Welp, the second attempt at convicting twice-impeached former President Donald Trump has ended the only way it was ever going to end as Senate Democrats and Republicans voted mostly along party lines and the impeachment managers failed to get the two-thirds vote they needed to win. In other words: As smart as the managers were, they were no match for Republican denial.
From the Washington Post:
Fifty-seven senators voted to find Trump guilty — short of the two-thirds threshold needed for a conviction — while 43 voted to find him not guilty. Seven Republicans joined the 50 members of the Democratic caucus in voting for conviction.
In their final arguments, House managers on Saturday accused Donald Trump of having “willfully betrayed us” as the historic second Senate impeachment trial of the former president neared its end on a day punctuated by surprises.
Trump’s lawyers countered that Democrats were motivated by an “impeachment lust” and argued that Trump does not bear responsibility for the violent attack on the Capitol by his supporters.
The final day of the trial started with a surprise hail marry by the prosecution—which had already made its final arguments—requesting the approval to call witnesses to testify as to why Trump should never be allowed to hold office again. Actually, there appeared to be only one witness that the managers—led by Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.)—wanted to call: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.).
On Friday, Beutler tweeted details of a conversation that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had with Trump while the Jan. 6, whiney wypipo rebellion was still happening at the U.S. Capitol.
From the Post:
In the tweet, Herrera Beutler said Trump expressed sympathy for the mob, reportedly telling McCarthy: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
Democrats would be prepared to proceed by Zoom deposition of Herrera Beutler as soon as she is available, Raskin said.
Responding angrily, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said if Democrats were to call one witness, he would “need at least over 100 depositions.” He added that they should close out the trial today.
But if Democrats insisted on calling witnesses, van der Veen said, dozens more witnesses, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), would need to be deposed — in his office in Philadelphia. Some senators could be heard laughing in response to van der Veen’s suggestion.
So even though the Senate eventually voted in favor of allowing witnesses to be called, the prosecution decided to drop the whole thing because Republicans threatened to hop on the petty train and start calling any “witness” they could think of aboard in order to derail (pun intended) any chances of reaching a verdict anytime soon by dragging the trial out for God knows how long.
Anyway, the defense and prosecution both made closing statements and the verdict came as planned.
In the end, the 57 to 43 vote left Democrats 10 Republican votes shy of what was needed to convict the man who spent months filling his cults’ heads with “stop the steal” propaganda and then told them to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” just before the siege on the Capitol started.
Seven GOP senators—Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Patrick Toomey (Pa.)—voted alongside all 50 Senate Democrats to convict Trump.
Now, I guess we have to hear the ousted Orange Menace gloat or whatever.
Former President Trump just released a statement following the Senate vote to acquit him in his second impeachment trial.
Part of the statement read:
“It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree. I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”
Trump also thanked his legal team and “all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country,” in the statement.
At the end of the day, Senators with both parties likely knew how they were going to vote before the proceedings even began, so it isn’t like Trump’s abysmal-ass defense team had any real work to do.
But whatever, Trump was legally voted out of the presidency and is no longer running the nation even further into the ground. It sucks that he was acquitted, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s gone.
So maybe we can let Satan’s Tang-flavored phlegm circle the drain of irrelevancy and be forgotten once and for all, so we can get back to the old boring-ass America we knew before his trainwreck of a presidency ever began.
In short: Fuck him.