Donald Trump acquitted in impeachment trial, what does it mean


It’s not over for Donald Trump.

The former president of the United States was acquitted again in his second impeachment trial on Sunday morning, which means Senate Republicans voted against convicting him for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol earlier this year.

They wanted Vice President Mike Pence hung for refusing to rule the Joe Biden election result invalid.

Prosecutors relied heavily on video footage showing the violent riot, and other social media content showing Mr Trump reportedly calling on supporters to march on the building on January 6.

But the prosecution fell 10 votes short of conviction.

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A 57-43 majority of the Senate voted guilty, including seven Republicans: Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey.

In his first trial a year ago, only Mr Romney voted in favour of conviction.

However, it takes 67 votes to convict, which means the impeachment managers got nowhere near the threshold they needed.

In other words, Mr Trump will retain all the privileges of a former president and he can run for office again — ie Trump 2024 could happen.

“NOT GUILTY. Now maybe it would be nice if the senators stopped putting on show trials for free airtime and actually started working for the American people for a change,” Mr Trump’s son, Donald Jr said in a tweet.

And it appears that following the verdict, it won’t be the last of Mr Trump with the former president indicating some form of return.

In a statement following his acquittal of incitement of insurrection, he declared “our movement has just begun”.

“In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!

“We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant and limitless American future. Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”

He also went on to say how it is a “sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law”.

“I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honourably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”

RELATED: What’s next for Donald Trump

He thanked his team of lawyers and others for their “tireless work upholding justice and defending truth”.

One thing that will never die, is the loyalty and enthusiasm of his followers, but just how large – and powerful – that cohort is yet to be seen.

The first tests will come as the Republicans select candidates for the next round of elections. Who Republicans vote for during the 2022 midterm elections will clinch it.

Mr Trump’s ultimate goal: swaying the 2024 presidential primaries.

Will he make a political comeback? Or will he seek to have one of his favourites installed?

Only time will tell.

But despite his acquittal, the former president “is still liable for everything he did in office”, says Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell.

“We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.”

He’s suggesting Mr Trump could face prosecution in court for his actions.

Thus far, however, there is no indication that Mr Trump will face any legal consequences for the riot on January 6.

There is currently an ongoing criminal investigation into the former president in Georgia, concerning his attempts to pressure state officials into overturning its election result.



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