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February 13, 2021 03:22 PM UTC

Senate Republicans Acquit Trump for Second Time

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Statement from impeachment manager Rep. Diana DeGette on today’s decision:

“Our case was strong, the facts were clear and the evidence we presented was overwhelming. This was the largest bipartisan vote to impeach a president ever, and even Mitch McConnell agreed that we proved our case. It’s shameful that so many Senate Republicans chose to hide behind a faulty technicality instead of considering the facts as we had laid them out.

“President Trump incited a violent insurrection against our government. He used his platform as the president of the United States to launch a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol building to try to stop Congress from certifying the election for his opponent. It was the highest of high crimes. It was the greatest betrayal of office. And it was the most brazen attack on our own government by a sitting U.S. president that our nation has ever seen.

“Our goal in pursuing a conviction against Donald Trump for his conduct was not to punish him, but to prevent the type of violence that took place that day from ever happening again. While we didn’t get the conviction we ultimately sought, I believe we made our case to the American people. And that’s just as important because, at the end of the day, they are now the ones who will ultimately decide whether Donald Trump is ever allowed to hold public office again.”


Twice impeached, twice acquitted by Senate Republicans

As The Washington Post reports:

Senate Republicans voted against convicting Donald Trump Saturday for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol Jan. 6, bringing a swift end to the former president’s second impeachment trial after Democrats abandoned plans to call witnesses in the face of GOP opposition.

Seven Republicans joined Democrats in a 57-43 vote in favor of conviction, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump in the Senate. Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Patrick Toomey (Pa.) were the Republicans who voted with Democrats.

There was never much of a question about whether Senate Republicans would vote to acquit former President Trump on impeachment charges for inciting an insurrection. There were enough Trump lackeys in the Senate who had made up their minds on impeachment well before the trial even began; that includes Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who advised Trump’s legal team on strategy and said on his podcast Friday that he told Trump’s team that they had “already won.”

As the Post reports, the vote to acquit Trump came after the Senate voted to allow witness testimony to take place in the impeachment trial:

The drama earlier Saturday began when lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) opened the day’s proceedings with an unexpected request to call Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) as a witness following reports of her account that Trump had refused the entreaties of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to call off the rioters.

Herrera Beutler described an expletive-laden phone call in which Trump falsely claimed that the rioters were members of antifa, the loose-knit movement of sometimes violent liberal activists. He also accused McCarthy of caring less about Trump’s efforts to overturn Biden’s victory than the rioters did.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) had told Democrats earlier Saturday that the decision about witnesses would be left to the House managers. So after Raskin’s request, the chamber voted 55-45 to allow witnesses, with five Republicans joining Democrats and with the chamber sliding into uncertainty as groups of senators huddled for hours to figure out what would come next.

Despite the vote, Senate Democrats remained cool to the idea of calling witnesses and extending the impeachment trial, believing that no amount of evidence was going to dissuade Trump backers from sticking with the former President. House impeachment managers ultimately agreed and allowed the proceedings to come to a close with a final vote.

McConnell can talk himself blue in the face, but that won’t excuse another acquittal.

Senate Republicans will now try to explain their decision to let Trump skate while many also acknowledge the damage caused by The Big Orange Guy. As The Washington Post reports in a separate story, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rushed to the microphone to make an ass out of himself soon after casting a vote to acquit Trump:

McConnell said Saturday that the former president is “practically and morally responsible” for provoking the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — but that the Senate was upholding the Constitution by acquitting him.

“The Senate’s decision today does not condone anything that happened on or before that terrible day,” McConnell said. “It simply shows that senators did what the former president failed to do: We put our constitutional duty first.”…

…McConnell spent much of his remarks condemning Trump’s actions and directly linking them to the Jan. 6 insurrection. The former president’s supporters, he argued, launched their violent attack “because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth, because he was angry he lost an election.”

That’s some pretty remarkable cowardice right there.

On a more positive note, Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) put an exclamation point on a week that saw his national profile increase considerably. Neguse’s final speech urging the Senate to convict Trump on inciting an insurrection featured a number of powerful lines that will be repeated for a long time:


38 thoughts on “Senate Republicans Acquit Trump for Second Time

    1. Yertle just wants everyone to be completely clear in understanding that Ttump is guilty as hell for inciting insurrection, that his actions were reprehensible and possibly criminal, that he’s fully responsible for the attack on congress and the electoral process . . .

      . . . and, that it would clearly be wrong to ever deny him another chance to do it all over again (if it’s politically advantageous to McConnell and the Republican party).

      (. . . wondering if he happened to mention that now is the time to put all this silliness behind, and get on with starting to show some billionaire-tax-cut and voter-disenfranchisement unity?)



      1. McConnell got his fig-leaf of "it was awful, but the jurisdictional question meant we couldn't do what we should be able to do."


        So, if he agrees with Trump being responsible and just thinks impeachment after someone leaves office is the problem, OFFER a resolution of censure that holds Trump (and anyone convicted of a felony relating to the Jan 6 insurrection) ought to be banned from holding any federal office.  14th Amendment is just sitting there, waiting to be used after 150 years.

        1. Honestly, Michael. I don’t think it could have turned out better for the Dems. He is now the Republicans’ problem. As he tries to cement the transition of the GOP into the Trumplican© party, he will splinter them both. Neither will be an effective force for anything on the federal level for at least a couple of years. 

          Mitch, not being willing to lose his Leaders’ position, voted to acquit. But his caucus now numbers 43…not 50.

          1. I tend to agree, Duke.  While it would have been entertaining to drag a few (including Pence) before the jurors traitors we’d never gotten to 67.

            The Hatriots play by a different set of rules and we’ve got to adjust accordingly. Can you imagine what a shit show it would have been had we not controlled the Chamber?  Let’s get COVID relief passed,  the John Lewis Voting Act in place, get rid of the filibuster, clean house with the USPS Board of Governors (put DeJoy in DePrison), Puerto Rico/DC statehood, an infrastructure bill.  2022 is going to be here in the blink of an eye. 

            Mitch has an anvil around his neck (a man given his power by 1.2 million Kentucy voters and 49 members of his caucus); Blanche’s “Trump Plus” will be a constant reminder of what a vast majority of Americans rejected. Without the white supremacists, gerrymandering and the Electoral College they’ve got nothing. 

          2. As a footnote, Duke, I’m convinced not only is God that wonderful black woman you described, but if Trump is ever going to be served justice it will be at the hands of a black woman.  We can thank Stacy Abrams for our Senate majority that will fill judicial seats for the next four years. The Fulton County DA will do more for justice than 43 white Republican cowards in the Senate. The bonus round will be watching the NY AG take on the crime syndicate. 

    1. Just be glad it's not your state Republican party: (although you could imagine something as bizarre as this)

      1. I did a little quick math this morning and it looks like the 43 cowards in the upper chamber represent 39.6% (130,178,000) Americans while the 57 represent 60.4% (198,593,000).  How we extract ourselves from the tyranny of the minority isn’t clear just yet; filibusters and the Electoral College are our bone spurs.

        In the 87 years between the end of Reconstruction and 1964, the only bills stopped by filibusters were the civil rights bills.  On the rare occasion a non-civil rights bill ran into a filibuster, it eventually passed (h/t from Kill Switch). 

        By 2040, almost 50% of America will live in eight states; 69% will live in 16 states.  We’ve got some work to do. 

        1. Work to do …

          beginning with passing HR 1/S1 and the John Lewis voting act.

          quickly followed by pressing the states to follow with their own re-apportionments being adapted to improve the representative nature of the state House and Senate.

          With a follow on for the National Popular Vote compact reaching beyond the 270 needed to win.

          And of course, it would help if Democrats (and their unaffiliated and minor party friends)  would uniformly support candidates who can win their district or state, and not sustaining an argument about who is the "right" candidate. I want vigorous primaries, conventions, and even back room conversations — but once there is a choice, EVERYONE needs to at least stop sniping until the general election is done.

          1. I respectfully disagree.

            The Democratic party is a mob…not an organized party. I believe it was Will Rogers who made a similar observation. That “fall in line and don’t question leadership” baloney is wholly alien to me. I see that attitude in the quasi-military structure of our political opposition. Top down authority…democracy/ shemocracy! Do what you are told.

            If a Democratic party leader can’t handle sniping from the sidelines and his/her constituents holding them accountable in real time, perhaps they should rethink their careers.




            1. Yes and No.

              There is a time to snipe, express the differences within the party, and work to get your faction in the forefront.

              But once there is a candidate for the general election (after the primary), sit down, shut up, and work towards defeating the common enemy. If someone can't bring themselves to work for their party's candidate, then THEY are the ones who should re-evaluate if they belong in that party.

              Personally, I did leave the Dems because I was sick of the "I won't support him if he beats my guy" attitude in the party. I find my life is much calmer these days.


              1. Yeah…

                I left the Democratic party political body because the Democratic party establishment doesn’t listen to its rank and file. I am still a registered Dem…and vote that way. But, I no longer go to meetings.

                I criticize everyone I believe deserves it. I am an equal opportunity snipe. And I have plenty of reasons to remind the public of Hicks’ mendacity.

                “Sit down and shut up” are fighting words where I come from.

                1. The only time and topics I'm advocating as fitting the "sit down and shut up" would be between the end of the primary and the end of the general election.  And "shut up" wouldn't preclude advocating FOR a policy, as long as it didn't mean criticizing a candidate who doesn't immediately share that view.

                  Colorado went from a state of Coors conservatism, Tancredo xenophobia, Dobson "family focus," and Douglas Bruce government revenue to today's mix of Democrats in charge.  More change might be a good thing, but we couldn't have a winning coalition if the boundaries were Joe Salazar and Emily Sirota.

  1. Let's be clear. A censure, or even a conviction, wouldn't prevent something like January 6th from happening again. Only one thing will do that, and it's winning more votes for the side that believes it was wrong.

    The second impeachment trial did pull some Republicans away from Trump, and even some potential opponents for 2024. "You can't always get what you want, but sometimes, you get what you need."

    1. This decision has made Mitch a bona fide Minority Leader. How are the 7 senators who voted with the Dems going to continue to caucus with their party? This 57-43 split may persist and manifest its impact in other ways.

      They might as well caucus with the Dems. The Trumplican© party will never forgive them.

    1. Like a fly to a steaming pile of cow poo, Blanche landed on Fox this morning puking his “MAGA will save us from socialism” propaganda. He’ll be in Florida later this week continuing his role as Chief Fluffer. 

      1. He is vying for "Most Despicable Traitor" of the 2021 Insurrection. He is willing to embrace Trump and his racist malevolence for fear of losing power.

        It is quite a competition.

  2. There is bipartisan consensus … 57 U.S. Senate votes to convict 'the Seditionist Trump'.

    "While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute. Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” and “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the violence unleashed on the Capitol.” 
    President Biden; February 13, 2021

    "There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President.” 
    Sen. McConnell, February 13, 2021

  3. A bit premature to construct firm predictions about what is next, I think. The anti-T***p forces have not organized. They will soon, I believe. Given an opportunity, many voters currently hanging out with the Mugwumps, and many electeds, will migrate away from the Orange King. Right now, they have no champion. No tribe.

    1. If she knew that God is not only a black woman, but a gay, black woman who sells condoms in a village market in Uganda…she would really freak out.

      Please don't tell her.😉

      1. I used almost those exact words with my old-school Catholic parental unit not long ago, but adding that she was also in a polyamorous relationship (how else do you explain the Holy Trinity?)  

    2. God's gender is WAY above my ken.  But I believe wholeheartedly that knowing what is "mis-gendering God" is way above Ms. Ellis's thoughts, too.

      I would think a former employee of Colorado Christian University and outloud Evangelical would be more familiar with the Bible.

      In Matthew 23:37-39, we find Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem. In part He says: “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Mat. 23:37b) This is one of the few instances in Scriptures where God is given female characteristics. In Hosea 12:8, God is described as a mother bear and in Deuteronomy 32:11, 12, as a mother eagle.


      1. Meh.  Nothing to sweat about, just a little bit of youthful bi-curiosity, maybe even played with some dolls, probably just a phase . . . no big deal.

      2. God’s gender: all and none. People choose which aspect(s) of the divine to pray to, depending on their needs and political/cultural mores. People create their Gods. 

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