The U.S. Senate has wrapped up today the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump by voting 57-43 to acquit him. The trial required 67 guilty votes to convict Trump. Missouri U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, both Republicans, voted to clear Trump.
An article of impeachment accused Trump of provoking a violent mob of supporters that struck the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Five people died in the attack.
Blunt released the following statement after today’s vote:
“I said before this trial started that I believe the constitutional purpose for presidential impeachment is to remove a president from office, not to punish a person after they have left office. None of the arguments presented changed my view that this was an unconstitutional proceeding. Impeachment is not a tool that should be used to settle political scores against a private citizen,” says Blunt.
His vote comes after his comments on the CBS news show “Face the Nation” last month:
“I think the president’s decisions and his actions that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless. I said that very early in the evening on Wednesday, that this was a tragic day for the country and the president had some, had involvement in that,” he said. “My view would be what the president should do is now finish the last 10 days of his presidency. Now, my personal view is that the president touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again.”
This week, Hawley said Democrats are trying to silence half of America.
“This kangaroo court is about trying to delegitimize half the American electorate while Americans are suffering,” said. “In the depths of a pandemic, Democrats are pursuing an unconstitutional, political vendetta.”
Hawley has been heavily criticized for leading an attempt to challenge President Joe Biden’s election victory, citing voter fraud allegations that several courts have struck down. Some people blamed him for fueling the Trump mob that took over the Capitol.
Seven Republicans voted today to convict Trump – Sens. 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.
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