Updated: Feb 20
Source: The Wall Street Journal
The Senate decided to acquit former President Donald Trump on charges of instigating Capital riots fueled by his efforts to retain his White House seat. All 50 Democrats voted to convict, supported by seven republicans: Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The former President Donald Trump issued a statement "yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in our country's history". "It was an exhausting process, and I'm glad it's over," added Bruce Castor, one of Trump's lawyers.
Few expected Donald Trump to be impeached for instigating the mob to attack the Capitol Hill. To convict Trump, it would have required unpropitious votes of 17 Republican senators. In recent weeks there were no such occurrences that would indicate that Republicans would turn against Trump.
On the afternoon of February 13, all hundred senators rose from their seats- same place where rioters were posing for selfies a month ago. All fifty Democrats and seven Republicans spoke declaring their stance on the former president's guilty actions. However, falling of 67 senators, the decision Donald Trump for a second time.
Three lessons from Impeachment.
Was it a mistake made by Democrats to impeach Trump again? The Senate trial received avid public attention. During the trial, the footage provided by Democrats, showing the assault on the mob, had a dramatic impact and followed by millions of Americans. The presentation was compelling, along with a reminder of the real threat imposed by political violence in America. These clips that rioters mostly shot have gone some way to draw a line against democratic violence.
The second lesson learned from this trial is Mr. Trump's firm grip on the Republican party. Although, seven Republicans (mentioned above) were ready to convict Trump, which was striking. However, this was not the case during the Ukraine Impeachment, where Matt Romney was the only Republican willing to convict Donald Trump. On January 19 2020, Mr. .McConnell repeated how ‘the mob was fed lies’ and was provoked by the former President. Moreover on February 13, Mr. McConnell told the senate that ‘there is no question that President Trump is responsible for provoking. However, Mr. McConnell voted ‘not guilty’, stating that the senate lacked jurisdiction to punish Donald Trump.
The Third lesson is prosecutions by Democratic House managers. From the start, the prosecutors of the case have implied that Mr. Trump was spreading rumours regarding presidential elections being a fraud, months before the capitol hill attack. He has welcomed theories framed by far-right groups such as Proud Boys and Oath Heppers, weakening election authorities' trust. Trump's speech on January 6, where he urged his supporters to descend on Washington, resulting in the death of at least five people. If Congress had not impeached him regarding this, then it is difficult to believe what behaviour could ever create such a prosecution.
Republicans protecting Trump may not have gone well and people may find it depressing, but not illogical. Even before the presidential elections Trump had huge favouring from his party and loyal voters- who are always behind him. At the moment his future is uncertain. Donald Trump feeds on public attention. And now his ban from social media platforms has deprived him from doing that. For President Elect Joe Biden and Democrats the first task is to deal with Coronavirus as Trump can be dealt later. Other options such as use of Amendment 14, which would block Trump's run for elections, but actions like these need a majority in the senate, which at the moment is unlikely.