February 13, 2021 – 22:04
The U.S. Senate voted Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump on charges of inciting rebellion filed by the House of Representatives.
The Senate voted with 57 votes to find the former president guilty and 43 not guilty. Since a Senate trial required 67 votes, or two-thirds of the blame, former President Trump was acquitted.
House of Representatives prosecutors and the defense presented their closing arguments in favor and against on Saturday afternoon.
Prior to that, the Senate reached an agreement not to call witnesses in the trial of former President Trump, paving the way for the presentation of concluding arguments.
But the Senate was initially embroiled in uncertainty over the issue. The senators voted to assess the possibility of calling witnesses to court.
The last-minute clashes for witnesses were the result of comments made Friday night by a Republican House legislator about a hot phone call during the day of riots between Mr. Trump and the House’s minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who Democrats say it is evidence of Mr. Trump’s indifference to violence on the Capitol.
Senate Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of 10 Republicans who voted to formally prosecute Mr. Trump in the House of Representatives, was initially debated in the Senate. In a statement late Friday, she said Mr. Trump had opposed a request from Mr. McCarthy to stop the protesters. Democrats consider it a key piece of evidence confirming that the president “deliberately left office as commander-in-chief.”
The trial came to a sudden halt on Saturday morning and even senators seemed confused about the next steps.
Meanwhile, Republican leader Mitch McConnell has already made it clear that he will vote to acquit Mr. Trump, according to a person aware of his stance. Seen from this perspective, the Republican leader’s view may influence other members of his party.
While Democrats are expected to vote on the former president’s impeachment, chances are high that he will be acquitted in the 100-member chamber divided 50 by 50 between the parties. For Mr. Trump to plead guilty to the charge, two-thirds of the votes of Senate members would be needed.
The Senate trial has highlighted the tremendous danger lawmakers faced on Jan. 6 as Mr. Trump called on his followers to march on the Capitol in a bid to prevent lawmakers from certifying his diary to Democrat Joe. Biden in the presidential election. As a result, five people lost their lives.
Footage taken by security cameras, which was released during the trial, showed the protesters approaching and endangering lawmakers as they were being evacuated from the Senate and House of Representatives.
The protesters also targeted Vice President Mike Pence, who earlier that day had rejected Mr. Trump’s request to intervene in the procedures for certifying the election result.
In a Twitter post, Mr. Trump criticized Mr. Pence for lacking “courage” shortly after Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville announced to Mr. Trump that the vice president was being evacuated for security reasons.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers gave contradictory answers Friday when asked if Mr. Trump knew Mr. Pence was in danger when he published his post. Some Republican senators said they still had questions about Mr. Trump’s role in the violent attack on the Capitol.
“The question is, what was the president’s intention? Only the president could answer for that. And the president chose not to do it,” Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy told reporters. He added that he had not yet decided how to vote. Former President Trump rejected the case prosecutors’ request to testify at his trial. / voa