The Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump Saturday of charges that he incited an insurrection on January 6.
The Senate voted 57-43, meaning that the chamber failed to clear the 67-vote threshold necessary to convict Trump of the charge that he incited an insurrection on January 6, when Congress was certifying the 2020 presidential election.
Seven Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection, including Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Ben Sasse (R-NE).
Today’s vote marks the second time that Trump has escaped conviction from the Senate after a House Democrat majority voted to impeach Trump. House Democrats voted to impeach Trump the first time, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Senate impeachment trial took a dramatic turn Saturday morning as the Senate voted to have additional witnesses testify. Five Senate Republicans, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) voted yes.
Senators wanted more information about a reported call between Trump and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). During the alleged call, which was first mentioned by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Trump said that the rioters cared more about election fraud than McCarthy did.
Trump defense attorney Michael van der Veen said that if Democrats want more witnesses, he needs to depose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – not by Zoom but in Philadelphia – and Vice President Kamala Harris. Van der Veen said he would need up to 100 depositions.
The Senate vote enraged many Republicans, such as Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Ernst, the Senate GOP vice chair, called the vote a “total, total shit show.”
She called the approval of additional witnesses a “tool of revenge” against the 45th president.
The Iowa conservative then promised that if Democrats wished to extend the impeachment trial against Trump, they will also drag out the trial. She also promised to block the consideration of potential nominees.
“If they want to drag this out, we’ll drag it out. They won’t get their noms, they won’t get anything,” Ernst said.
“Dems had agreed to know [sic] witnesses, then House Managers changed their mind this morning. Schumer blindsided. Pandemonium. They’re negotiating now to figure out next steps,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in a statement on Saturday.
However, the impeachment trial took an even more dramatic turn when the House Democrat impeachment managers and the Trump legal team struck a deal Saturday afternoon that would bypass additional witness testimony.
Trump’s acquittal allows for the Senate to focus on confirming additional nominees for Biden’s administration and passing a COVID relief package.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.