WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump, ending a five-day impeachment trial by ruling that he could not, or should not, be held responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection, when supporters fueled by his lies of a stolen election stormed the Capitol to try to keep him in power.
A majority of the Senate voted to convict Trump of inciting the insurrection,57-43, with seven Republicans voting in favor, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey. But 67 votes were required for a conviction
The acquittal was long expected: Few believed 17 Republicans would join the Senate’s 50 Democrats to convict Trump after four years of him dominating the GOP.
But Democrats hope the trial will leave a lasting historical stain on the Trump presidency, not least with its meticulous recreation of his long string of false electionclaims and his cheering, at times, of violence. The trial featured visceral videos of his supporters brutally attacking police, officers screaming in pain, lawmakers running for their lives, and aides barricading themselves inside offices while a mob ransacked a symbol of American democracy — all in the name of subverting the will of American voters.
The vote served as a coda, at least for now, to Trump’s tumultuous four years in office, which ended with one of the darkest days in American history.
It also showed that Trump, despite the riot and his electoral defeat, retains a powerful grip on the Republican Party. And it underscored the searing anger and division that have come to define American politics.