On Saturday afternoon, after five days debates (with some occasional accidental comic relief) and over a month after he was impeached in the House of Representatives, the Senate voted on whether or not to impeach Donald Trump, who was accused of inciting the failed MAGA riot of January 6. And to the surprise of very few, Trump was acquitted, with 57 voting guilty and 43 not guilty.
A two-thirds margin is required for conviction, and it was known going in that there would need to be 17 Republicans to join the Democrats, who were unanimously in favor of impeachment. Only seven Republicans voted guilty, namely Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey.
A vote to hold the Senate trial was voted on Monday, and on Tuesday it began in earnest. House Democrats were praised for their passionate presentations, which included plenty of videos, some including new and horrifying footage of the failed insurrection. Some montages juxtaposed the Capitol siege — shown in the very building in which it took place, to lawmakers whose lives were put in danger — with Trump’s speech before it happened, in which he implored his supporters to “fight” and to “never concede.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team was roundly and frequently mocked for their clumsy statements and presentations. One earned comparisons to My Cousin Vinny. Another featured not one but two montages in which Democrats — and Madonna, and Johnny Depp — were shown simply using the word “fight.”
But neither events that endangered them personally nor the clown show that was Trump’s defense could convince more than seven Republicans to punish him, and ensure that he could never run again. In the meantime, Trump is now a private citizen and is under investigation by, among other places, the State of New York.