Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in his historic second impeachment trial on Saturday, Feb. 13. The trial began on Feb. 9. and was the first Senate trial of a former president. Trump is the only president ever to be impeached twice.
Lawmakers weighed whether to convict Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The ultimate Senate vote was 57-43, with seven Republicans joining all Democrats in voting to convict Trump, but a two-thirds majority was needed to convict.
Here's what happened during each day of the five-day trial.
Editor's Note: Videos shown during the proceedings may contain profanity and violence.
Here's more on what happened on the fifth day of the trial:
- STORY: Senate Acquits Trump In Impeachment Trial — Again
- A majority of senators voted to convict Trump — 57 to 43, including seven Republicans. But two-thirds, or 67 votes, is needed to convict.
- Closing arguments in the trial concluded after about three hours, and the Senate held a roll call vote before issuing its verdict.
- Despite voting to allow for the calling of witnesses for both sides of the trial, the parties came to an agreement that allowed the trial to move forward with closing arguments, as was originally expected. Instead of calling her as a witness, House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin read into the trial record a statement by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler that recounted a conversation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about a heated call he had with then-President Trump on the day of the insurrection.
- About 20 minutes into Saturday's proceedings, House impeachment managers asked senators to vote on whether to allow witnesses for either side in the trial, and in a 55 to 45 vote, the vote passed. The vote was mostly along partisan lines, but five Republicans — including Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham — voted to allow for witnesses or further documents in the trial for either side.
- The move was unexpected, as it was widely believed a verdict might be given as early as Saturday. Raskin had asked the Senate to vote on witnesses to be able to subpoena Herrera Beutler about a conversation she had with McCarthy, in which McCarthy talked about a phone call he had with then-President Trump on the day of the Capitol attack.
- Before the agreement, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said if the Democratic house managers were to call witnesses, he would need "over 100 depositions" — a notion that threatened to significantly lengthen the timeline of trial.
- Before the proceedings began, it also became clear that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would vote to acquit former President Trump.
Here's more on what happened during the fourth day of the trial:
- Former President Donald Trump's lawyers on Friday began their defense in his Senate impeachment trial, with attorney Michael van der Veen calling it an "unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance" and a "politically motivated witch hunt."
- The defense showed clips of property destruction and violence alongside videos of Democratic lawmakers speaking in support of the demonstrations. In some protests for racial justice, sporadic looting and violence took place.
- Trump's legal team also sought to justify the propriety of a phone call he made to Georgia election officials, an action that is now part of criminal probe into the then-president's actions in the state.
Here's more on what happened during the third day of the trial:
Here's more on what happened during the second day of the trial:
- Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., opened the second day of impeachment proceedings by rejecting the defense's argument that former President Donald Trump's remarks at a rally prior to the Capitol attack are protected speech under the First Amendment.
- House impeachment managers showed chilling new footage to senators, highlighting just how close the violent mob got to former Vice President Mike Pence and congressional lawmakers on Jan. 6.
- Senators on both sides of the aisle were visibly affected by graphic and explicit new footage showing first-person perspective of the deadly riot.
Here's more on what happened during the first day of the trial:
- The Senate voted to go forward with the trial on a largely partisan vote of 56-44 with six Republicans breaking with their colleagues to join Democrats.
- The trial began with a jarring and graphic video of the riot at the Capitol.
- As NPR reports, Trump defense team attorney Bruce Castor Jr., a former prosecutor, gave a presentation that was hard to follow as it jumped from what appeared to be a stream-of-consciousness talk that ignored the constitutional issue at hand.
- Here's more from NPR on the major takeaways from Day 1 of the trial.
This article was originally published on February 09, 2021.
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