PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Donald Trump was acquitted Saturday of inciting the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, concluding a historic impeachment trial that spared him the first-ever conviction of a current or former U.S. president but exposed the fragility of America’s democratic traditions and left a divided nation to come to terms with the violence sparked by his defeated presidency. The vote was 57-43, short of the two-thirds needed for conviction. Seven Republicans, including Sen. Pat Toomey, voted to convict.
Here are the statements from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware senators. All found Trump guilty.READ MORE: 'A Game Changer': CDC Recommends Johnson & Johnson's 1-Dose COVID Vaccine, Paving Way For Distribution To Begin
Sen.Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)
“President Donald Trump’s defense team made several accurate observations at the impeachment trial. Many elected Democrats did want to impeach President Trump from the moment he won the 2016 election. The mainstream media was unrelentingly biased and hostile to the president. Both often overlooked violent riots when perpetrated in favor of causes they found sympathetic last summer.
However, these facts do not make President Trump’s conduct in response to losing the 2020 election acceptable. He began with dishonest, systematic attempts to convince supporters that he had won. His lawful, but unsuccessful, legal challenges failed due to lack of evidence. Then, he applied intense pressure on state and local officials to reverse the election outcomes in their states.
When these efforts failed, President Trump summoned thousands to Washington, D.C. and inflamed their passions by repeating disproven allegations about widespread fraud. He urged the mob to march on the Capitol for the explicit purpose of preventing Congress and the Vice President from formally certifying the results of the presidential election. All of this to hold on to power despite having legitimately lost.
As a result of President Trump’s actions, for the first time in American history, the transfer of presidential power was not peaceful. A lawless attempt to retain power by a president was one of the founders’ greatest fears motivating the inclusion of the impeachment authorities in the U.S. Constitution.
I was one of the 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump, in part because of the many accomplishments of his administration. Unfortunately, his behavior after the election betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him.
“His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.”
President Donald Trump’s defense team made several accurate observations at the impeachment trial. Many elected Democrats did want to impeach President Trump from the moment he won the 2016 election.
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) February 13, 2021
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
“This past week, the House Managers put forward a compelling case based upon irrefutable facts against the former President of the United States. For months after the election, we all witnessed the former President’s “Big Lie” when he repeatedly claimed—without any evidence—that the 2020 general election was stolen from him. This lie was roundly dismissed by more than 60 judges across the Nation—including in Pennsylvania. After losing in federal and state courts, he then tried to pressure state and local elections officials to overturn the election, and even attempted to pressure his Vice President to violate the Vice President’s Constitutional duty. After repeatedly failing to overturn the election, the former President summoned his mob of insurrectionists to Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 for one more attack on American democracy. He invited them. He incited them. And he directed them to the Capitol to prevent Congress from conducting its constitutional obligation to count the presidential electoral votes.
This case was not merely about the former President’s speech on January 6. This was about a pattern of conduct. It was about the former President’s autocratic leadership and calls for political violence throughout his presidency. It was about a President who regularly condoned or encouraged violence at political rallies against protestors and members of the press. It was about a President who once bragged: “I have the tough people [supporting me], but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.
There is no way that a reasonable person could dispute that the former President knew exactly what he was doing by perpetuating the “Big Lie,” summoning his crowd of insurrectionists on January 6 and telling them: “[I]f you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” The former President led his supporters to a breaking point and as he had predicted in the past—it was “very bad, very bad.” He did not merely endanger another branch of government and the presidential line of succession. His actions led to at least five deaths, injuries to nearly 140 members of law enforcement and untold collateral damage resulting from the carnage of that day. He endangered the lives of countless Congressional staffers and employees, members of the press and members of Congress. He put a target on the back of his own Vice President and his Vice President’s family. And he has shown no remorse for any of it.
The former President attacked the foundational principles of our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. He violated his oath of office and he committed a high crime against our Constitution. I voted to convict the former President in the most bipartisan presidential impeachment proceedings in our Nation’s history.”
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)
“Over the course of the last week, the House impeachment managers presented a concise, compelling, and powerful case about how former President Trump summoned and incited a violent mob, directed them at our Capitol, and encouraged them to wreak havoc on our democratic process, putting all who serve in and work at the Capitol building — including his own Vice President — in grave danger. If inciting a deadly mob to overturn a free and fair election is not grounds for the impeachment of an American president, I don’t know what is, which is why this was the most bipartisan impeachment vote in American history.
We must be clear-eyed about the challenges we face moving forward. The divisions stirred up by Donald Trump still exist across this country, and if we do not come together to reject misinformation, to stand against violence and extremism, and to move forward with an honest agreement on the facts, there is a real risk the politically motivated violence we saw on January 6 at our Capitol will happen again. I call on my colleagues — Republican and Democrat — to join me in ensuring that is not our future. We must show the American people that democracy can work and can deliver real results to address our most pressing challenges — from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession to the pandemic of distrust and division.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
“The death, carnage & destruction at our Capitol was a despicable assault on our democracy, our values & our common humanity. Donald Trump incited this mob and watched it with delight. Today 43 Senate Republicans refused to hold Trump accountable. They chose to do nothing.”
The death, carnage & destruction at our Capitol was a despicable assault on our democracy, our values & our common humanity. Donald Trump incited this mob and watched it with delight.
Today 43 Senate Republicans refused to hold Trump accountable. They chose to do nothing.
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) February 13, 2021READ MORE: Irv Cross, Former Eagles Star DB And Pioneer Black Analyst, Dies At 81
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)
“After carefully listening to the cases presented by the House Managers and the defense over the past week, a bipartisan majority of United States Senators rendered a guilty verdict against former President Donald Trump today. While this twice-impeached, disgraced former president may have been acquitted because the Senate lacked the 67 votes required for conviction, I assure you that it was not because the House Managers failed to prove the case against Donald Trump. Unfortunately, it was because too many of my Republican colleagues refused to hold Donald Trump accountable for his undeniable role in the unprecedented insurrection that took place right before our eyes in this Capitol on January 6th.
Throughout the impeachment trial, the House Managers presented overwhelming evidence demonstrating that Donald Trump incited the deadly violence that was witnessed around the world on January 6th. Before ballots were even cast, Donald Trump laid the groundwork for the Big Lie, baselessly claiming that the only way he could lose the election was if it were stolen from him. In the weeks and months that followed, he would repeat that lie again and again and again. When Joe Biden won the election with a margin that Trump himself considered a landslide in 2016, Trump and his enablers continued to push conspiracy theories about election fraud and sowed doubt about our democratic institutions. Donald Trump brazenly – and illegally – prodded election officials to overturn the election results in state after state. He even went so far as to ask the Secretary of State of Georgia to “find” him 11,780 votes, forgetting that in this country votes are counted, not found.
Trump also exhausted all of his legal options, with over 60 courts around our country and more than a half-dozen Trump-appointed judges rejecting his campaign’s baseless claims of fraud or irregularities. Even to this day, Donald Trump refuses to concede an election that he clearly lost. Then, in one final attempt to maintain power, he summoned a mob to Washington in an effort to stop the certification of the election results by Congress. The mob showed up and — cheered on by Trump — headed down Constitution Avenue to the U.S. Capitol to lay waste to the very symbol of our democracy. Donald Trump’s drumbeat of misinformation for months was the tinder, and his words on January 6th — calling on his supporters to march down to the Capitol and ‘fight like hell’ — lit the fire.
The world watched in disbelief and horror as white supremacists and other violent extremists stormed our seat of government in a last-ditch attempt to overturn the election. Those rioters broadcasted their intentions to hang Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, and kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. The insurrectionists proudly displayed confederate flags and other symbols of hate. A Capitol Police Officer was beaten to death. Nearly 150 Capitol Police Officers sustained injuries, one lost his eye, another lost part of his finger, and another sustained head injuries after she was pushed by a metal barrier. Tragically, two officers have taken their own lives in the aftermath of that day. And, for the first time in our country’s history, a sacred tradition — the peaceful transfer of power — was broken. And our Commander-in-Chief simply watched as the insurrectionists tried to hunt down his own Vice President and wreaked havoc on our Capitol. Five people lost their lives on that tragic day because the President of the United States, rather than accept the clear evidence that he had lost fair and square, fanned the flames of an attack on our Capitol and did nothing to extinguish the fire. If this isn’t an impeachable offense, then nothing is.
I believe it’s important to note that seven of my Republican colleagues chose to stand on the right side of history today despite the possible peril that doing so may create in their own lives and in the lives of their families. I pray that it will not. Their courage today will not go unnoticed. Earlier this week, a former Republican Senate colleague of mine, now retired, reminded me of the words spoken over 150 years ago by William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament and a tireless abolitionist, who warned his colleagues after a contentious debate: ‘Today, you may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.’ Today, too many of my colleagues chose to look away, but the facts clearly prove – and history will show – that former President Donald Trump violated his oath of office, failed to protect and defend our Constitution and our Capitol and, as a result, is unfit to ever hold office again.
As Senators, we have all taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution. It’s an oath I have proudly taken many times, both in uniform and as an elected official. It’s my promise to Delawareans and all Americans that I will faithfully work to ensure that the longest-running experiment in democracy continues. Today, by voting to convict former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting a deadly insurrection on a coequal branch of government, I believe I have upheld that oath.”
Today, I voted to convict former President Trump for his role in inciting a violent and deadly mob that assaulted the US Capitol on Jan. 6th in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election and overturn the will of the American people.
— Senator Tom Carper (@SenatorCarper) February 13, 2021
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
“Today, I voted to convict President Donald J. Trump for inciting an insurrection against the United States. The proceedings of this trial made clear that President Trump spurred a violent attack on Congress and then betrayed his duty as Commander-in-Chief by failing to deploy the National Guard to aid the Capitol Police and save American lives.
President Trump’s clear and stated motive was to overthrow a free and fair election in a desperate attempt to cling to power. For weeks, he used malicious lies and conspiracy theories to foment anger and mobilized his supporters to descend on Washington in a last-ditch effort to ‘stop the steal.’ Then, on January 6th, as Congress gathered to carry out our constitutional duty, he rallied his angry mob to fight on his behalf and stop the certification of the election results.
Our nation paid a heavy price for the lies President Trump spread so freely. Seven people lost their lives, including a Capitol Police officer from New Jersey; scores suffered serious injuries and many will carry unseen scars with them for years. We also learned that the President’s mob came perilously close to harming Vice President Pence and his family and members of the House and Senate, and that extraordinary heroism by law enforcement prevented more tragedy.
The House impeachment managers also made abundantly clear that President Trump could have quickly acted to save lives and defend the Capitol, but instead spent hours basking in the chaos unfolding in his name. I cannot think of any higher betrayal of our Constitution and dereliction of duty by a Commander-in-Chief than refusing to act to save American lives.
President Trump’s behavior was unforgivable, and his own lawyers failed to mount any compelling defense. All we heard from his team were dangerous arguments that, if indulged by the Senate, would give every future outgoing President permission to use their final weeks in office to commit gross abuses of power without accountability.
To vote for conviction and disqualification from serving should not have been a difficult decision for any member of the Senate, of any party.
I am dismayed that so many Senate Republicans chose to put the fleeting politics of the moment ahead of their sworn oath to protect the Constitution of the United States. In private, they complain about feeling trapped by President Trump’s poisonous grip on the Republican Party and yet refused to free themselves by voting to bar him from running for future office. This is pure political cowardice and I fear their refusal to hold Donald Trump accountable will have lasting negative and even dangerous consequences for the future of our country.”
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1/ Today, I voted to convict President Donald J. Trump for inciting an insurrection against the United States.
The proceedings of this trial made clear that President Trump spurred a violent attack on Congress and then betrayed his duty as Commander-in-Chief by…
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) February 13, 2021
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