WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate voted to acquit former President Trump of charges that he incited the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, failing to reach the two-thirds margin necessary with a vote of 57-43. Even though a majority of House lawmakers rightly voted to hold Trump accountable for his actions, the Senate failed to reach the two-thirds margin necessary for conviction.
Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the SPLC Action Fund, issued the following statement in response.
“Today’s vote failed to convict former President Trump showing the true cowardice and recklessness of those Senate Republicans who voted against the charges. For months, the former president repeatedly claimed that the 2020 election was fraudulent, despite a mountain of evidence disproving these accusations. Then, in hopes of usurping our democratic process and clinging to power, he called his supporters to the Capitol and urged them to fight for him. The result was a vicious attack that left multiple people dead and many injured.
“If this isn’t an impeachable offense, nothing is. But rather than uphold their duty to the Constitution, a majority of Senate Republicans opted to bend to Trump’s will and avoid angering his supporters. In other words, they chose to score political points rather than protect the Constitution.
“The ramifications of this acquittal will extend well into the future and set an incredibly dangerous precedent for the future of our nation. Senate Republicans have essentially established that a president can mount a direct assault on the foundations of our democracy in his last few weeks in office and maintain their support. They have made a mockery of the very concept of accountability, and we will all pay a steep price for their selfish attempt to placate their supporters.
“As a result of this vote, there is no doubt that extremists, including white nationalists who attacked the Capitol, will be emboldened by the immunity that this vote grants to Trump and will continue to threaten the future of our democracy.”