Biden, reflecting on Senate acquittal of Trump, says 'democracy is fragile'

Henrietta Brewer
February 14, 2021

Trump's acquittal raises questions about what's next for the 74-year-old former president, the Republican Party and President Joe Biden.

Senator Chuck Grassley, the Senate's most senior Republican, described Trump's language in a fiery speech to supporters just before the Capitol assault as "extreme, aggressive and irresponsible".

"Our historic, patriotic and lovely movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun".

If convicted, he could have been barred from holding office in the future, but this decision now paves the way should Trump want to run again - for another year at the White House in 2024. Burr and Toomey have said they will retire and not seek reelection when their terms expire next year, and Murkowski and Collins have histories of clashing with Trump over health care and other policies.

Capri Cafaro, executive in residence at American University in Washington and a former Democratic member of the OH state senate, said the acquittal could be a "rallying cry" for Trump and his backers. But the impeachment trial was not in vain, for it revealed the ugly truth: Trump knew lawmakers' lives were in danger from his violent supporters, and instead of helping the people's representatives escape harm, Trump scoffed.

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. He said he wouldn't vote against his own conscience "simply because it is politically convenient".

The vote split 57-43 in favor of convicting, but fell short of the two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, needed to find Trump guilty. Consider the way some state party organizations have reacted to members of Congress who voted their conscience in the impeachment process. "It doesn't belong to anyone else".

Trump was the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and is now the first president to be twice acquitted.

Tuberville's vote to acquit Trump of impeachment charges. "We have a criminal justice system in this country, we have civil litigation and former presidents are not immune from being [held] accountable by either one", he said.

"There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day", said McConnell, who along with the rest of the Congress and former Vice President Mike Pence fled the mob that descended on the Capitol on January 6.

"He went down a path he shouldn't have, and we shouldn't have followed him", Haley said in an interview with Politico magazine. "I don't think he can", she said. "But they may simultaneously make themselves more vulnerable to defeat in the general election".

Trump attorney Bruce Castor said his side would call "lots" of witnesses.

Nor is it clear that the Republican Party is ready to relinquish its connection with Trump.

Democrats show undisclosed security camera footage from riots during impeachment trial.

But Trump remains a force to be reckoned with.

Other reports by iNewsToday