For the second time, former President Donald Trump made history in the US when the Senate acquitted him in his second impeachment trial. He made history when the Congress impeached him twice.
But the acquittal will be remembered as a warning to future Trumps and Jan 6 mobs because a large majority of the Senate, including a bunch of Republican senators, voted to punish him.
Although the final vote came in as 57 “guilty” and 43 “not guilty”, the Democrats did not reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict him.
Seven members of Mr Trump’s own party (Senators Sasse, Romney, Burr, Collins, Murkowski, Toomey and Cassidy) joined Democrats on the charge of incitement.
All 50 Democrats and the seven Republicans voted “guilty” but they failed to get the 67 votes necessary for conviction. Two third of the Senate needs to vote against the accused to get a conviction.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (Republican) votes to acquit after a harsh speech calling Trump “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the Capitol riot. He was a lead Senator in the campaign to convict Trump. The last minute change in his vote is surprising.
FUTURE OF REPUBLICAN PARTY
The clearing of Trump from the second impeachment will weigh heavily on the Republican Party which is facing breaking-up pressure.
Reports, unconfirmed for some, say 70 per cent of Republican Party supporters will follow Trump if he forms a new right-wing party.
Pro-Trump supporters on social media are saying, “They mock him for being impeached twice. Now he’s being acquitted twice. 😂”
This statement alone shows what will play out after the trial. The Republican Party will face more pressure from inside and outside to accommodate Trump.
There will be more pressure to get rid of the rebel Reps who voted against Trump in the second impeachment trial. Their political future is surely at stake.