Wyden slams Trump's acquittal in Senate impeachment trial
In a near party line vote, former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate during an unprecedented second impeachment trial after Trump had already left office.
The vote of 57-43 fell 10 ballots short of the two-thirds necessary for conviction on charges that Trump incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol that left several dead in January. Seven Republicans voted to convict, per national media accounts.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, slammed the results — which were largely a forgone conclusion — saying the not guilty verdict would let the GOP continue to spread "the Big Lie" regarding the results of the 2020 election.
"Today 43 Republican senators have chosen Donald Trump over the Constitution, and in so doing they have betrayed their oath," Wyden said in a statement. "There can be no doubting the evidence that Donald Trump inspired, fomented and ultimately called for the assault on the Capitol."
Wyden said Trump will still pose a "grave danger" to democracy despite being out of office and presumably ensconced at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, since a guilty conviction would have banned Trump from holding federal office evermore.
"Republicans have left the door open for Trump to take power again, and they have weakened the guardrails that our founders intended to protect American democracy from people like him," Wyden noted.
In a separate news release, Democratic Party of Oregon Chair Carla "K.C." Hanson said she hoped the people would hold Trump accountable for acting as "lead insurrectionist."
"The very foundation of the Capitol shakes and crumbles as much from these senators' grievous betrayal of their oaths as from the mob's destruction," Hanson said in a statement. "It will be up to us to repair the foundations of our democracy."
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