Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in his historic second impeachment trial on Saturday, Feb. 13.
57 Senators — including 7 Republicans — voted to impeach the former president on incitement of insurrection charges stemming from the Capitol riots on January 6. 43 Republican senators voted to acquit.
67 votes are required for a conviction in the Senate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was shaken and outraged during a press conference following the vote to acquit. She lashed out at the GOP and called Republicans “cowards” for voting to acquit Trump.
“What we saw today was a cowardly group of Republicans,” Speaker Pelosi said.
Pelosi becomes the first House Speaker in U.S. history to launch two failed impeachment trials.
Many Americans voiced their frustration that the Democrats wasted taxpayer dollars and time on another impeachment trial when they should be working to help unemployed Americans.
On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who voted to acquit — said Trump “spent weeks” provoking riots in the Capitol, and “didn’t do his job” to stop the riots. He said Trump’s actions “were a disgraceful dereliction of duty.”
“There is no question, none that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. No question about it,” said McConnell, pictured with Pelosi on December 8, 2016.
McConnell hinted that Trump could still be tried for unknown offenses in the criminal justice system.
But Trump’s legal team countered that the same senators sitting in judgment of Trump spent months encouraging rioters last year.
Some senators who voted to convict Trump for a second time donated cash to a fund to bond rioters out of jail to continue their mayhem and destruction. Dozens of people lost their lives during the riots that caused billions of dollars in property damage last summer.
Earlier in the day, before closing arguments were set to begin, the Democrats changed the rules and decided to call witnesses to testify.
But Senate Democrats folded quickly when Trump’s legal team presented a list of 300 defense witnesses. Pelosi’s name was first on the list followed by D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser.
Trump’s lawyer, Michael Van Der Veen, planned to ask Pelosi and Bowser if they had advanced knowledge of a “planned attack” in Washington, DC on Jan. 6.
Van Der Veen said it’s “very clear that… House Democrats hate Donald Trump.”
The win was bittersweet for Van Der Veen, who told the press, “We demolished their case, and they were like a dying animal that we had trapped in the corner.”
Van Der Veen said the senators failed to prove the merits of their case.
But he choked back tears as he revealed the win came at a cost. He said his entire family received death threats, his home was attacked, and his business and law firm were under siege.
Trump released a statement following his second acquittal on Saturday. He thanked his “team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth” and he thanked “all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution…”
“It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.”
He concluded his statement by saying the movement to Make America Great Again is just beginning and that he “has so much to share with you” in the coming months.