Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., attends a campaign event at the Herbert W. Best VFW Post 928 in Folsom, Pa., September 23, 2016. John McCain, R-Ariz., also attend in support of Toomey.
Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – In the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, seven Republican senators voted on Saturday to convict the 45th president.
Republican Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania voted to convict Trump alongside 48 Democrats and two senators who are independents.
The Senate acquitted Trump in a 57-43 vote on the charge of inciting insurrection for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Democrats needed 17 Republicans to join them to convict Trump.
The decision came after House impeachment managers reversed course and dropped a call for witnesses that would have delayed the verdict. The acquittal marks the end of a five-day impeachment trial.
Trump is the first president to be impeached and tried twice.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks during a news conference with a group of bipartisan lawmakers to unveil a COVID-19 emergency relief framework in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020.
Caroline Brehman | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
Trump’s defense team denied that the former president incited the attack and argued that the former president’s rhetoric was protected under the First Amendment. His lawyers also described the trial as unconstitutional since Trump was no longer president.
“Democrats were obsessed with impeaching Mr. Trump from the very beginning of his term,” Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen said in closing arguments.
“In short, this impeachment has been a complete charade from beginning to end. The entire spectacle has been nothing but the unhinged pursuit of a longstanding political vendetta against Mr. Trump by the opposition party,” he added.
Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland urged senators to consider what he described as “overwhelming,” “irrefutable” and “unrefuted” evidence during his closing remarks.
“This trial, in the final analysis, is not about Donald Trump. The country and the world know who Donald Trump is. This trial is about who we are,” Raskin said.