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Trump acquitted for the second time

The former US president escaped a guilty verdict on Saturday after a historic trial before the US Senate, which tried him for his alleged role in the January 6 violence on Capitol Hill.

The former US president escaped a guilty verdict on Saturday after a historic trial before the US Senate, which tried him for his alleged role in the January 6 violence on Capitol Hill.

(AFP) – For the second time. Accused of “impeachment” for the second time in January, Donald Trump was acquitted. His successor, Democrat Joe Biden, said that despite the acquittal, the merits of the accusation were “not contested”, and asked his fellow citizens to defend democracy, which remains “fragile”.

The senators were a majority -57 out of 100- to vote for a conviction of the billionaire. But it would have taken two-thirds of the upper house (67 votes) to reach a guilty verdict which could have been followed by a sentence of ineligibility. The base of elected Republican officials has held, which shows the hold that Donald Trump retains on American politics.

But the Republican Party is emerging weakened from a streak that began in November with the contesting of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and which culminated with the events of the Capitol. “Our magnificent, historic and patriotic movement, Make America Great Again, is only just beginning”, reacted Mr. Trump in a statement, posing once again as the victim of a “witch hunt”.

For Donald Trump, this is the second acquittal in as many impeachment proceedings. A unique case in the history of the United States. In his first reaction to this verdict, the 74-year-old ex-president set a date for the future: “In the coming months, I will have a lot to share with you and look forward to continuing our incredible adventure for the greatness of America ”.

Trump, “huge problem”

Influential Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell perfectly embodies the unease of certain Republicans. As soon as the verdict was announced, the old politician has let his bitterness burst out. “There is no doubt, no, that President Trump is, in fact and morally, responsible for causing the events of that day” of January 6, he asserted. Supporting Donald Trump during the four years of his presidency, Mitch McConnell, 78, did not join his seven colleagues who voted for guilt.

For him, the Senate was not competent in an impeachment procedure, since the real estate mogul has left power. But the political message is clear. “Mitch McConnell feels that Donald Trump remains a huge problem for the Republican Party,” hammered Jamie Raskin, chief of the Democratic prosecutors. “Absurd” accusation for one camp, president who “betrayed” the Americans by supporting the rioters for the other: the lawyers of the Republican billionaire and the elected Democrats responsible for bringing the accusation fought during the five days of the trial punctuated by shocking videos retracing the events. The last day will also have been carried out with vigor. Then Patrick Leahy, elected Democrat who chaired the debates, solemnly declared: “Donald Trump is hereby acquitted”.

“It is time to complete this political masquerade,” thundered one of the lawyers of the 45th President of the United States, Michael van der Veen, during his short plea on Saturday. “To estimate, based on the clues you’ve seen, that Mr. Trump really wanted, and in fact deliberately stirred up an armed insurgency to overthrow the US government, would be absurd,” he said. Behind this accusation, there is especially the “fear” of seeing Donald Trump re-elected in 2024, he accused.

“Surly crowd”

Conversely, Donald Trump is for the Democrats the main responsible for the events of January 6, their “instigator”. It was he who by his diatribes would have aroused the invasion of the Capitol by his angry supporters, as the American Congress was preparing to confirm its defeat in the election of November 3. “It is now clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Trump supported the actions of the surly mob and he must therefore be condemned.

It’s that simple, ”Jamie Raskin said, during the almost two-hour long indictment. “When we most needed a president to protect and defend us, President Trump instead deliberately betrayed us. He violated his oath “to protect the country,” added one of the nine Democrats in the House of Representatives who brought the accusation, David Cicilline.

According to them, he “stoked the anger” of his supporters for months with a “big lie”: by presenting himself as the victim of a “stolen” election following “fraud” of which he never brought the evidence. Once the assault was underway, he waited long hours before calling on his supporters to “go home”. In all, five people died, and hundreds were injured or traumatized, they estimated.

On January 6, a crowd of demonstrators broke into the Capitol.

On January 6, a crowd of demonstrators broke into the Capitol.

Photo: AFP

The Democratic President of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, after a statement pointing to “one of the darkest days and one of the most dishonorable acts” in the history of the country, was furious in front of the press , by treating as “cowards” the Republican senators who had acquitted the ex-president. “We censor those who use paperwork for a bad purpose. We do not censor those who incite an insurgency that kills people in the Capitol, ”Ms. Pelosi also launched.

Joe Biden now hopes to enter a new phase of his start as president, rid of the awkward shadow of this trial which monopolized the media and Congress. His immediate priority is to see parliamentarians vote his plan to support the US economy, hit by the covid-19 pandemic, for $ 1.9 trillion, and to speed up the vaccination of Americans.


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