Former president Donald Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial

In the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, the Senate majority voted to acquit with the vote being 57 guilty to 43 not guilty. Trump was tried on charges of incitement of insurrection following the January 6 attacks at the Capitol.

With charges of incitement of insurrection from the January 6 attacks at the capitol, former President Donald Trump has been acquitted by the Senate at his second impeachment trial.
According to social studies teacher Amanda Gale, the trial will go down in history for multiple reasons. Gale said that the main historical aspect of the trial is that the U.S. has never had a president impeached twice.
“In the previous two impeacment trials of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, the charges seemed to be more politically motivated, whereas this really was a major issue that happened,” Gale said.
The trials were held between February 9-13 and were led by arguments of impeachment and acquittal.
According to the Associated Press, seven republican Senators voted to impeach Trump. With the total amount of 57 guilty and 43 not guilty votes, Trump was acquitted, as two thirds of the Senate was needed for impeachment.
Social studies teacher Jennifer Duka said that there are several factors that went into the Senators’ votes. “Some disagreed with the fact that they were impeaching [Trump] when he is already out of office and I think there were others that were afraid of not getting reelected,” Duka said.
The process of the trial moved forward as the House of Representative brought up the charges in January. Following this, the Senate held the trial with witnesses and senators as jurors.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Pa. Senator Pat Toomey said “the [former] President has very badly damaged his reputation.” Tommey was one of the seven Republican Senators to vote guilty.
Pa. Democratic Senator Bob Casey also voted to convict Trump as guilty.
Duka said that the charges that were presented in the senate were recounted with video evidence from the January 6 attacks at the Capitol.
“By bringing the charges, [the Senate] recounted everything from video that happened that day, and it created a record for history,” Duka said.
Additional controversy arose from the trial as several Senators believed that the charges were unnecessary with the timing of the transition between Presidents.
President Joe Biden was Inaugurated on January 20 and the impeachment trial occurred in early February. At this point, Trump was no longer in office, which was a part of the defense’s argument.
The results of the impeachment trial bring questions of how the U.S. will move forward in the future.
Gale reflects on the trial as a whole within context of the past four years.
“We have never had a president like Donald Trump before. He wasn’t your typical politician,” Gale said. “[Trump was] someone in the presidency that the country and the system were not used to because he was outside of politics.”
Gale additionally said that the charges showed “a very deep partisan divide in the country.”
To Duka, the charges of the trial and the events that unfolded at the Capitol showed systematic fragility of the nation. “I think our democracy is fragile, and I think it showed how fragile our democracy is,” Duka said.