The Saturday acquittal of Donald J. Trump will head a chapter in American history books from now on, but many politicians believe that the story will have more twists and turns ahead.
Senate Republicans voted against convicting the ex-president by seeing that the acquittal would not cross the two-thirds mark enshrined in the law.
The GOP and the Democrats ended the enormous, historic match by a 57-43 vote, with the seven Republicans voting guilty.
The end of the impeachment trial came after a decision to forgo witnesses. That led to a lack of full accounting of the former president’s actions as the riots unfolded endangering the lives of lawmakers and former vice president Mike Pence.
The result underscored Trump’s continued grip on most Republicans despite the party loss of control of both the White House and Congress during his tumultuous tenure.
The news story was accompanied by several sidebars. Kevin McCarthy, whose district includes parts of Antelope Valley and Kern County, quarreled with Trump in a phone call when the Minority Leader in the House told the stubborn Trump he should demand a halt to the riot that crashed into the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6.
Trump’s reaction was to tell McCarthy, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
Trump is the only US president to have been impeached twice by the House, which last year handed down articles of impeachment for his attempts to pressure Ukraine in hopes of damaging his then-rival, Joe Biden, who would go on to defeat him in the 2020 presidential election.
In their closing arguments, the House managers highlighted Trump’s disregard for the safety of congressional leaders as well as Pence — and urged senators to convict “for the safety and security of our democracy and our people.”
House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin, D-Md., opened the day’s proceedings with an unexpected request to call Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., as a witness following reports of her account that Trump had refused the entreaties of McCarthy to call off the rioters.
Trump’s defense team had channeled the former president’s own combative style and embrace of falsehoods to claim, contrary to facts, that Trump never glorified violence during his presidency and that he consistently called for peace as the rampage at the Capitol unfolded.