The Senate voted 57-43 on Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump of “incitement of an insurrection,” with seven GOP senators joining Democrats in voting “guilty.”
Republican Senators 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 Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania voted to convict the president, along with 50 Democratic senators. However, a two-thirds vote was needed to convict Trump.
All of the aforementioned senators, besides Burr, also voted with Democrats on Tuesday in affirming the constitutionality of the Senate impeachment trial of a former president.
“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Burr said on Saturday. “Therefore, I have voted to convict.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted to acquit Trump on the grounds that the Senate lacks the authority to convict a private citizen, but said that Trump was nevertheless “responsible” for the Capitol riot in a floor speech after the vote.
“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shamefully shouting into the largest megaphone on earth,” McConnell said.
“The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things,” he added.