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US Senate acquits Donald Trump

THE US Senate has acquitted Donald Trump in a historic second impeachment trial. Not enough senators voted the former president guilty of inciting the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

But while the guilty vote, 57-47, failed to reach twothirds of the number of senators, it amounted to a bipartisan rebuke of the former president with seven Republicans finding him guilty.

The trial opened with graphic video of the attempted insurrection and Trump’s own calls for a rally crowd to march to the iconic building and “fight like hell” against his reelection defeat.

The detailed and emotional presentation by Democrats was followed by meandering and occasionally confrontational arguments from the Trump defense team, which insisted that his remarks were protected by the First Amendment and asserted that he cannot be convicted as a former president.

The heavy emotional weight of the trial punctuates Trump’s enduring legacy, the first president to face impeachment trial after leaving office and the first to be twice impeached.

The Jan. 6 Capitol siege stunned the world as hundreds of rioters ransacked the building to try to stop the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, a domestic attack on the nation’s seat of government unlike any in its history. Five people died.

“That’s a high crime and misdemeanor,” declared Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., in opening remarks. “If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there’s no such thing.”

Senators rejected an effort by Trump’s allies to stop the trial, and instead affirmed the Senate’s authority under the Constitution to decide the case.

They voted 56-44 to confirm their jurisdiction, ruling that impeaching a president after he leaves office is constitutionally permissible. Six Republicans joined the Democrats