President Joe Biden confronted the acquittal of former President Donald Trump on Saturday by declaring that although Republican senators in the main did not vote against Trump, the “substance of the charge” that spawned the impeachment trial to his mind was “not in dispute.”
As Breitbart news reported, the Senate failed to clear the 67-vote barrier necessary to convict Trump of the charge 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).
Biden, who was at the Camp David presidential retreat when the decision came down, pointed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R-Ky.) who did not vote to convict Trump, as part of his statement in response.
“While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Biden said as he lamented what might have been, even as Trump was celebrating the outcome.
Former President Donald Trump celebrated his second impeachment acquittal after his Senate trial concluded on Saturday. https://t.co/MQDJxdFmg3
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 14, 2021
The president has remained largely silent on the impeachment process and trial to date, choosing his statement Saturday to lay out his observations.
“Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible’ for provoking the violence unleashed on the Capitol,” Biden continued, before going on to repeat his calls for unity to “end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of the nation.”
Trump was impeached on Jan 13 by the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
As Trump left the White House on January 20, successful impeachment could not therefore be used to remove him from power – but Democrats had hoped a conviction would rule him out of any future tilt at the highest office in the land.