Donald Trump once again survived a Senate trial as senators failed this weekend to muster enough votes to convict the former president of inciting the January 6 Capitol riot.
On Saturday, the Senate voted 57-43 to approve House Resolution 24, which was the article of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives. That resolution stated, in part, that on January 6 Donald Trump
reiterated false claims that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide”. He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore”. Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.
While a majority of senators agreed with this statement, the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.
The House managers used hours of video of the January 6 riots to illustrate the danger that the rioters posed to members of Congress and the vice president. They said that Trump's words inspired the riots, pointing to statements by rioters who said they were acting on the orders of Trump. They argued that it was necessary to send a message that these actions deserve punishment.
Many of those voting against conviction argued that while Trump shared blame for the riot, Senate conviction was not the answer for these actions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that Trump could face criminal sanction. One of the main objections by these members was that Trump is now a private citizen and that impeachment and conviction should be reserved for officials who are in office. While conviction does mean that an official would be removed from office, another penalty that can be applied is disqualification from serving in public office again.
Seven Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting for conviction.
Do you think the Senate should have convicted Trump?