Enough U.S. senators vote not guilty to acquit Trump

Unlike last year's impeachment trial of Trump in the Ukraine affair, a complicated charge of corruption and obstruction over his attempts to have the foreign ally dig up dirt on then-campaign rival Biden, this one brought an emotional punch displayed in graphic videos of the siege that laid bare the unexpected vulnerability of the democratic system.

They also argued the impeachment proceedings against the former president are merely a "politically motivated witch hunt" by the Democrats.

Additionally, one of the Democrat senators, Sheldon Whitehouse, has called on colleagues to pause the trial in the light of alleged new evidence on the case. If McConnell had made a decision to vote to convict he may have brought more of his colleagues over, but without his support, Trump is all-but-certain headed for a second acquittal.

In her statement, released via Twitter, Herrera Beutler said: "That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are'".

"This attack would not have happened without him", said House manager Stacey Plaskett, the delegate to the House of Representatives from the United States Virgin Islands' at-large congressional district. "They were provoked by the president and other powerful people". But the former president's lawyers are arguing that his speech was rhetorical and that he can not be held responsible for the mob.

The Trump defense team sought to rebut the core allegation against the former president: that the "insurrection" was the direct result of Trump's long history of incitement of violence that culminated in his January 6 speech, in which he urged his followers to "fight like hell" to stop Biden from becoming president.

It was the point hammered home by Bruce Castor, who insisted that Mr Trump was protected by the First Amendment.

Trump's lawyers accused Democrats of taking the president's words out of context in video clips and of hypocrisy.


"All robust speech should be protected, and it should be protected evenly for all of us", van der Veen said.

The conversation's focus will be on encouraging the former president to help the GOP take back the House and the Senate in 2022, Politico said.

Far from inciting violence, Mr Trump had pleaded for calm - his lawyers argued. The standard test requires in part that the speaker "explicitly or implicitly encourage the use of violence or lawless actions".

In closing arguments, lead defender Michael van der Veen emphasized an argument that Republican senators also embraced: that it was all a "phony impeachment show trial". The main "hero" of the trial, Donald Trump, announced a long time ago he would not be giving testimonies under oath.

Under the two rulings, Trump has "enhanced free speech rights" because "of the importance of political dialogue" for elected officials. Lisa Murkowski, referencing a widely panned first appearance by Trump's defense team earlier in the week.

Democrats, they said, were guilty of hypocrisy in pursuing Mr Trump given their stance on the Black Lives Matter protests a year ago. The trial came amid the searing COVID-19 crisis, and the Biden White House trying to rush pandemic relief through Congress.

The delay Saturday came as senators wanted to hear evidence about Trump's actions during the riot.

McConnell is the chambers most influential Republican and the longest-serving GOP leader ever, and a vote to acquit would leave the party locked in its struggle to define itself in the post-Trump presidency.

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