In the end, seven Republicans voted ‘guilty’. The rest of the vote went through party lines. All Democrats voted guilty, and all remaining Republicans innocent. From the start of this impeachment, it was clear that there weren’t 17 Republicans who wanted to condemn Trump, the minimum it would take to reach a two-thirds majority.
Earlier in the day, Republican leader Mitch McConnell had emailed all his colleagues that he would vote against conviction. That was an important signal that the Republicans had not changed their minds en masse.
Storming the Capitol
Both sides reiterated their positions in their closing arguments. The Democratic prosecutors reiterated that they believe there is a clear link between Donald Trump’s tweets and words leading up to the storm. They warn that it must be prevented that this can happen again.
They point out that Trump talked about election fraud for months without evidence. He then himself called on his supporters to come to Washington that day, and then to come to Congress to “fight hard.” They also accuse Trump of doing nothing for a long time to stop the assault.
Trump’s defense says there is no connection whatsoever between Trump’s words and the assault. According to Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen, Trump’s supporters came to Washington with peaceful intentions. The storm had already been planned by “radicals from the left and the right”, said Van der Veen. And therefore Trump cannot be responsible for that. The FBI has found no evidence of involvement of leftist groups. Several party members also contradict this.
In addition, Trump’s defense maintains that it is constitutionally impossible to condemn Trump because he is no longer president. “It is time to bring this unconstitutional, political theater to an end,” says Van der Veen. According to Trump’s team, the impeachment is nothing less than a “political act of revenge.” They also allege that the Democrats have manipulated evidence.
Trump, in a statement, calls the trial against him in the Senate “another phase in the greatest witch hunt in our country’s history.”
“It is a sad commentary on our time that a political party in America is given a free ticket to belittle the rule of law, slander law enforcement officers, cheer mobs, acquit rioters and turn justice into an instrument of political revenge,” said Trump.
The former president hinted that he is not yet saying goodbye to politics. “Our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to make America great again has just got off the ground,” he emphasized. “I have a lot to share with you in the coming months. And I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together. ”
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Source: De Telegraaf by www.telegraaf.nl.
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