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CNN Live Event/Special
Trump Defense Team Delivers Impeachment Trial Closing Arguments; House Impeachment Managers Deliver Closing Arguments; Senate Votes On Whether To Convict Trump; Senate Votes To Acquit Trump. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 13, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL VAN DER VEEN, TRUMP DEFENSE LAWYER: The Washington, D.C. mayor said the presence of the National Guard was an affront to the safety of the district.
It must be fully investigated whether political leadership here in Washington, D.C. took an inadequate and irresponsible forced posture on January 6th because of their commitment to the false narrative of what happened last June. Hopefully, we can all now agree that the administration acted properly by taking action to stop a riotous mob, establishing an appropriate security perimeter, and prevent the White House from potentially being overrun.
The House managers argued this week that an alleged brief delay in issuing a public statement from Mr. Trump on January 6th was somehow evidence that he committed incitement or supported the violence. Yet for months last year, Joe Biden, Vice President Harris, and countless of other Democrats repeatedly refused to condemn the extremists, as riots were occurring daily, as businesses were being ramshackled, as neighborhoods were being burned, as bombs were exploding.
They repeatedly refused to tell their violent supporters to stand down. Some even suggested that the mob's actions were justified. Vice President Harris literally urged her followers to donate money to a fund to bail out the violent extreme rioters so that they could get out and continue to do it over and over again. She later said that those folks were not going to let up and that they should not.
All of this was far closer to the actual definition of incitement than anything President Trump's has ever said or done, never mind what he said on the 6th. It's a hypocrisy -- it's a hypocrisy that the House managers have laid at the feet of this chamber. The House managers suggested in this recent -- that this recent history is irrelevant to the current proceedings.
But not only is Democrats' behavior surrounding last year's riots highly relevant as precedent and not only does it reveal the dishonesty and insincerity of this entire endeavor, it also provides crucial context that should inform our understanding of the events that took place on January 6th.
Many of the people who infiltrated the Capitol took pictures of themselves and posted them on social media. To some, it seems, they thought that it was all a game. They apparently believed that violent mobs, destruction of property, rioting, assaulting police and vandalizing historic treasures was somehow now acceptable in the United States. Where might they have gotten that idea?
I would suggest to you that it was not from Mr. Trump. It was not Mr. Trump. It was not anyone in the Republican Party that spent the six months immediately prior to the Capitol assault giving rhetorical aid and comfort to mobs, making excuses for rioters, celebrating radicalism and explaining that angry, frustrated, and marginalized people were entitled to blow off steam like that.
Let me be very clear, there can be no excuse for the depraved actions of the rioters here at the Capitol or anywhere else across this country. 100 percent of those guilty of committing crimes deserve lengthy prison sentences for their shameful and depraved conduct. But this trial has raised the question about words, actions and consequences.
As a nation, we must ask ourselves, how did we arrive at this place where rioting and pillaging have become commonplace. I submit to you that it was month after month of political leaders and media personalities, bloodthirsty for ratings, glorifying civil unrest and condemning the reasonable law enforcement measures that are required to quell violent mobs.
Hopefully we can all leave this chamber in uniform agreement that all rioting, all rioting is bad and that law enforcement deserves our respect and support. That has been Mr. Trump's position from the very beginning.
The real question in this case is who is ultimately responsible for such acts of mayhem and violence when they are committed? House Democrats want two different standards, one for themselves and one for their political opposition. They have carried out a grossly unconstitutional effort to punish Mr. Trump for protected First Amendment speech. It's an egregious violation of his constitutional rights.
Since he uttered not a single word encouraging violence, this action can only be seen as an effort to censor speech disfavored political speech and discriminate against a disapproved viewpoint. It is an unprecedented action with a potential to do grave and lasting damage to both the presidency and separation of powers and the future of democratic self-government.
Yesterday, we played you a video of countless Democrat members of the Senate urging their supporters to fight. We showed you those videos not because we think you should be forcibly removed from office for saying those things but because we know you should not be forcibly removed from office for saying those things.
But recognize the hypocrisy. Yesterday, in questioning House Manager Raskin admitted that the House Democrats had invented an entirely new legal standard. In fact, they've created a new legal theory, the Raskin doctrine. The Raskin doctrine is nothing more than determining protected speech based on the party label next to your name. Regardless of what you have heard or what you have seen from the House managers, if you pay close attention, you will see that any speech made by Democrat elected officials is protected speech while any speech made by Republican elected officials is not protected.
The creation of the Raskin doctrine actually reveals the weakness of the House managers' case. Elected officials -- and we reviewed this in depth yesterday -- under Supreme Court precedent Wood and Bond -- by the way, Bond didn't burn his draft card. He actually still had it. It was part of his defense. But in Bond and in Wood, the court clearly directed all to know that elected officials hold the highest protections of speech, the highest protections.
And I remind you why, because you all need to be free to have robust political discussion because your discussion is about how our lives are going to go, and that shouldn't be squelched by any political party on either side of the aisle no matter who's the majority party at the time.
Why would the House managers make up their own legal standard? I'll tell you why. Because they know they cannot satisfy the existing constitutional standard set forth by the United States Supreme Court that has existed for more than half a century. They argue Mr. Trump as an elected official has no First Amendment rights. It's the complete opposite of the law. We've shown you without contradiction that is wrong.
They also know that they cannot satisfy the three-part test of Brandenburg, as elucidated in the bible-believer's case. There was absolutely no evidence that Mr. Trump's words were directed to inciting imminent lawless action.
There was no evidence that Mr. Trump intended his words to incite violence. And the violence was preplanned and premeditated by a group of lawless actors who must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but it proves that his words weren't what set this into motion, what was the incitement.
With no ability, no evidence to satisfy the constitutional standards, what are the House managers to do? They had to make up their own law. This is not only intellectually dishonest, folks, it's downright scary. What type of precedent would be set if the Senate vote to convict?
Can Congress now ignore Supreme Court precedent on the contours of protected free speech? Will Congress be permitted to continually make up their own legal standards and apply those new standards to elected officials' speech? This would allow Congress to use the awesome impeachment power as a weapon to impeach their fellow colleagues in the opposing party. This is not a precedent that this Senate can set here today. If the Senate endorses the House Democrats' absurd new theory, you will set a precedent that will trouble leaders from both parties literally for centuries to come. But that will not be the only disgraceful precedent to come from this case. This has been the most unfair and flagrantly unconstitutional proceeding in the history of the United States Senate.
For the first time in history, Congress has asserted the right to try and punish a former president who is a private citizen. Nowhere in the Constitution is the power enumerated or implied. Congress has no authority, no right, and no business holding a trial of citizen Trump, let alone a trial to deprive him of some fundamental civil rights.
There was mention of a January exception argument. The January exception argument is a creation of the House managers' own conduct by delaying. They sat on the article. They could have tried the president while he was still in office if they really believed he was in imminent threat. They didn't. The January exception is a red herring. It's nonsense because federal, state and local authorities can investigate. Their January exception always expires on January 20th.
House Democrats and this deeply unfair trial have shamefully trampled every tradition, norm and standard of due process in a way I have never, ever seen before. Mr. Trump was given no right to review the so-called evidence against him at trial. He was given no opportunity to question its propriety.
He was given no chance to engage in fact-finding. Much of what was introduced by the House was unverified, second or third-hand reporting cribbed from a biased news media, including stories based on anonymous sources whose identities aren't even known to them, never mind my client. They manufactured and doctored evidence, so much so that they had to withdraw it.
We only had -- we had the evidence after we started the trial. They went on for two days, so in the evening I was able to go back around take a really close look at the stuff. Myself and Mr. Castor and Ms. Bateman and Mr. Brennan, we all worked hard and looked at the evidence, four volumes of books in little tiny print.
And we started with literally 12, 14 hours to really look at the evidence before we had to go on. And just in that short time of looking at the evidence, we saw them fabricating Twitter accounts. We saw the masked man sitting at his desk with "The New York Times" there, and when we looked closely, we found that the date was wrong, the check had been added.
They fabricated evidence. They made it up. They never addressed that in their closing as though it was acceptable, as though it were all right, as though that's the way it should be done here in the Senate of the United States of America, fraud, flat out fraud.
Where I come from and the courts that I practice in, there are very harsh repercussions for what they pulled in this trial. As we've shown, the House managers were caught creating false representations of tweets manipulating videos and introducing into the record completely discredited lies, such as the fine people hoax as factual evidence.
Most of what the House managers have said and shown you would be inadmissible in any respectable court of law. They were not trying a case. They were telling a political tale, a fable and a patently false one at that. House Democrats have denied due process and rushed the impeachment because they know that a fair trial would reveal Mr. Trump's innocence of the charges against him. The more actual evidence that comes out, the clearer it is that this was a preplanned and premeditated attack, which his language, in no way, incited.
Because their case is so week, the House managers have taken a kitchen sink approach to the supposedly single article of impeachment. They allege that Mr. Trump incited the January 6th violence. They allege that he abused power by attempting to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger to undermine the results of the 2020 election, and they allege that he gravely endangered the democratic system by interfering with the peaceful transition of power. There are at least three things there.
Under the Senate rules, each of these allegations must have been alleged in a separate article of impeachment. I need not remind this chamber that rule 23 of the rules of procedure and practice in the Senate when sitting on impeachment trials provides in pertinent part that an article of impeachment shall not be divisible thereon.
Why is that? Because the article at issue here alleges multiple wrongs in the single article, it would be impossible to know if two-thirds of the members agreed on the entire article or just on parts of it as the basis for a vote to convict.
Based on this alone, the Senate must vote to acquit Mr. Trump. You've got to at least obey your own rules if it's not the Constitution you're going to obey. In short, this impeachment has been a complete charade from beginning to end. The entire spectacle has been nothing but the unhinged pursuit of a longstanding political vendetta against Mr. Trump by the opposition party.
As we have shown, Democrats were obsessed with impeaching Mr. Trump from the very beginning of his term. The House Democrats tried to impeach him in his first year. They tried to impeach him in his second year. They did impeach him in his third year.
And they impeached him again in his fourth year. And now they have conducted a phony impeachment show trial when he's a private citizen out of office.
This hastily orchestrated and unconstitutional circus is the House Democrats' final desperate attempt to accomplish their obsessive desire of the last five years. Since the moment he stepped into the political arena, my client -- since my client stepped in, they have been possessed by an overwhelming zeal to vanquish an independent- minded outsider from the midst of shame, demean, silence and demonize his supporters in the desperate hope that they will never, ever pose an electoral challenge. We heard one of the congressmen on the screen, if you don't impeach him, he might be elected again. That's the fear. That's what's driving this impeachment.
When you deliberate over your decision, there are four distinct grounds under which you must acquit my client. First is jurisdiction. There is no jurisdiction. And if you believe that, you still get to say it. Two, rule 23, it had to be divisible. Each allegation had to be singularly set out in front of you so it could be voted on and to see if two-thirds of you think that they proved that case or not. They didn't do that. You've got to ask yourself why.
They know the Senate rules. They got them, and so did I. Why did they do it? Because they hadn't investigated, first of all, but also what they found out is they were preparing all of this, they couldn't do it. So if they threw as much in as they could and made as many bold, bald allegations as they could, then maybe two-thirds of you would fall for it.
That's why the rules don't allow it to go that way. Due process, I've exhausted that subject. It's a really good reason for all of you, all of you in this chamber to stop the politics, to read the Constitution and apply it to this proceeding and acknowledge that the lack of due process, way over the top, shocking, and you must not stand for it.
And, of course, the First Amendment, the actual facts of this case, there were no words of incitement for grounds. Nobody gets to tell you which ground to pick, and nobody gets to tell you how many grounds to consider. Senators, do not let House Democrats take this manacle crusade any further.
The Senate does not have to go down this dark path of anonymity and division. You do not have to indulge the impeachment lust, the dishonesty, and the hypocrisy. It is time to bring this unconstitutional political theater to an end. It is time to allow our nation to move forward. It is time to address the real business pressing this nation, the pandemic, our economy, racial inequality, economic and social inequality. These are the things that you need to be thinking and working on for all of us in America, all of us.
With your vote, you can defend the Constitution, you can protect due process and you can allow America's healing to begin.
I urge the Senate to acquit and vindicate the Constitution of this great Republic. Thank you.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Mr. President, senators, I understand, I'm told we have around 27 minutes, but I will return all of that but perhaps five back to you. There are just a few things that I need to address. So in an extraordinary and perhaps unprecedented act of self- restraint on my part, I will resist the opportunity to rebut every single false and illogical thing that you just heard and I'm going to be able to return to you perhaps 22 or 23 minutes. A few points. One, we have definitely made some progress in the last few days because a few days ago, the president's team, although I think it was perhaps a member who has since left the team, lectured us that this was not an insurrection and said that impeachment managers were outrageous in using the word, insurrection.
Today, counsel in his closing statement said it was a violent insurrection, and he denounced it, and I would certainly love to see President Trump also call it a violent insurrection and denounce it too. And I believe, although I don't have a verbatim text that counsel called for long sentences for the people who were involved. Again, I would love to hear that come from the president as well.
The distinguished counsel complains that there's no precedent with a developed body of law that the Senate has for impeaching and convicting a president who incites violent insurrection against the Congress and the government of the United States. Well, I suppose that's true because it never occurred to any other president of the United States, from George Washington to John Adams, to Thomas Jefferson, to James Madison, to James Monroe, to Abraham Lincoln, to Ronald Reagan, to George W. Bush, to Barack Obama to incite a violent insurrection against the union.
You're right, we've got no precedent for that. And so they think that that's somehow is a mark in their favor, that's a score for them, that this Senate has to be the first one to define incitement of violent insurrection against the union. And so the gentleman puts it on me. He says, inciting a precedent for committing incitement to violent insurrection against the union is the new Raskin doctrine.
We've tried to convince him that there are well-known principles and elements of incitement, which we have talked to you about ad nauseam and that this is an intrinsically, inherently fact-based judgment. But if that is the Raskin doctrine that a president of the United States can't incite violence insurrection against the union and Congress, then I embrace it and I take it as an honor. Most law professors never get a doctrine named after them, so I will accept that.
And, finally, the counsel goes back to Julian Bond's case, because I think in the final analysis, their best argument, as pathetically weak as it is, is really about the First Amendment. But, remember, they keep talk about stifling President Trump's speech. Someone tell me when his speech has ever been stifled? He says exactly what he wants whenever he wants. If and when you convict for incitement of insurrection, he will continue to say whatever he wants to on that day.
Remember, they referred yesterday to interference with his liberty, which I found absolutely bizarre because everybody knows that he will not spend one minute in prison or jail from conviction on these charges. It is a civil remedy to protect all of us, to protect our entire country, our children, our Constitution, our future. That's what impeachment trial conviction are all about, are all about.
Julian Bond -- see, I knew Julian Bond. So, forgive me. Most people say, don't even respond to this stuff. I've got to respond, okay? Julian Bond was a civil rights activist who decided to go into politics, like the people in this room, like all of us who are in politics. And they tried to keep him out. He was a member of SNICC, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, which really launched the voting rights movement in America.
The great story Bob Moses tells in his book called "Radical Equations" about -- he was a graduate student of mathematics at Harvard.
He went down to the Mississippi. You know why? He saw a picture in "The New York Times" of black civil rights protesters, college students, I think, in North Carolina, AT&T.
He saw a picture on the cover of "The New York Times." And they were sitting in at a lunch counter. He looked at the picture and he said, they looked the way that I felt. They looked the way I had felt.
He said he had to down to Mississippi. And they launched the voting rights movement. That's where the phrase "one person, one vote" comes from. It was not invented by the Supreme Court. They would go door to door to try to register people to vote.
But anyway, Julian Bond was part of that movement, the Student Non- Violence Coordinating Committee, non-violence. It was the end and it was the means, non-violence.
And he ran for -- he ran for the state legislature in Georgia, a path other civil rights activists followed, like our late, great beloved Congressman John Lewis, who's in our hearts today.
And when he got elected, they wanted to try to keep him from being sworn into the Georgia legislature.
And so they said, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee has taking a position against the Vietnam War, you're a member of SNCC, we're not going to admit you because you took a position against the Vietnam War.
And the Supreme Court, in its wisdom, said, you cannot prevent someone from swearing an oath to become a member of a legislative body because of a position they took or a group they were part of before they got sworn in.
That's the exact opposite of Donald Trump. He got elected to office. He swore an oath to the Constitution to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
He served as president for four years. Right up until the end, when he wanted to exercise his rights under the January/February inception and incited a mob to come up here and an insurrection. And we all know what happened.
He's being impeached and convicted for violating the oath of office that he took. He's not being prevented from taking his oath in the first place. The First Amendment's on our side. He tried to overturn the will of
the people, the voice of the people. He lost that election by more than seven million votes.
Some people don't want to admit it. Counsel for the president could not bring themselves to admit the election is over.
In answer to the question from the distinguished gentleman from Vermont, he refused to answer that. He said it was irrelevant, despite all the evidence you've heard about the big lie and how that set the stage for his incitement of insurrectionary violence against us.
The First Amendment is on our side. We are defending the Bill of Rights. We are defending the constitutional structure. We are defending the separation of powers.
We're defending the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House against a president who acted no better than a marauder and a member of that mob by inciting people to come here.
And in many ways, he was worse. He named the date, he named the time, and he brought them here, and now he must pay the price.
Thank you, Mr. President.
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT): Thank you, Mr. Raskin.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Mr. President?
LEAHY: The majority leader's recognized.
SCHUMER: Mr. President, the Senate is now ready to vote on the article of impeachment. And after that is done, we will adjourn the court of impeachment.
LEAHY: The clerk will read the article of impeachment.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Article I, Incitement of an Insurrection.
LEAHY: The Senate will be in order.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. And that the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Further, Section III of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any person who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States from holding any office under the United States.
And his conduct while president of the United States in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of the president of the United States and to the best of his ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
And in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, Donald John Trump engaged high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States.
In that, on January 6th, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the vice president of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States capitol for a joint session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College.
In the months preceding the joint session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by state or federal officials.
Shortly before the joint session commenced, President Trump addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There he reiterated false claims that we won't -- we won this election and we won it by a landslide.
He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the capitol, such as, "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."
Thus, incited by President Trump, members of crowd he had addressed in an attempt to, among other objectives, to interfere with the joint session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of 2020 presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced members of Congress, the vice president and congressional personnel, and engaged in other deadly, destructive and seditious acts.
President Trump's conduct on January 6th, 2021 followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 election.
Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to find enough votes to overturn the Georgia presidential election results and threatened the security of Raffensperger if he failed to do so.
In all of this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a co-equal branch of government.
He, therefore, betrayed his trust as president to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-government and the rule of law.
Donald Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, and profit in the United States.
And demand that you, the said Donald John Trump, should be put forth to answer the accusations as push forth in this article and that such proceedings, examinations, trials, and judgments might be there upon had as agreeable to laws and justice.
LEAHY: Each Senator, when his or her name is called, will stand in his or her place and they'll vote guilty or not guilty as required by rule 23 of the Senate Rules of Impeachment.
Article I, Section III, Clause VI in the Constitution, regarding the vote required for conviction on impeachment provides that, quote, "No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present," close quote.
The question is on the article of impeachment.
Senators, how say you? Is the respondent, Donald John Trump, guilty or not guilty?
A roll call vote is required. And the clerk will call the roll.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Ms. Baldwin?
Ms. Baldwin, guilty.
Mr. Barrasso, not guilty.
Mr. Bennett, guilty.
Mrs. Blackburn, not guilty.
Mr. Blumenthal, guilty.
Mr. Blunt, not guilty.
Mr. Booker, guilty.
Mr. Boozman, not guilty.
Mr. Braun, not guilty.
Mr. Brown, guilty.
Mr. Burr, guilty.
Ms. Cantwell, guilty.
Mrs. Capito, not guilty.
Mr. Cardin, guilty.
Mr. Carper, guilty.
Mr. Casey, guilty.
Mr. Cassidy, guilty.
Ms. Collins, guilty.
Mr. Coons, guilty.
Mr. Cornyn, not guilty.
Ms. Cortez Masto? Ms. Cortez Masto, guilty.
Mr. Cotton, not guilty.
Mr. Cramer, not guilty.
Mr. Crapo, not guilty.
Mr. Cruz, not guilty.
Mr. Daines, not guilty.
Ms. Duckworth, guilty.
Mr. Durbin, guilty.
Ms. Ernst, not guilty.
Mrs. Feinstein, guilty.
Mrs. Fischer, not guilty.
Mrs. Gillibrand, guilty.
Mr. Graham, not guilty.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Grassley, not guilty.
Mr. Hagerty, not guilty.
Mrs. Hassan, guilty.
Mr. Hawley, not guilty.
Mr. Heinrich, guilty.
Mr. Hickenlooper, guilty.
Ms. Hirono, guilty.
Mr. Hoeven, not guilty.
SEN. CINDY HYDE-SMITH (R-MS): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mrs. Hyde-Smith, not guilty.
Mr. Inhofe, not guilty.
Mr. Johnson, not guilty.
Mr. Kaine, guilty.
Mr. Kelly, guilty.
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Kennedy, not guilty.
Mr. King? Mr. King, guilty.
Ms. Klobuchar, guilty.
Mr. Lankford, not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Leahy, guilty.
Mr. Lee, not guilty.
Mr. Lujan, guilty.
Ms. Lummis, not guilty.
Mr. Manchin, guilty.
Mr. Markey, guilty.
Mr. Marshall, not guilty.
Mr. McConnell, not guilty.
Mr. Menendez, guilty.
Mr. Merkley, guilty.
Mr. Moran, not guilty.
Ms. Murkowski, guilty.
Mr. Murphy, guilty.
Mrs. Murray, guilty.
Mr. Ossoff, guilty.
SEN. ALEX PADILLA (D-CA): Guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Padilla, guilty.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Paul, not guilty.
Mr. Peters, guilty.
Mr. Portman, not guilty.
Mr. Reed, guilty.
SEN. JIM RISCH (R-ID): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Risch, not guilty.
Mr. Romney, guilty.
Ms. Rosen guilty.
SEN. MIKE ROUNDS (R-SD): Not guilty. UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Rounds?
Mr. Rounds, not guilty.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Rubio, not guilty.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Sanders, guilty.
Mr. Sasse, guilty.
Mr. Schatz, guilty.
Mr. Schumer, guilty.
Mr. Scott of Florida?
SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Scott of Florida, not guilty.
Mr. Scott of South Carolina?
SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Scott of South Carolina, not guilty.
Mrs. Shaheen, guilty.
Mr. Shelby, not guilty.
Ms. Sinema, guilty.
Ms. Smith, guilty.
Ms. Stabenow, guilty.
SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Sullivan, not guilty.
Mr. Tester, guilty.
Mr. Thune, not guilty.
Mr. Tillis, not guilty.
Mr. Toomey, guilty.
SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Tuberville, not guilty.
Mr. Van Hollen?
Mr. Van Hollen, guilty.
Mr. Warner, guilty.
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Warnock, guilty.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mrs. Warren, guilty.
Mr. Whitehouse, guilty.
Mr. Wicker? Mr. Wicker, not guilty.
Mr. Wyden, guilty.
SEN. TODD YOUNG (R-IN): Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Mr. Young, not guilty.
LEAHY: The yeas are 57. The nays are 43. Two-thirds of the Senators present not having voted guilty, the Senate, as judges, have responded that Donald John Trump, former president of the United States, is not guilty as charged in the article of impeachment.
It directs judgment to be entered in accordance with the judgment of the Senate as follows:
The Seventh Senate, having tried Donald John Trump, former president of the United States, on one article of impeachment, exhibited against him by the House of Representatives, and two-thirds of the Senators present not having found him guilty of the charge contained therein, it is therefore ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be and is hereby acquitted of the charge in said article.
SCHUMER: Mr. President?
LEAHY: The majority leader is recognized.
SCHUMER: Mr. President, I send an order to the desk.
LEAHY: And the clerk will report.
UNIDENTIFIED SENATE CLERK: Order that the secretary be directed to communicate to the secretary of state, as provided by Rule 23 of the Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate when sitting on impeachment trials, and also to the House of Representatives the judgment of the Senate in the case of Donald John Trump and transmit a certified copy of the judgment to each.
LEAHY: Without objection, the order will be entered.
SCHUMER: Mr. President, I move that the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment on the article against Donald John Trump adjourn, sine die.
LEAHY: And without objection, the motion is agreed to the Senate sitting in impeach stands adjourned, sine die. The Senate sits adjourned.
And -- can we have order, please.
The presiding officer -- the acting sergeant-at-arms will escort the House managers out of the Senate chamber.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: The former president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has now been acquitted by the United States Senate on the charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. capitol on January 6th in a historic 57-43 votes, with seven Republicans voting to convict.
Democrats falling short of the 67 votes needed to convict Trump.
This is the second time Donald Trump has been acquitted in an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.
And it's the shortest impeachment trial in American history, just five days of arguments and presentations.
Ultimately, with this vote, the Republican Party signaled it's not willing to rebuke the former president with conviction.
Let's go back to the Senate floor.
LEAHY: The Senate is not in order and the Senate will be in order.
SCHUMER: Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the Senate be in a period of morning business with Senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each.
LEAHY: Without objection, it's so ordered.
Does any Senator seek recognition?
Does any Senator seek recognition?
LEAHY: The Senator from New York, majority leader.
SCHUMER: Mr. President, the case of Donald Trump's second impeachment trial was open -- Mr. President, can we have order, please?
LEAHY: The Senator is right. The Senate is not in order.
The Senate will be in order. The Senate will be in order. Please take your conversations off the floor.
SCHUMER: Thank you, Mr. President.
The case of Donald Trump's second impeachment trial was open and shut. President Trump told a lie, a big lie, that the election was stolen and that he was the rightful winner.
He laid the groundwork for this big lie in the months before the election. He told the big lie on election night. And he repeated the big lie more than 100 times in the weeks afterwards.
He summoned his supporters to Washington, assembled them on the Ellipse, whipped them into a frenzy and directed them at the capitol.
And then he watched as the violence unfolded and the capitol was breached and his own vice president fled for his life and President Trump did nothing.
None of these facts were up for debate. We saw it. We heard it. We lived it.
This was the first presidential impeachment trial in history in which all Senators were not only judges and jurors but witnesses to the constitutional crime that was committed.
The former president inspired, directed, and propelled a mob to violently prevent the peaceful transfer of power, subvert the will of the people, and illegally keep that president in power.
There's nothing, nothing, more un-American than that. There's nothing, nothing, more antithetical to our democracy. There's nothing, nothing, more insulting to the generations of American patriots who gave their lives to defend our form of government.
This was the most egregious violation of the presidential oath of office and a textbook example, a classic example, of an impeachable offense worthy of the Constitution's most severe remedy.
In response to the incontrovertible fact of Donald Trump's guilt, the Senate was subject to a feeble and sometimes incomprehensible defense of the former president.
Unable to dispute the case on the merits, the former president's counsel treated us to partisan vitriol, false equivalence and outright falsehoods.
We heard the roundly debunked jurisdictional argument that the Senate cannot try a former official, a position that would mean that any president could simply resign to avoid accountability for an impeachable offense.
A position, which in effect, would render the Senate powerless to ever enforce the disqualification clause in the Constitution.
Essentially the president's counsel told the Senate that the Constitution was unconstitutional.
Thankfully, the Senate took a firm stance, set a firm precedent with a bipartisan vote in favor of our power to try former officials for acts they committed while in office.
We heard the preposterous claim that the former president's incitement to violence was protected by the First Amendment.
The First Amendment right to free speech protects Americans from jail, not presidents from impeachment.
If the president had said during World War II, that quote, "Germany should attack the United States on Long Island. We've left it undefended," I suspect Congress would have considered that an impeachable offense.
Finally, the defense counsel said that President Trump was not directly responsible for the violence at the capitol.
Quote, "His words were merely a metaphor. His directions were merely suggestions. And the violent mob was just a spontaneous demonstration."
But wind the clock back and ask yourself, if at any point Donald Trump did not do the things he did, would the attack on the capitol have happened? There's only one answer to this question. Of course not.
If President Trump hadn't told his supporters to march to the capitol, if he hadn't implored them to come to Washington on January 6th in the first place, if he hadn't repeatedly lied to them that the election was stolen, their country was being taken from them, the attack would not have happened, could not have happened.
January 6th would not have happened but for the actions of Donald Trump.
Here's what the Republican leader of the Senate said. The mob that perpetrated the, quote, "failed insurrection," unquote, was on January 6th, was, quote, "provoked by President Trump."
You want another word for provoke? How about "incite?"
Yet, still, still, the vast majority of the Senate Republican caucus, including the Republican leader, voted to acquit former President Trump, signing their names in the columns of history alongside his name forever.
January 6th will live as a day of infamy in the history of the United States of America. The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.
Five years ago, Republican Senators lamented what might become of their party if Donald Trump became their presidential nominee and standard bearer.
Just look at what has happened. Look at what Republicans have been forced to defend. Look at what Republicans have chosen to forgive.
The former president tried to overturn the results of a legitimate election and provoked an assault on our own government.