WASHINGTON (AP) – Seven Republicans voted Saturday to find former President Donald Trump guilty in his second Senate impeachment trial, by far the largest number of lawmakers to ever cast a vote to that effect against a leader of his own party in this type of procedure.
Although lawmakers exonerated Trump from inciting the Jan.6 invasion of the Capitol, they voted 57-43 in favor of finding him guilty, well short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict him. However, with the seven Republicans joining all 50 Democrats to vote in favor of finding him “guilty,” the Senate issued an unequivocal bipartisan chorus of condemnation against the former president that could have political implications for the Republican Party, in advance. in conflict over their future.
“If I can’t explain what I think our president should stand for, why should I ask Alaskans to support me,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told reporters.
In addition to Murkowski, the other Republican senators who voted against Trump were Richard Burr of North Carolina; Bill Cassidy, from Louisiana; Susan Collins from Maine; Mitt Romney, from Utah; Ben Sasse from Nebraska and Patrick Toomey from Pennsylvania.
Democrats had remote hopes of finding Trump guilty and would have needed the support of 17 Republicans to do so, which, predictably, was an unattainable goal. That hope died after the influential Senate minority senator, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said he would vote for the exoneration because of his belief that lawmakers had no jurisdiction over a former president.
Even so, McConnel spoke strong words against Trump in a speech at the end of the vote in which he said that the former president was “practically and morally responsible” for provoking the attack on lawmakers when they formally certified the president’s defeat before Joe Biden in the Electoral College.
Five people were killed and the White House subjected Trump to a second impeachment, accusing him of inciting the insurrection.
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