(The Center Square) - Former President Donald Trump on Saturday was acquitted of an impeachment charge that he incited the January 6 storming of the Capitol in Washington D.C. It is the second time in a year the U.S. Senate determined Trump was not guilty of impeachment charges brought by the Democratic-controlled House.
A majority of senators voted to convict Trump in the 57-43 vote, but that fell short of the two-thirds majority of 67 votes needed to convict the former president. Seven Republican senators joined all 50 Democrats in their vote to convict.
Republica senators voting to convict the former president include
- Mitt Romney - Utah
- Richard Burr - North Carolina
- Pat Toomey - Pennsylvania
- Lisa Murkowski - Alaska
- Bill Cassidy - Louisiana
- Ben Sasse - Nebraska
- Susan Collins of Maine
Colorado's newly-elected junior, Senator John Hickenlooper, issued a brief statement following his vote to convict the former president, saying, "As the evidence showed, former President Trump sought to overturn a free and fair election in order to preserve his grip on power. In doing so, he incited an insurrection and threatened the peaceful transfer of power -- the very bedrock of our democracy. I'm hopeful that we can turn the page on this dark chapter in American history and move forward as a country to tackle the pressing challenges ahead."
The single article of impeachment against the former president, with 190 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, reads, in part: "In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
The move in the House to impeach came after Trump spoke to supporters January 6 outside the White House as the House and Senate met in joint session in the Capitol to certify each state's Electoral College votes declaring President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the November 3 election.
Trump told the crowd he would not concede and that he knew "everyone would be making their way over to the Capitol to protest peacefully and patriotically" and they should "give our Republicans the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back this country."
Thousands of people later descended on the Capitol and hundreds breached the doors, entering the building and sending lawmakers into hiding. Democrats said Trump's words "incited an insurrection." Some officials have also said the former president resisted making efforts to calm rioting at the Capitol.
Former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, assigned blame to Trump and others for the riots.
"The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty," McConnell said on the floor. "This mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like."
McConnell did not vote to convict the former president, however.
Trump is the first president to ever be impeached twice, and the first to beat the charges twice.
GOP Sens. 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 and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined with Democrats in voting guilty.