Donald Trump acquitted: unsurprising outcome of an unprecedented trial

Donald Trump was acquitted on Saturday February 13 by the US Senate after his second impeachment trial. Fifty-three senators out of a hundred voted to condemn him, against 47 to acquit him. In this type of trial, where the Senate acts as a tribunal and the senators jurors, sixty-seven votes (two-thirds majority of the upper house), are required for a conviction of the president.

Go until the end

This vote marks the unsurprising end of a historic trial. Never has an American president been the subject of two impeachment procedures. It is also the first time that a former president was on the dock and that jurors were also the victims.

The billionaire was on trial for cheering on the siege of Capitol Hill on Jan.6, where several hundred of his supporters violently stormed the Congress building as Parliamentarians and Vice President Mike Pence were validating the results of presidential, contested by Donald Trump.

→ READ. United States: hundreds of indictments for pro-Trump attackers on Capitol Hill

Unlike the first trial, where only one Republican senator voted to convict the president, who was then accused of pressuring his Ukrainian counterpart to launch an investigation into Joe Biden, seven of the fifty Republicans in the Senate admitted this time around the guilt of the former tenant of the White House. No president targeted by such a procedure had been the subject of such a “bipartisan” conviction.

There was little doubt about the outcome of the trial. Before its opening, 45 Republican senators had indicated in a vote that they considered the procedure unconstitutional because it targeted a former president. But the Democrats in the House of Representatives, who initiated it, were determined to go all the way to dissuade future leaders from engaging in the same actions as Donald Trump.

Open door for a new application

Although very short (four days) and carefully avoided by Joe Biden, who did not want to get involved in this divisive procedure, the trial shed light on the events of January 6 through CCTV footage until then no disseminated. We saw in particular elected officials, including the vice-president, to be evacuated in a precipitous manner, sometimes very shortly before the intrusion of the rioters.

The images visibly moved some elected officials, for whom the memory of this day is still vivid. Five people died during the siege and two Capitol Hill police officers committed suicide in the days that followed.

→ ANALYSIS. How were the rioters on Capitol Hill betrayed by their phones?

Donald Trump’s lawyers took up the argument of the unconstitutionality of the trial and tried to downplay the actions and words of their client, accused of encouraging rioters at a rally on the same day and of delaying to call for calm. This acquittal leaves Donald Trump the door open to consider a new candidacy in 2024.

In a statement in which he welcomed the outcome of the trial, which he described as the “New phase of the biggest witch hunt in the history of our country “, He says to have” much to share in the coming months »With his supporters. “ We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we will soon emerge with a bright, radiant and limitless vision for the future of the United States. “.


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