Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021

Donald Trump acquitted: What does acquittal mean for Trump’s future?

Donald Trump impeachment: Former President acquitted

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President Trump escaped punishment from charges levelled by the House of Representatives yesterday of inciting the January 6 Capitol riots. Democrats failed to secure the 67 votes needed to convict him, falling short by 10 with a 57-43 ruling. But the results defined the most bipartisan support behind conviction in US history.

What does acquittal mean for Trump’s future?

The House of Representatives held president Trump to account earlier this year when they voted to impeach him for “inciting” the deadly Capitol Hill riots on January 6.

They approved articles of impeachment before sending them to Congress’ upper chamber, where the prosecution and defence spent less than a week arguing their respective cases.

Senators effectively act as a jury at this stage in the proceedings, and ultimately decide the outcome.

They needed 67 votes to convict Mr Trump of his charges, as anything less of this supermajority is an acquittal.

Mr Trump had support from 43 Republican senators, with seven of his former colleagues against the GOP line.

As such, the Senate ultimately acquitted the president of his alleged wrongdoing.

The acquittal means they cleared him of his charges and declared him “not guilty”.

The implications of such a result may impact Democrats more than Mr Trump, as they have failed to block the former president from reclaiming power.

Should the majority have voted to convict, another Senate vote would have followed.

There, Senators could have barred Mr Trump from political office with an achievable simple majority.

But acquittal means the former president is free to run as a GOP nominee again in 2024.

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He hinted he has future political plans in a statement following yesterday’s ruling.

An unrepentant Trump branded the proceedings a “witch hunt” and vowed to continue his movement.

He said: “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!”

“We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future.”

What form his plans will take remains under wraps, but experts have already started speculating.

Some believe he is on course to recapture the GOP nomination in 2024, while others believe he may seek revenge.

Seven Republican senators voted to convict him, producing the most bipartisan vote to convict a president in US history.

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