Trump Impeachment Trial In The Senate: Live Updates The Senate votes to acquit former President Donald Trump for inciting insurrection.

Trump Impeachment Aftermath: Updates

The Senate acquits the former president for inciting insurrection

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seen at the Capitol on Feb. 11, has called for an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Samuel Corum/Getty Images hide caption

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seen at the Capitol on Feb. 11, has called for an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans for Congress to establish an outside and independent commission to investigate "the facts and causes" related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a letter sent to her Democratic colleagues on Monday, the California Democrat said the commission will be modeled on the commission established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Pelosi noted the recent work of retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who has "been assessing our security needs by reviewing what happened on January 6 and how we must ensure that it does not happen again."

"As we prepare for the Commission, it is also clear from General Honoré's interim reporting that we must put forth a supplemental appropriation to provide for the safety of Members and the security of the Capitol," Pelosi wrote.

Pelosi had first suggested the creation of such a commission two weeks ago.

Such a move will require legislation and will likely tee up partisan difficulties.

Her letter to colleagues came several hours after four House Republicans sent a letter to Pelosi suggesting she may be responsible for the delay in the deployment of National Guard troops ahead of and during the insurrection. The letter did not mention Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who on Jan. 6 was still the Senate majority leader and would have also had a say in the Capitol's security posture.

"Five weeks have passed since the January 6th attack on the Capitol building, and many important questions about your responsibility for the security of the Capitol remain unanswered," their letter reads.

Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, called the Republicans' letter a "transparently partisan attempt to lay blame on the Speaker."

"The Speaker has and will continue to take action to ensure accountability and enhance the security of the Capitol," he said in a statement. "Following the insurrection, the House Sergeant at Arms, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and the Chief of the Capitol Police were removed from their positions. It is the job of the Capitol Police Board, on which these three individuals sat, to properly plan and prepare for security threats facing the U.S. Capitol."

Sen. Chris Coons, a close ally of President Biden, told ABC's This Week he supports a Sept. 11-style commission to probe further into the events leading up to the attack.

"There's still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear," the Delaware Democrat said. "The 9/11 Commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward, and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly and violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was."

Following the attack on the Capitol, heightened security measures were deployed around the complex, including the requirement of members to walk through metal detectors and various forms of fencing secured around the Capitol's perimeter.

The Senate voted 57-43 Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial. Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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The Senate voted 57-43 Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.

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Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday

A majority of senators voted Saturday to convict former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

But the Democrats' side needed 17 Republicans to join them in order to reach the two-thirds threshold needed to convict.

Seven GOP senators voted with Democrats — the most bipartisan impeachment vote in U.S. history — but well short of the 17 needed to convict the former president.

Of those seven Republicans, two are retiring and only one — Alaska's Lisa Murkowski — faces her state's voters in the next election cycle, 2022.

Here's a closer look at the seven GOP senators who broke ranks with their party and some of the political calculations they face back home.

Sen. Richard Burr, seen here during a nomination hearing on Feb. 3, was rebuked by the North Carolina GOP for his vote to convict Trump. Brandon Bell/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Richard Burr, seen here during a nomination hearing on Feb. 3, was rebuked by the North Carolina GOP for his vote to convict Trump.

Brandon Bell/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senator: Richard Burr, North Carolina

Vote explanation: Burr's vote to convict was largely unexpected. According to Capitol Hill reporters in the chamber during the vote, there were audible "wows" and rumblings from senators when he cast his vote. He had previously voted to dismiss the trial on the basis of constitutionality.

In a statement, Burr said he did "not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary."

"When this process started, I believed that it was unconstitutional to impeach a president who was no longer in office," he said. "I still believe that to be the case. However, the Senate is an institution based on precedent, and given that the majority in the Senate voted to proceed with this trial, the question of constitutionality is now established precedent."

He said he listened to the arguments from both sides and the "facts are clear."

"The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Political situation: Burr, who's served in the Senate since 2005, announced years ago that this term would be his last.

Two days after his vote to convict Trump, the North Carolina Republican Party unanimously voted to censure Burr.

"The NCGOP agrees with the strong majority of Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former President lies outside the United States Constitution," their statement read.

This followed another statement on Saturday from the NCGOP's chairman, Michael Whatley, in which he called Burr's vote "shocking and disappointing."

Meanwhile, former Congressman Mark Walker, who is running for the retiring Burr's seat in the 2022 election, immediately tweeted "wrong vote."

"I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator," he wrote.


Sen. Bill Cassidy, seen talking to reporters on his way to the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial, has been censured by the Louisiana GOP for his vote to convict Trump. Samuel Corum/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Bill Cassidy, seen talking to reporters on his way to the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial, has been censured by the Louisiana GOP for his vote to convict Trump.

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Senator: Bill Cassidy, Louisiana

Vote explanation: Cassidy posted a video to Twitter after the trial, saying: "Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty."

On ABC on Sunday Cassidy added that "it was clear that [Trump] wished that lawmakers be intimidated" while they counted electoral votes, and that Trump didn't act quickly to dissuade the violent mob.

Political situation: The backlash to Cassidy's vote to convict was swift. The state GOP voted unanimously to censure him, releasing a statement saying it condemns Cassidy's action.

"Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him," the Republican Party of Louisiana statement read.

Cassidy just won reelection a few months ago, by 40 percentage points, and won't face voters again until 2026. Additionally, Louisiana has an open primary system, which could insulate him some from a Republican challenge.


Sen. Susan Collins, seen here during a confirmation hearing on Feb. 4, had previously voted to acquit Trump during his first impeachment trial. Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Susan Collins, seen here during a confirmation hearing on Feb. 4, had previously voted to acquit Trump during his first impeachment trial.

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Senator: Susan Collins, Maine

Vote explanation: After Trump was acquitted, Collins delivered a 16-minute address from the Senate floor about her decision to vote to convict.

"This impeachment trial is not about any single word uttered by President Trump on Jan. 6, 2021," she said. "It is instead about President Trump's failure to obey the oath he swore on January 20, 2017. His actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power — the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy — were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction."

She added: "My vote in this trial stems from my own oath and duty to defend the Constitution of the United States. The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the constitutional standard of 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' and for those reasons I voted to convict Donald J. Trump."

Political situation: Collins' next election is in 2026. Like Cassidy, Collins just won reelection in 2020, though her race was much closer in a state Trump lost (he won one electoral vote in the state for winning its 2nd Congressional District).

She won her fifth term after a contest in which much of her opposition cited her support of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court and her vote to acquit Trump during his first impeachment trial.

Maine has ranked-choice voting, and many thought it could play a deciding role in her race last year, but Collins won an outright majority of Senate votes.


Sen. Lisa Murkowski talks to a reporter in the Senate subway at the conclusion of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. Samuel Corum/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski talks to a reporter in the Senate subway at the conclusion of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.

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Senator: Lisa Murkowski, Alaska

Vote explanation: In a statement after the vote, Murkowski said she had upheld her oath as a senator to listen to both Trump's defense team and impeachment managers impartially, but that the facts were clear to her that Trump was responsible for the violence at the Capitol.

"The evidence presented at the trial was clear: President Trump was watching events unfold live, just as the entire country was," her statement reads. "Even after the violence had started, as protestors chanted 'Hang Mike Pence' inside the Capitol, President Trump, aware of what was happening, tweeted that the Vice President had failed the country."

She said Trump "set the stage for months" that the presidential election was rigged and that after he lost, he "did everything in his power to stay in power."

Political situation: Murkowski, a senator since 2002, is up for reelection next year, but as Alaska Public Media recently reported, her state's new election rules likely mean she'll be in less danger of losing her primary.

Alaska has an open primary and ranked-choice voting, which means all contenders for the seat will be on the same ballot for all primary voters. The top four will advance to the general election and then voters will rank them in order of preference.

Murkowski herself told Alaska Public Media that she thinks the new system puts her in a better position.


Sen. Mitt Romney, seen on the second day of Trump's impeachment trial, also voted to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial. Brandon Bell/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Mitt Romney, seen on the second day of Trump's impeachment trial, also voted to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial.

Brandon Bell/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senator: Mitt Romney, Utah

Vote explanation: In a statement after the vote, Romney said Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6 were a violation of his oath of office.

"President Trump attempted to corrupt the election by pressuring the Secretary of State of Georgia to falsify the election results in his state," the statement reads. "President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction."

Political situation: This wasn't Romney's first time harshly criticizing Trump or breaking ranks with his party. He was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on one article during the former president's first impeachment trial in early 2020, and in recent weeks was called "a joke" and a "traitor" by Trump supporters while traveling from Utah to Washington, D.C.

The former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP presidential nominee was elected to the U.S. Senate from Utah in 2018. He won with nearly 63% of the vote.

The state went for Trump with 58% of the vote in 2020.

The 73-year-old Romney is up for reelection in 2024.


Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, seen here during a nomination hearing in January, said after voting to convict Trump that the former president violated "a president's oath of office." Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, seen here during a nomination hearing in January, said after voting to convict Trump that the former president violated "a president's oath of office."

Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senator: Ben Sasse, Nebraska

Vote explanation: Sasse labeled his vote to convict a vote of "conscience" in a statement Saturday.

"In my first speech here in the Senate in November 2015, I promised to speak out when a president — even of my own party — exceeds his or her powers," he said. "I cannot go back on my word, and Congress cannot lower our standards on such a grave matter, simply because it is politically convenient. I must vote to convict."

He cited Trump's repeated baseless claims that the election had been rigged against him.

"Those lies had consequences, endangering the life of the vice president and bringing us dangerously close to a bloody constitutional crisis. Each of these actions are violations of a president's oath of office," Sasse said.

Political situation: Sasse has spoken out against Trump in strong ways in recent months. In a call with constituents in October, Sasse worried out loud that Trump would bring down the Republican-controlled Senate in November.

And after blasting Trump's election fraud claims, Sasse preempted a potential censure vote by the Nebraska GOP State Central Committee by releasing a video in which he maintained that "politics isn't about the weird worship of one dude."

Sasse handily won reelection in 2020 — getting almost 27,000 more votes than Trump in the Republican state — and won't have to campaign again until 2026.


Sen. Pat Toomey is seen leaving the Senate chamber. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Pat Toomey is seen leaving the Senate chamber.

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Senator: Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

Vote explanation: In a statement, Toomey said he voted for Trump but the former president's behavior after the election "betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him."

"As a result of President Trump's actions, for the first time in American history, the transfer of presidential power was not peaceful," he said. "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."

Political situation: Toomey — who like Maine's Collins represents a state Trump lost in the presidential election — announced in October that he would not seek reelection in 2022.

Pennsylvania GOP Chair Lawrence Tabas told the Philadelphia Inquirer he shared the "disappointment of many of our grassroots leaders and volunteers" over Toomey's vote.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who's speaking and who's seen here alongside the other House impeachment managers on Saturday, says they have "no regrets" over their trial strategy. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

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Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who's speaking and who's seen here alongside the other House impeachment managers on Saturday, says they have "no regrets" over their trial strategy.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Following former President Donald Trump's second acquittal in an impeachment trial, House Democratic managers are defending their decision not to forge ahead with seeking witnesses to help make their case.

A surprise Senate vote on Saturday morning to allow witnesses threatened to upend the speedy trial members on both sides of the aisle were anticipating.

But after a two-hour break, House managers relented, and they and Trump's defense team reached a deal that would prevent them from going down the prolonged path of seeking to add witnesses to the trial. Instead, they allowed a statement released Friday by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., in which she relayed a conversation she said the House GOP leader had with Trump, to be entered into the trial record.

House impeachment managers defended that choice on Sunday, arguing that continuing the trial with witnesses wouldn't have been strategically advantageous.

"We have no regrets," lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told NBC's Meet the Press.

"We left it totally out there on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and every senator knew exactly what happened." He added: "We could have had a thousand witnesses but that could not have overcome the kinds of silly arguments that people like McConnell and Capito were hanging their hats on."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and West Virginia GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito both cited constitutional concerns in their decision to vote to acquit Trump.

Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett, another impeachment manager, told NPR's Weekend Edition that they didn't "reverse course" on witnesses but instead succeeded in adding Herrera Beutler's statement describing a conversation between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump as the attack was ongoing.

"I know that people have a lot of angst and they can't believe that the Senate did what they did [in voting to acquit Trump]. But what we needed were senators, more senators with spines, not more witnesses," Plaskett said.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a close ally of President Biden, reportedly urged House managers to relent on witnesses. He told ABC's This Week on Sunday that spending "months fighting over witnesses" wouldn't have been worth it.

"What the House managers needed wasn't more witnesses or more evidence, what we all needed was more Republican courage," he said. "This was the most bipartisan verdict in American history, a strong rebuke to President Trump, but frankly at the end of the day, the trial had reached its natural conclusion."

Seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump, after 10 GOP House members voted to impeach Trump for inciting the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol.

Coons said he favors a Sept. 11-style commission to probe further into Trump's actions leading up to and on the day of the Capitol attack.

"There's still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear," he said. "The 9/11 Commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward, and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly and violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was."

Trump's role in the party

The Senate vote raises further questions about Trump's role in the Republican Party going forward.

In a statement after the verdict, Trump said: "Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an ally of the former president, told Fox News Sunday that he had spoken with Trump, and that he's eager to help the GOP win the House and Senate back in 2022.

But Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, who was one of seven Republicans who broke ranks with their party in voting to convict the former president, told ABC's This Week that Trump's "force wanes" in the GOP.

Cassidy is facing backlash in Louisiana over his vote, including the state GOP voting to unanimously censure him. But he says people want to hold their leaders accountable and that's what his vote to convict was based on.

"I have the privilege of having the facts before me, and being able to spend several days deeply going into those facts," he explained. "As these facts become more and more out there, if you will, and folks have a chance to look for themselves, more folks will move to where I was."

Stacey Plaskett: Trump Trial Needed 'More Senators With Spines, Not More Witnesses'

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Del. Stacey Plaskett, one of the House managers in former President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, defends the decision not to call witnesses. "As all Americans believed at that moment, the evidence was overwhelming," she says. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Del. Stacey Plaskett, one of the House managers in former President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, defends the decision not to call witnesses. "As all Americans believed at that moment, the evidence was overwhelming," she says.

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Just before voting Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, the Senate seemed to reverse course, with a decision not to call witnesses.

Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the U.S. Virgin Islands who was one of the House impeachment managers, is defending the agreement between House managers and Trump's attorneys not to call witnesses after all.

"We had no need to call any witnesses at the end of the trial because, as all Americans believed at that moment, the evidence was overwhelming," she said in an interview Sunday with NPR's Weekend Edition.

The Senate voted 57-43, which included seven Republicans, to hold Trump guilty on the impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection. But that was short of the two-thirds, or 67 votes, needed to convict him.

"I know that people have a lot of angst and they can't believe that the Senate did what they did. But what we needed were senators, more senators with spines, not more witnesses," Plaskett said.

She said the House managers wanted to enter into the record the statement of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., about a conversation Beutler had with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., regarding a call he had with Trump on Jan. 6.

After an agreement was reached to read Herrera Beutler's statement into the record, Plaskett says, there was no need to call her as a witness.

"Individuals do not come to the Senate floor, raise their hand and testify. Individuals are depositioned, videotaped, and that tape is then played before the Senate," Plaskett said.

"We wanted the testimony and the statement of our colleague Jaime Herrera Beutler, who is a tremendous patriot to put herself out there. And we were able to get that," she said.

Plaskett denied that she and other House managers were pressured by Senate Democrats not to call witnesses.

"No. We made a decision," Plaskett said. "And again, it was not a reverse course. We got in what we wanted, which was the statement of Jaime Herrera Beutler. And that completed even more so our case. The evidence was overwhelming when we closed, and all Americans believe that we had closed our case."

Asked about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's scathing statement Saturday that Trump "is practically and morally responsible for provoking" the Capitol insurrection, Plaskett said that it showed "we proved our case and it's obvious from his statement that [McConnell] believed what we said."

"Those 43 who voted to acquit the president did so because they were afraid of him, because they were more interested in party and in power than they were in our country and in duty to their Senate oath," she added.

Plaskett said Trump "will be forever tarnished" by the impeachment.

"I think it leaves him for all history — our children and my grandchildren will see in history that this was the most despicable despot attempting to become a fascist ruler over a country that was founded in democracy," she said.

President Biden said the attack on the Capitol "has reminded us that democracy is fragile." Above, Biden speaks during a visit Thursday to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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President Biden said the attack on the Capitol "has reminded us that democracy is fragile." Above, Biden speaks during a visit Thursday to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden responded to the Senate's acquittal of Donald Trump on Saturday by reminding Americans that truth must be defended, saying the impeachment of the former president was a stark illustration of the danger posed to democracy by lies, misinformation and extremism.

And Biden said that although Trump was acquitted, his actions in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection were not "in dispute."

"This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile," Biden said in a statement. "That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America. And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies."

A majority of senators voted to hold Trump guilty on one charge of inciting an insurrection, but the 57-43 tally fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. In all, seven Republicans voted to convict the former president, making Saturday's vote the most bipartisan in a presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.

"While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute," Biden said. "Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a 'disgraceful dereliction of duty' and 'practically and morally responsible for provoking' the violence unleashed on the Capitol."

Until his comments on Saturday, Biden had remained mostly silent about his predecessor's impeachment, telling reporters last week that he did not even plan to watch the trial. He neither fully supported — nor opposed — the vote by the House of Representatives last month to impeach Trump, saying he wanted to leave the matter up to Congress. He also declined to say whether the Senate should move to convict.

In his statement, Biden paid homage to Capitol Hill Police officer Brian Sicknick — one of the five people who died during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — and said he was thinking "about all those who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened, and all those who are still today living with the terror they lived through that day."

The president said the task ahead for the nation was to follow the example set by those who have "demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy."

"That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation," he said. "That is the task ahead. And it's a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America."

The Senate has voted to acquit former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection. In a statement, Trump thanked his legal team and members of Congress "who stood proudly for the Constitution." Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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The Senate has voted to acquit former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection. In a statement, Trump thanked his legal team and members of Congress "who stood proudly for the Constitution."

Evan Vucci/AP

Former President Donald Trump is responding to Saturday's Senate vote acquitting him of an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection.

In a statement released shortly after the vote, the former president described the now concluded proceedings as part of a "witch-hunt" perpetuated against him by "one political party." But his statement ignored the fact that the vote against him was bipartisan, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats in the House to impeach and seven Republicans joining with Democrats in the Senate.

The 57-43 vote in the Senate, however, fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict.

Trump thanked his legal team as well as the representatives and senators who he said "stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country."

Absent from the statement was any direct mention of the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol building or any condemnation of the violence that occurred that day.

Trump did thank his supporters: "We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future."

"Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun," the statement read. "In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people," Trump said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks after the Senate voted 57-43 in former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. The chamber needed 67 votes for conviction. Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks after the Senate voted 57-43 in former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. The chamber needed 67 votes for conviction.

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Following Saturday's vote acquitting former President Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., excoriated Trump for his actions on the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling them a "disgraceful dereliction of duty."

But he said ultimately, he did not vote to convict the former president because of constitutional concerns.

"There's no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day," McConnell said shortly after the 57-43 Senate vote that ended in the former president's acquittal.

"The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president," he said, "and having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth."

McConnell rebuked Trump for his actions after the insurrection as well.

"He did not do his job. He didn't take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored," he continued.

"No. Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily — happily — as the chaos unfolded," he said. "Even after it was clear to any reasonable observer that Vice President Pence was in serious danger."

But McConnell said that the process of impeachment and conviction is a "limited tool" and that he believes Trump is not "constitutionally eligible for conviction."

"The Constitution gives us a particular role. This body is not invited to act as the nation's overarching moral tribunal," he said.

He said that the text of the question of constitutionality is "legitimately ambiguous" and that he "respects" his colleagues for reaching either the conclusion to acquit or convict.

Seven Republicans broke ranks with their party in voting for a conviction.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer acknowledged the group in separate remarks after the vote, saying, "I salute those Republican patriots who did the right thing. It wasn't easy. We know that."

The New York Democrat called Trump's actions on Jan. 6 a "textbook example" of an impeachable offense.

"Let it live on in infamy, a stain on Donald John Trump that can never, never be washed away," he said.

Michael van der Veen, defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump, gives closing arguments during Trump's second impeachment trial on February 13, 2021. Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael van der Veen, defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump, gives closing arguments during Trump's second impeachment trial on February 13, 2021.

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Former President Donald Trump's legal team called the impeachment process against their client "a complete charade from beginning to end," arguing that the "spectacle" was fueled by a partisan vendetta against the former president.

In his closing remarks, Michael van der Veen claimed Trump's words on the day of the Capitol insurrection were taken out of context.

"At no point did you hear anything that could ever possibly be construed as Mr. Trump encouraging or sanctioning an insurrection," he said. "The act of incitement never happened. He engaged in no language of incitement whatsoever on Jan. 6 or any other day following the election."

House managers had pointed to Trump's speech to supporters on Jan. 6, encouraging them to "fight like hell" and urging them to march to the Capitol where lawmakers were tallying electoral college votes.

Van der Veen referenced the disturbing footage of the riot that House impeachment managers presented during their arguments, but denied that Trump was to blame for the violence of his supporters.

"No matter how much truly horrifying footage we see of the conduct of the rioters, and how much emotion has been injected into this trial, that does not change the fact that Mr. Trump was innocent of the charges against him," he said.

He sought to draw parallels between Democratic lawmakers' support of protests over police brutality and racial protests last summer, arguing that Democrats "want two different standards, one for themselves and one for their political opposition."

Many Democratic leaders, including then-candidate Joe Biden, condemned the looting and violence that occurred around the protests.

Van der Veen reiterated one of the defense team's central arguments: that a president no longer in office can not be impeached, a claim disputed by many constitutional scholars.

He also argued that Trump's due-process rights were violated and that his speech is protected under the First Amendment.

"They have carried out a grossly unconstitutional effort to punish Mr. Trump for protected First Amendment speech. It's an egregious violation of his constitutional rights," he said. "It is an unprecedented action with the potential to do grave and lasting damage to both the presidency, and the separation of powers and the future of democratic self government."

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., had spent a good deal of his arguments this week claiming that as a president, not all of his words are, in fact, protected as free speech.

"They present President Trump as merely, like a guy at a rally expressing a political opinion that we disagree with and now we're trying to put him in jail for it," he said earlier this week. "That has nothing to do with the reality of these charges or his constitutional offense."

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney arrives at the Capitol for the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Saturday. Romney was one of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict. Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Republican Sen. Mitt Romney arrives at the Capitol for the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Saturday. Romney was one of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict.

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Former President Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial ended Saturday with his acquittal by senators, who were acting as jurors in the proceeding.

Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict Trump, but support from 67 senators — or two-thirds of the chamber — would have been required for a conviction.

The Republicans in favor of conviction were: Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Trump faced a single impeachment charge, incitement of an insurrection, for his role in urging a mob to attack the Capitol complex on Jan. 6.

The trial ended in just five days, with both sides choosing not to use the full time allotted by the agreed-upon trial rules. The trial briefly appeared headed toward introducing witnesses on Saturday, before an agreement between the defense and House managers avoided prolonging the process.

Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House last month a week after the insurrection, and just days before he left the White House.

See the vote tally from Saturday below.

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Former President Donald Trump was impeached for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while lawmakers were certifying the Electoral College votes in his election loss. Jon Cherry/Getty Images hide caption

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Former President Donald Trump was impeached for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while lawmakers were certifying the Electoral College votes in his election loss.

Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The U.S. Senate on Saturday acquitted former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection.

The acquittal comes more than a month after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were counting the electoral results that certified Trump's loss. Five people died in the riot, including a police officer. Two other officers later killed themselves.

A majority of senators voted to convict Trump — 57 to 43, including seven Republicans. But two-thirds, or 67 votes, was needed to convict. It was the second time Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial.

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The seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump on Saturday were: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Trump is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House twice, and the first to be tried for impeachment after leaving office.

The verdict closes the book on this Trump presidency, though the Senate, by not convicting and barring him from holding public office in the future, left open the possibility that Trump, a 74-year-old Republican, could run again for president.

The impeachment managers argued that beyond Trump's comments on Jan. 6, he laid the groundwork with two months of false claims of widespread election fraud and years of tolerating, condoning and encouraging violence. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

In a narrowly divided Senate, the outcome of the trial, which lasted a little less than a week, was largely expected, though it very nearly was extended potentially by weeks. Impeachment managers began Saturday with a surprise, saying they had decided to call a witness, Washington Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.

After the defense rested Friday, Herrera Beutler issued a statement detailing — again — that Trump had gotten into a shouting match with Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy during the riot, telling him, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

The Senate then voted to allow witnesses, and Trump's lawyers threatened to call dozens. Both sides eventually agreed to enter Herrera Beutler's statement into the record and move on.

The heart of Trump's legal team's argument was supposed to be that the Senate did not have jurisdiction to take up the trial of a former federal official. That was certainly part of it and was a message that resonated with the overwhelming majority of GOP senators.

In a vote on the first day of the trial, for example, 44 Republicans voted to say it was unconstitutional for the Senate to try a president after he left office. That's despite a 145-year-old precedent in which the Senate voted that it was constitutional to try a former Cabinet official for impeachment.

The constitutionality argument allowed many Republican senators to sidestep the merits of the case against Trump. That's even though the lead impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., on Thursday closed his side's arguments by imploring senators that the constitutionality of the trial had been resolved by the earlier vote.

Trump's lawyers, however, did not stick to a narrow constitutional argument. Instead, they accused Democrats of using the impeachment process for partisan gain and of trying to disenfranchise the people who voted for Trump's reelection. The defense declined to provide evidence of what the president knew about the violence, when he knew it and what he did about it.

The Democratic House impeachment managers argued that the former president, who addressed a rally outside the White House ahead of the insurrection, was "singularly responsible" for the violence on Jan. 6.

They relied, in large measure, on video to prove their case, including never-before-seen Capitol security footage. The videos showed on the Senate floor during what was an, at times, emotional trial brought back the vivid images of the Capitol violence to the very place it happened.

The video demonstrated how close rioters came to then-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress. And the impeachment managers argued that the video showed clearly that the mob of pro-Trump supporters was there for the president, and many believed they were there at the president's behest.

The impeachment managers, however, made a broader case than Trump's comments on Jan. 6. They argued that Trump laid the groundwork for false grievance on the part of his supporters with two months of baseless claims of widespread election fraud that cost him the election and years, in fact, of tolerating, condoning and encouraging violence.

Trump's lawyers largely sidestepped Trump's false claims of election fraud. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked during the question-and-answer session: "Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a big lie, or in your judgment did Trump actually win the election?"

Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen shot back, "My judgment? Who asked that?"

"I did," Sanders replied.

"My judgment is irrelevant," van der Veen said.

"You represent the president of the United States!" Sanders yelled back before Sen. Patrick Leahy, the presiding officer, gaveled the chamber back to order.

Trump's rhetoric about widespread fraud and a stolen election was false, dismissed by many courts stemming from dozens of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and allies across several key states.

Trump's legal team also argued that his Jan. 6 rally speech was protected by the First Amendment, a contention that impeachment managers labeled ludicrous. This, after all was an impeachment trial, not a criminal proceeding. An impeachment trial is a political process intended to judge whether an official was upholding their oath of office and a standard of conduct.

With his second acquittal, Trump now plots his next steps in political and public life. Yet he is also contending with potential legal trouble stemming from a New York grand jury investigation and a newly announced criminal probe in Georgia.

That's in addition to Trump's mounting debt and devalued assets. The former president's net worth also dropped $1 billion in early 2020, according to Forbes.

Trump has been able to spin difficulties in his business and personal life before, and the country waits to see if has a next, and perhaps final, act.

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., delivered his closing arguments on the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., delivered his closing arguments on the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.

Handout/Getty Images

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

In closing arguments on day five of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, House managers argued Trump was solely responsible for inciting his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, threatening the safety of lawmakers and democracy itself.

"It's now clear beyond doubt that Trump supported the actions of the mob," lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin said on the Senate floor.

"He must be convicted," said the Maryland Democrat. "It's that simple."

Speaking to reporters after the Senate voted 57-to-43 to acquit Trump, Raskin called the trial the "most bipartisan presidential impeachment in the history of the United States."

"Trump stormed our house with the mob he incited, and we defended our house. And he violated our Constitution, and we defended the Constitution," Raskin told reporters.

Raskin referenced remarks from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasting the president for his actions on Jan. 6 as proof that House impeachment managers had been successful in making their case.

"[McConnell] just went to the floor, essentially to say that we made our case on the facts, that he believed that Donald Trump was practically and morally responsible for inciting the events of Jan. 6th, "Raskin said. "He described it as we did, as a disgraceful dereliction of duty, a desertion of his office."

The arguments

Raskin and House managers recapped their arguments from earlier this week, using footage of Trump and his supporters to build the case that Trump knowingly misled his supporters to believe that the Nov. 3 election was fraudulent and weaponized their anger and disappointment to breach the Capitol.

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., noted how Trump declined to testify before the Senate.

"I would insist on [testifying] if I were accused of a grave and serious crime that I was innocent of," he said. "I would demand the right to tell my side of the story."

Cicilline referenced a tweet from Trump on the day of the insurrection, noting his disappointment that then-Vice President Mike Pence wouldn't intervene to stop the tallying of the Electoral College votes.

"The undisputed facts confirm that not only must President Trump have been aware of the vice president's danger, but he still sent out a tweet attacking him, further inciting the very mob that was in just a few feet of him inside of this very building," Cicilline said.

The safety of Pence, and the assertion that Trump willfully did not act swiftly and decisively enough to protect his own vice president, was a point that was repeated throughout the closing arguments.

"When the vice president of the United States escaped a violent mob that entered this Capitol building, seeking to hang him and calling out 'traitor, traitor, traitor,' when they shut down the counting of the electoral college votes, is this the future you imagine for our kids?" Raskin asked.

Raskin used the closing argument to push back against the defense's claim that Trump's actions after the insurrection began aren't relevant.

Impeachment manager Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., played a video montage of Trump repeating the false claim that the election had been rigged.

"This was not one speech. This was a deliberate, purposeful effort by Donald Trump over many months that resulted in the well-organized mob attack on Jan. 6," she said.

Manager Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado rebutted the defense's argument that Trump has been denied due process.

"We had a full presentation of evidence, adversarial presentations, motions. The president was invited to testify. He declined. The president was invited to provide exculpatory evidence. He declined. You can't claim there's no due process when you won't participate in the process," he said.

He noted that impeachment is separate and distinct from the criminal justice system.

"Why would the constitution include the impeachment power at all, if the criminal justice system serves as a suitable alternative once a President leaves office?" he asked. "It wouldn't."

Neguse also sought to address an allegation raised by defense attorneys, that the impeachment trial was rooted in hate. He turned to a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

"This trial is not born from hatred," said Neguse. "Far from it. It's born from love of country. Our country. Our desire to maintain it. Our desire to see America at its best."

On Saturday morning, senators voted to hear from Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler as a witness in the impeachment trial. Later, an agreement allowed a statement by her into the record without calling her. Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Saturday morning, senators voted to hear from Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler as a witness in the impeachment trial. Later, an agreement allowed a statement by her into the record without calling her.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump won't be hearing from witnesses after all.

After a two-hour break in the trial following a Senate vote to allow for witnesses, House managers and Trump's attorneys agreed to stipulate that a statement released Friday by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., could be entered into the trial record. The deal averted a showdown between the two sides over whether to call Herrera Beutler and possibly many other witnesses — a development that could have delayed the trial's conclusion and the Senate's other business for weeks.

In her statement, Herrera Beutler related a conversation she had with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., about a call he had with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.

"When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot," the statement reads, "the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol. McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters.

That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,' " she said.

That statement is now a part of the record, and the Senate quickly moved on to closing arguments in the trial.

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and says he would like to subpoena Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. AP hide caption

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AP

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and says he would like to subpoena Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.

AP

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

The Senate voted Saturday morning to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, a move that was reversed a few hours later with a deal to allow a key statement into the record.

The vote on witnesses, which was 55-45, temporarily threw a wrench into the proceeding, which had been on a fast track to end, with many senators from both sides of the aisle anxious to put it behind them and move on.

House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., wanted to subpoena Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., about a conversation she had with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. In a statement released late Friday, Herrera Beutler said McCarthy told her that Trump said to the minority leader that the mob storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 was "more upset about the election than you are."

Raskin suggested deposing Herrera Beutler by Zoom for an hour. Trump attorney Michael van der Veen responded that if the Democratic House managers wish to call witnesses, he will need "over 100 depositions."

Five Republicans voted with Democrats — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who changed his vote to yes after initially voting no.

Van der Veen said he would oppose holding any depositions by Zoom, saying they should be "in person in my office in Philadelphia," drawing laughter from the Senate. "I haven't laughed at any of you," van der Veen responded.

Confusion on the floor

After the vote, the Senate ground to a halt, amid general confusion among senators about how to proceed from here.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., when asked whether he was expecting this, threw up his hands. "Shelby says he's seen three of these and this is the craziest," referring to Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby.

Before the deal was reached to avoid witnesses, an informal adviser to the Trump defense team dismissed the Democrats' move, saying there was a risk that it would drag out the trial for weeks, all so that they can depose a witness whose contribution was already made public in a press release.

Trump attorney Bruce Castor said his side would call "lots" of witnesses. Van der Veen threatened to call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Harris as witnesses.

A Trump aide was photographed with a list containing, it claimed, 301 witnesses (so far). Among them was Pelosi, Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a New York Times photographer, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser as well several of the House managers.

No witnesses were called in the first impeachment trial of Trump, but in the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, witnesses were deposed on video.

Michael van der Veen, lawyer for former President Donald Trump, walks to the Senate floor on the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial, which had been expected to wrap up Saturday. Jabin Botsford/AP hide caption

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Jabin Botsford/AP

Michael van der Veen, lawyer for former President Donald Trump, walks to the Senate floor on the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial, which had been expected to wrap up Saturday.

Jabin Botsford/AP

Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET

As more details emerge about a heated phone call between then-President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as rioters were storming the Capitol, some lawmakers are pushing for Trump's lawyers to more fully explain the president's actions that day.

A CNN report late Friday detailed an "expletive-laden phone call" in which McCarthy begged Trump to call off the rioters, while Trump said the rioters cared more about the election results than McCarthy did. Now some lawmakers have gone on the record to confirm the report and to press for more details by calling witnesses to testify.

"When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was anti fascist that had breached the Capitol," Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, said in a statement Friday. "McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.' "

Beutler, who was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, detailed the call to a local newspaper last month, but it was not raised earlier in the impeachment trial.

Commenting on the reported details of the phone call, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Trump's attorneys "may have crossed the line from BS to something more serious."

It's important to clear up what Trump knew about the danger facing the vice president and when he knew it, Whitehouse said. One way to "clear it up," Whitehouse suggested, would be to suspend the trial to depose McCarthy under oath and get facts — and perhaps the Secret Service could produce its communication with the White House regarding the safety of Vice President Mike Pence during the siege, he said.

Whitehouse also suggested deposing Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who has said that he told Trump that the Secret Service had evacuated Pence during the riot — meaning Trump had reason to know Pence was in danger.

"It is very troubling that the president's lawyers have yet to give an explanation as to why the president took no action when he saw the Capitol being breached," Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., told NPR's Weekend Edition. "To this date, he's really never condemned those that breached the Capitol, and never disavowed his association with these people."

Cardin said the facts aren't in dispute: The president promoted the fiction that the election was stolen. "We certainly would like to know why the president didn't take any action" to immediately stop the rioters on Jan. 6, "but I think we all can fill in the blanks unless the president wants to come forward and present that information, which the House managers have certainly requested."

Cardin, who was on the Senate floor at the time of the riots, said he hadn't realized "how close we came" to "the noise we heard in the hallways as we we were leaving the Capitol." The House's presentation drove home "how close we came to seeing personal harm or death to members of Congress and those that were in the Capitol that day."

Cardin said he "would really like to hear from the president as to why he left us at risk. Why he did not send in the National Guard?"

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is planning to acquit former President Donald Trump, a source familiar with his decision tells NPR. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is planning to acquit former President Donald Trump, a source familiar with his decision tells NPR.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will vote to acquit former President Trump, a source familiar with his decision tells NPR's Susan Davis.

The news comes as the Senate began Saturday morning debating whether to call witnesses in the impeachment trial.

Democrats need at least 17 Republicans in order to convict Trump. Although that number was never realistic, Democrats had hoped to peel of some GOP senators to vote to convict Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. McConnell had reportedly told his colleagues to vote their conscience in the trial.

As recently as Jan. 13, when the House impeached Trump, McConnell told his GOP colleagues he "had not made a final decision" about how he would vote in the Senate trial.

The Kentucky Republican harshly criticized Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot, noting: "The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Still, he voted twice to say the Senate did not have the authority to try a former president.

Listen to special coverage of the trial

Bruce Castor, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is pictured on a break in the third day of the Trump's impeachment trial at the Capitol. Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Bruce Castor, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is pictured on a break in the third day of the Trump's impeachment trial at the Capitol.

Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Updated on Saturday at 6:22 p.m. ET: Special coverage of the trial has ended.

The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump of the charge of inciting an insurrection on Saturday.

The Senate voted to allow witnesses earlier Saturday, only to reverse course just a few hours later, avoiding what could have turned into days or even weeks of further proceedings.

Reports about what Trump might have known about — and how he responded to — the danger to Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers during the riot led the House impeachment managers to initially seek at least one witness.

The Senate began Trump's second impeachment trial on Tuesday, hinged on the charge that he incited a deadly mob to storm the U.S. Capitol last month.

The historic second trial comes just a month after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that left five people, including a police officer, dead. Two additional police officers who responded to the scene have died by suicide since.

The House managers acting as the prosecution in the trial blamed Trump for stoking the crowd and directly endangering hundreds of lawmakers.

Trump's defense has been that his remarks ahead of the riot should be protected under the First Amendment and that the impeachment effort itself is flawed and highly partisan.

This story originally published on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.

Former President Donald Trump's attorneys, including Bruce Castor Jr. (left) and David Schoen, offered their impeachment case defense on Friday. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images hide caption

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Former President Donald Trump's attorneys, including Bruce Castor Jr. (left) and David Schoen, offered their impeachment case defense on Friday.

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Updated on Saturday at 6:20 p.m. ET: The video for this event has ended.

Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial came to a close on Saturday, with Democrats falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the former president.

The final vote was 57 to 43. Seven Republicans joined with all of the chamber's Democrats and independents to vote to convict.

Trump faced a single impeachment charge, incitement of an insurrection, for his role in urging a mob to attack the Capitol complex on Jan. 6.

The Senate began the trial Tuesday, a little more than a month after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Senators voted 56-44 that the trial was in fact constitutional, even though Trump has already left office.

The House of Representatives voted on Jan. 13 to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection with just a week left in his term, charging that he caused the riot that endangered hundreds of lawmakers and left five people dead, including a police officer. Two more police officers killed themselves in the days following the riot.

Trump has denied responsibility for stoking the mob on Jan. 6. His lawyers claim that he did not encourage unlawful acts and that his comments to supporters that day are protected by the First Amendment. They also argue that he should not be on trial at all, as he is no longer president — though many constitutional experts disagree.

As Congress began counting the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, Trump called for his supporters to walk to the Capitol in protest of the election results. Trump falsely claimed the election had been "stolen," despite his clear loss to now-President Biden.

"You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated," he said. "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."

Hours later, multiple people were dead, the Capitol building was in a state of chaos, and still, Biden's election victory was certified by Congress.

House impeachment managers dissected those remarks and others made by Trump in the months prior to argue that his false election claims laid the groundwork for the violence far before that particular rally.

This page was originally published on Tuesday at 11:26 a.m. ET.

Michael van der Veen, lawyer for former President Donald Trump, departs through the Senate Reception room on the fourth day of the Senate Impeachment trials for former President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill. Jabin Botsford/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Jabin Botsford/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Michael van der Veen, lawyer for former President Donald Trump, departs through the Senate Reception room on the fourth day of the Senate Impeachment trials for former President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill.

Jabin Botsford/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is all over but the closing arguments. They are taking place Saturday, and the Senate could render a verdict as early as Saturday afternoon.

Despite a compelling and extensive case made by the Democratic impeachment managers, the outcome still seems predetermined. Trump is likely to be acquitted because not enough Republicans will side with Democrats for the two-thirds majority needed to convict — though a majority, including a handful of Republicans, are poised to do so.

This week was revealing, however. Here are five things we learned:

1. When the chips are down, grievance and partisanship are still the GOP's go-tos

Trump's defense took aim at Democrats with cries of partisan targeting.

It was, for lack of a better phrase, very Trumpy. Trump's defense largely set aside what was expected to be a narrow constitutional argument that a former president could not be tried for impeachment.

Instead, perhaps predictably, there was a healthy dose of angry whataboutism — with videos repeatedly showing Democrats using the word "fight" (despite its lack of relevance to Trump's culpability to the violence Jan. 6); the First Amendment was leaned on to say Trump had a right to say whatever he wanted (despite an impeachment trial not being a criminal proceeding but one to determine whether a president upheld his oath and a standard of conduct); and they even invoked "cancel culture" four times.

Making the argument this way was a choice. There were enough Republican senators who would have gone along with Trump's acquittal solely based on the narrow constitutional argument. But they still opted to go this route, which may have been an attempt to save and defend Trump's legacy — and to solidify his place as the head of the party.

2. The outcome is what it is, as a former president might say

Despite senators, at times, appearing to be moved by powerful videos they saw, and the praise many of them had for the Democratic impeachment managers, few, if any, additional Republicans (other than the handful expected) seemed moved to convict.

The Trump defense's approach likely worked with the overwhelming majority of Republican senators because they've been down this road before in the Trump years and have muscle memory to dismiss inquiries and criticism of the former president as a hoax or witch hunt or scam.

The outcome has always been somewhat preordained, which is why the Trump team only took a few hours of their allotted 16 to make their rebuttal.

3. There are still a lot of questions about what Trump did and didn't do

Regardless of the fact that Trump is likely to be acquitted, there are still open questions about what Trump did or didn't do, knew or didn't know behind the scenes that day that could haunt him beyond this trial.

Trump's defense said Trump didn't know the danger Vice President Mike Pence was in — despite GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, one of the most pro-Trump states in the country, confirming that he talked to the president on Jan. 6 and told him of the danger before Trump sent a tweet disparaging Pence.

In all of this, Pence was a target — because of Trump — for doing his constitutional duty to preside over the usually ceremonial counting of certified presidential election results from the states.

Trump's team not only denied that happened, it refused to answer what actions Trump took to make the violence stop. One of his lawyers, Michael van der Veen, went so far as to say, "It's not our burden to bring any evidence at all" and blamed Democrats for not doing an investigation to get the information.

Trump's lawyers also denied the impeachment managers' pretrial request for Trump to testify — under oath.

4. New evidence showed how much danger lawmakers were in

Democrats presented a new, not previously seen before, video that clearly moved and disturbed many senators.

Utah Republican Mitt Romney said he hadn't realized just how close he was to the mob when he was shown on video running after being turned around by Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman.

Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, gave a harrowing account Friday night of her own close brush. "They were pounding on our door and trying to open it, and my husband sat with his foot against the door, praying that it would not break in," she said on PBS NewsHour. "I was not safe. It was a horrific feeling, and it lasted for a long time."

The outcome may be predetermined, but what was shown gave a fuller context of what happened Jan. 6 — for history.

5. Americans could have a new standard for their leaders in the future

Trump's behavior as president has grated against what was previously acceptable behavior from a president — belittling, acting confrontational and stoking cultural and racial division.

Trump used to joke that he could be so presidential, and we'd all be so bored. That was an acknowledgment that the way he was acting wasn't "presidential;" it wasn't the accepted view of what a president should be. That lasted throughout his presidency, culminating in his refusal to concede and the lack of a peaceful transfer of power, which had distinguished the United States from far-less-free countries around the world.

Trump's defense had argued that convicting Trump would set a new, too-low bar for impeachment — one that Democrats could get caught up in next.

But Democrats warned that if Republicans continued to remain steadfastly against Trump's conviction, it would be essentially giving a "green light" for future odious conduct from presidents.

With Trump's likely acquittal on the horizon, lead Democratic impeachment manager Jamie Raskin summed up the danger this way:

"They [Trump's lawyers] are treating their client like he is a criminal defendant. They are talking about 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' They think we are making a criminal case here. My friends, the former president is not going to spend one hour or one minute in jail, but this is about protecting a Republic and articulating and defining the standards of presidential conduct. And if you want this to be a standard for totally appropriate presidential conduct going forward, be my guest. But we are headed for a very different kind of country at that point."

The fact is American politics is at a volatile moment. Look no further than what's happened in Georgia over the last few months. The same state that gave Congress a conspiracy believer who harassed a mass-shooting survivor also saw Democrat Joe Biden win the state in the presidential election and two Democrats win Senate races there that gave Democrats control of Congress.

There's no telling what happens next.

A security video shows then-Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated as rioters breach the Capitol on Jan. 6. Senate Television via AP hide caption

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Senate Television via AP

A security video shows then-Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated as rioters breach the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Senate Television via AP

What former President Donald Trump knew of the safety of his vice president, Mike Pence, when Trump disparaged Pence during the Capitol insurrection was a key question in Day 4 of Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

In the trial's question-and-answer session Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, asked whether Trump knew that Pence was being evacuated from the Capitol as the former president composed a tweet condemning Pence for not having the "courage" to stop then-President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

"When President Trump sent the disparaging tweet at 2:24 p.m., was he aware that the vice president had been removed from the Senate by the Secret Service for his safety?" Romney asked.

Pence was presiding over the Senate as it counted the electoral votes.

House Democratic managers stressed in their presentation how close a mob of Trump supporters got to Pence, and that some rioters had yelled, "Hang Mike Pence." Managers' reconstructed timeline of the events also included Trump's tweets throughout Jan. 6.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the lead impeachment manager, was first to respond to Romney's question. He noted the events of Jan. 6 were broadcast on live television and on the radio, saying Trump had to know that the rioters had already breached the building and were armed with weapons, and that the police were outnumbered.

"Here are the facts that are not in dispute," Raskin said. "Donald Trump had not taken any measures to send help to the overwhelmed Capitol police. As president, when you see all of this going on and the people around you are imploring you to do something, and your vice president is there, why wouldn't you do it?"

Raskin also noted remarks by Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who has told reporters that he spoke to Trump over the phone as the mob began ransacking the Capitol. During their brief conversation, Tuberville said he told the former president that Pence had been evacuated from the chamber moments earlier.

"Sen. Tuberville specifically said that he told the president, 'Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I've got to go,' " Raskin said.

That conversation took place shortly after 2 p.m., Raskin noted.

Trump's lawyers on Friday pushed back on the impeachment managers' account.

"At no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger," Michael van der Veen argued, adding that there is "nothing at all in record on this point." Van der Veen also accused the House impeachment managers of failing to do their due diligence on this issue.

"What the president did know is that there was a violent riot happening at the Capitol," van der Veen said. "That's why he repeatedly called via tweet and via video for the riots to stop, to be peaceful, to respect Capitol police and law enforcement and to commit no violence and go home."

But van der Veen's argument left senators with additional questions.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who says he is undecided on whether he'll vote to convict Trump, asked for more details regarding Tuberville's account of the call with Trump and his tweet railing against Pence.

"Does this show that President Trump was tolerant of the intimidation of Vice President Pence?" Cassidy asked.

But again, van der Veen disputed the sequence of events, calling discussion of Tuberville's call "hearsay."

"I have a problem with the facts in the question because I have no idea," van der Veen responded.

Cassidy told reporters later that he didn't think his question got a good answer.

Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, hailed by many for his heroism during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, participates in a the dress rehearsal for Inauguration Day. Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, hailed by many for his heroism during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, participates in a the dress rehearsal for Inauguration Day.

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The Senate has voted unanimously to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman with a Congressional Gold Medal, the institution's highest civilian honor, for his actions to protect the Congress during the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Goodman was greeted in the Senate chamber on Friday with a standing ovation for his actions, which have been praised on both sides of the aisle as heroic and likely life saving.

Prior to this week's Senate impeachment hearings, Goodman was already being praised as a hero for steering a mob of pro-Trump extremists away from the Senate chamber on the day of the insurrection. This week, House impeachment managers unveiled previously unseen footage that showed Goodman also redirecting Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican critic of former President Trump, away from an approaching swarm of rioters.

"By redirecting violent rioters away from the Senate chamber on January 6th, Officer Goodman defended our democracy and saved the lives of senators and staff," Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said in a statement.

"He is wholly deserving of the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress, and I'm glad the Senate acted quickly on our legislation to recognize the quick thinking and bravery of this great Marylander with a Congressional Gold Medal. I urge my colleagues in the House to quickly follow suit."

Impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., walks through the first floor of the Senate during a break in the Senate impeachment trial. Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., walks through the first floor of the Senate during a break in the Senate impeachment trial.

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Responding to a question about the long-term message of the impeachment, Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett talked about the emotional impact of seeing Black women's images used during Trump attorney's defense of the former president, highlighting the racial and gender disparities in the fight for equality.

"The defense council put a lot of videos out in their defense, playing clip after clip of Black women talking about fighting for a cause or an issue or a policy. It was not lost on me as so many of them were people of color, and women, Black women. Black women like myself who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children. Your children," Plaskett said.

Earlier in the day on Friday, Trump's defense attorneys spent a great deal of their closing arguments accusing Democrats of hypocrisy over their support of last summer's protests for racial justice. In doing so, his team played video footage from the summer protests, zeroing in on the relatively rare instances of violence and looting that occurred during the demonstrations.

"This summer things happened that were violent, but there were also things that gave some of us Black women great comfort. Seeing Amish people from Pennsylvania standing up with us. Members of Congress fighting up with us," Plaskett said.

"And so I thought we were past that. I think maybe we're not."

Trump and Republicans spent last summer condemning the protests as violent, despite the largely peaceful nature of the demonstrations. The summer uprising was sparked by the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two Black people killed in separate events by police.

"There are long-standing consequences. Decisions like this that will define who we are as a people. Who America is," Plaskett said, urging the Senate to convict Trump on the count of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

"History will wait for our decision."

An attorney for former President Donald Trump on Friday sought to justify the Republican's previous attempts to overturn Georgia's election results. Go Nakamura/Getty Images hide caption

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An attorney for former President Donald Trump on Friday sought to justify the Republican's previous attempts to overturn Georgia's election results.

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Donald Trump's legal team on Friday sought to justify the propriety of a phone call he made to Georgia election officials, an action that is now part of criminal probe into the then-president's actions in the state.

Early last month, Trump called the Georgia secretary of state and pressured him to "find" enough ballots to push Trump to victory there. Trump lost the state narrowly.

Democratic impeachment managers have pointed to the Georgia phone call and Trump's broader efforts to overturn the election as part of the circumstances that led to the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

But Trump attorney Bruce Castor disputed the central claim about the call.

"House managers told you that the president demanded that the Georgia secretary of state 'find' just over 11,000 votes," Castor said. "The word 'find,' like so many others the House managers highlighted, is taken completely out of context.

"It is clear that President Trump's comments and the use of the word 'find' were solely related with the inexplicable, dramatic drop in Georgia's ballot rejection rates," Castor said, before launching into an argument on the interpretation of the word "find."

Trump has faced stinging criticism for his attempts to undermine Georgia's election results — a state he had counted on to secure a second term in the White House. Particularly, Trump pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the state's results and, when rebuffed, launched an online campaign against the state's election officials, accusing them, without evidence, of ignoring voter fraud.

The Fulton County district attorney's office earlier this week announced an investigation into Trump's conduct in attempting to overturn Georgia's election results.

The investigation will look into several potential violations of state law, including "the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election's administration."

Trump Impeachment Aftermath: Updates

The Senate acquits the former president for inciting insurrection