendment It won’t stop you from facing the consequences for your words, Raskin said Thursday, especially when you hold the highest leadership position in the country. “There is nothing in the First Amendment … that can excuse your betrayal of your oath of office,” Raskin said. “It’s not a matter of freedom of expression. [It’s] the greatest betrayal of a presidential oath in America’s history. “

Summary of Trump’s Defense Strategy

Analysis of the Constitution was used on day 1 to suggest that the impeachment trial is without merit. The lawsuit is unconstitutional and a violation of Trump’s rights, the defense argues: “Mr. Trump’s speech deserves full protection under the First Amendment.”

Social media posts and video clips van Trump’s Jan. 6 meeting and other events that, according to defense attorneys, show that the House impeachment managers “manipulated” video and comments used in their presentation to defend their case.

Trump’s comments encouraged ‘peaceful and patriotic protests’, his attorneys argued on Day 4 in lieu of a violent overthrow of the election results, as House process managers led by Rep. Jamie Raskin in the first three days of the trial. “ We know the president would never have wanted such a riot to take place, because his long-standing hatred of violent protesters and his love of law and order can be seen on his sleeve every day serving in the White House, ” lawyer Bruce Caster said Friday afternoon.

The violence was premeditated and pre-planned, which is why Trump’s Jan. 6 rally speech did not cause the riot in the Capitol, it was claimed. Claiming that Trump’s speech was taken out of context and that his use of the word “ fight ” was metaphorical, Caster said that rioters had already broken through barriers to the Capitol before Trump finished speaking.

What happened does not fit the definition of an uprising since no government was overthrown, Castor argued.

Video clips about impeachment with contrasting comments Trump with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders and commentators who, according to Trump’s defense team, show the Democrats’ “ reckless, dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric ” in recent years.

cnet-impeachment-trial-story-inline-graphic-v3.png

Brett Pearce / CNET

Trump’s first impeachment in 2019

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December 2019, but the Senate with a Republican majority acquitted him in early 2020.

His first charge involved articles accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. The problem was Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, including a phone call in July 2019 in which he appeared to be using US military aid as a bargaining chip to pressure Ukraine to break the alleged ties between his political opponent Biden, Biden’s son Hunter and a Ukrainian gas company. to research. The articles also charged Trump with interfering with a home investigation into the Ukraine issue.




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