Donald Trump impeachment: Former President acquitted
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Senators voted to acquit Donald Trump yesterday in historic impeachment proceedings, which saw the ex-president fighting for his political career. They dismissed charges he “incited” deadly riots at Capitol Hill in January by a margin of 10, with 55 in favour and 45 against conviction. Democrats needed 67 to convict him, and Mr Trump released a statement denouncing their efforts as a “witch hunt” and vowing to develop his “vision”.
The former president, now banned from social media, released his statement via email, breaking an uncharacteristic silence.
The statement reads: “I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth.
“My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.
“Our cherished Constitutional Republic was founded on the impartial rule of law, the indispensable safeguard for our liberties, our rights and our freedoms.”
“It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.
“I always have and always will be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honourably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country.
“No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago.”
“I also want to convey my gratitude to the millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding, God-and-Country loving citizens who have bravely supported these important principles in these very difficult and challenging times.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.
“In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people.
“There has never been anything like it!”
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“We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future.
“Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
“We remain one People, one family, and one glorious nation under God, and it’s our responsibility to preserve this magnificent inheritance for our children and for generations of Americans to come.
“May God bless all of you, and may God forever bless the United States of America.”
Mr Trump has not yet revealed the form any plans would take, but speculation has already mounted over a 2024 race.
Although the Senate dealt the most bipartisan vote in impeachment history, most Republicans voted against impeachment.
Mr Trump could take this as approval for him to seek primary endorsement for a second term in four years.
But some senior Republicans may oppose such a move from the ex-president, given seven provided a very public indictment of his conduct yesterday.
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