Trump acquitted during second impeachment

Charged of inciting the Capitol insurrection in January, Trump avoids a conviction, but becomes the only U.S. president in history to be impeached twice


Eric Haynes

Senate impeachment managers make the case against former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial in February. Though acquitted for inciting a riot, Trump is the only U.S. president to be impeached twice.

Kaitlyn Wenzel, Staff Writer

In early February 2021, the second impeachment trial for former-President Donald Trump was held in the Senate, he was acquitted of high crimes and misdemeanors. 

The trial lasted five days and the final counted vote was 51 guilty to 43 not guilty, which was only 10 vote short of 67 needed to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Out of the 57 votes for guilty, there were 7 Republicans in favor of impeachment, including Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. 

During the impeachment trial, CNN released details about a heated argument between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on January 6 while rioters stormed the capital in which the former president stated, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” 

In the later days of the trial, the Senate impeachment managers considered calling witnesses but, after Trump’s legal team threatened to bring in dozens of witnesses, they decided to only enter a statement from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash, who overheard McCarthy’s conversation with Trump. 

During the whole trial, Trump’s legal team refused to stick to the usual and small constitutional argument. Instead, their legal strategy included accusing Democrats of, “using the impeachment process of partisan gain.” After, the defense refused to provide evidence after trying to accuse of what was done. 

While Trump was acquitted in  the Senate in both of his impeachment trials, he was the first president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives twice and the first to be tried for impeachment after he was already out of office. 

However, his acquittal means that, in the future, Trump can still run for president again.