Former US President Donald Trump has welcomed his release in a second impeachment lawsuit, saying his political move “to make America Great again has just begun ”.
The U.S. Senate voted 57-43 to condemn the former president on Saturday, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to condemn him on a charge of inciting the movement who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, during the Democrats ’testimony Joe Biden’s election won.
In a statement shortly after his release, Trump called the lawsuit “another stage of the largest witch hunt in our country’s history”.
“Our historic, loving and beautiful movement to make America Great again has just begun,” he said.
“In the coming months, I have a lot to tell you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve the greatness of America for all of our people,” he said.
Trump resigned on Jan. 20, so impeachment could not be used to remove him from power.
But Democrats had hoped to get a conviction to keep the 74-year-old in charge of the Capitol siege and submit the platform for a vote to bar him from serving in public office. again.
While Trump was acquitted of the same accusation of inciting revolution, seven Republicans joined all Democrats in condemning the former president. The figure marked the largest number of Senators who ever voted to find the president of their own party guilty of impeachment counts of heinous crimes and misconduct.
They were 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 Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Trump’s political future
Andy Gallacher of Al Jazeera, reporting from West Palm Beach in Florida, said, “The only message from Trump’s statement is that he’s not going anywhere.”
“There is no question now that Donald Trump has political plans going forward. But what are they? Is it going to run in 2024 as many people believe? Or is he going to seek revenge on those seven Republicans who voted against him? “
Trump is the only president ever to be inducted into the House of Representatives – a step similar to a criminal lawsuit – as well as the first to be introduced twice and first to face trial after leaving office.
But the Senate has yet to convict an amateur president.
Following Saturday’s decision, Senate Republican President Mitch McConnell, who voted “not guilty,” in the lawsuit, offered false views about Trump.
“There is no question that President Trump has a practical and moral responsibility to promote the events of the day,” he said. “The people who stormed this building thought they were acting in accordance with the wishes and instructions of their president.”
McConnell suggested that Trump could still be charged with a crime for what he did, however.
“President Trump is still accountable for everything he did while in office as an ordinary citizen,” McConnell said. “He did not get away with anything. “But.”
The minority leader was not the only Republican who sparked Trump for his behavior after he voted for freedom.
“The question I have to answer is not whether President Trump said and did things that were reckless and incited the mob.” I believe that happened, ”said Senator Rob Portman in a statement.
“My decision was based on my reading of the Constitution,” the Ohio Republican added. “I believe the Framers realized that condemning a former president and disqualifying him from running again draws people further apart.”
Senator Chuck Grassley, the oldest Republican in the Senate, described Trump’s language in a fiery speech to supporters just before the Capitol attack as “genuine, aggressive and reckless”. But he said the Senate did not have the authority to hold a lawsuit, he agreed with Trump’s legal team that the former president deserved more “due process” and said the accusation did not their case.
Claire Finkelstein, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, said the majority of Republicans who voted to condemn Trump were politicians who did not intend to run for office again.
“Those who persevere in calling for Donald Trump’s innocence here are especially those with political ambitions. They have linked up with Donald Trump. And he will have control over the agenda. And it gives him an amazing platform to run again in 2024, ”she told Al Jazeera.
McConnel has “a real problem keeping his party together”, she said, which is why the Republican leader of the Senate voted “not guilty” despite blaming Trump and holding responsibility for the U.S. capitol storm.
Despite the apparent split within Republican ranks, Gallacher Al Jazeera said Saturday’s vote result showed the Republican Party still belonged to Trump.
“The impact of this man cannot be overstated,” Gallacher said.
“Over the last few years, he has been able to reshape the Republican Party in his own image.
“But the question is is that the image that the Republican Party wants to move forward? Also, what choices can they win when it appeals to a majority of people, who tend to be white, without a college education? You cannot win elections in the future with such a small demographic in such a fast-changing country. “