The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    Trump acquitted by the Senate, could run for office again


    Donald J. Trump was acquitted by the Senate in a historic impeachment trial that took place after the president left office. The trial concluded on Saturday with a vote of 57 to 43, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the president. 

    Now that Trump has been acquitted, he is able to run for a second term, meaning he could run for President again as soon as 2024.

    Trump is only the second president to have ever been impeached twice by the House of Representatives, most recently with a vote of 232 to 197 that took place on Jan. 13. 

    Impeachment was pushed forward by Congress due to Trump’s role in a violent riot and breach of the Capitol building by a mob of supporters attempting to prevent the certification of electoral college votes for president elect Joe Biden on Jan. 6. Members of Congress and senators were forced to evacuate and go into hiding for their safety as the mob overtook Capitol police and illegally entered the building.  

    The impeachment trial showed never before seen footage of Pence being ushered to safety, barely missing a mob of people chanting “Hang Mike Pence”. The House prosecution managers also played body camera footage from Capitol police officers being overtaken by fists from rioters, video of the crowd damaging and stealing government property and footage of the close calls representatives and their staff had with people breaching both chambers of Congress. 

    Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of the senators seen in the videos racing back to the Senate for safety said, “It tears at your heart and brings tears to your eyes…That was overwhelmingly distressing and emotional.”

    The evidence presented by the prosecution also showed tweets by Trump, including one that he wrote just 6 hours after the attack on the Capitol that read, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”. 

    The prosecution argued that the tweet, as well as hundreds more from after the time Trump lost the Nov. 2020 election, incited or perpetuated lies and posed a threat to democracy. 

    One of Trump’s biggest supporters in the Senate, Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina), released a statement after the final verdict condemning the entirety of the impeachment process. 

    He said, “For the good of the country I hope this will be the last Senate impeachment where a President is impeached without a lawyer, without witnesses, and a trial record is built on hearsay upon hearsay. I fear that if this model is followed in the future – impeachment to disqualify one from holding office based on partisan hatred – will become the norm.”

    In an article by the New York Times titled, “House Managers Rest Their Case Against Trump, but Most Republicans Are Not Swayed,” during the trial, impeachment managers conveyed concern at the possibility of Trump holding public office again. 

    Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the impeachment managers, questioned the Senate on whether they believed Trump would stop inciting violence if allowed back into office. 

    He said, “Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?”

    To many, the outcome of Trump’s second impeachment does not come as a surprise, given the outcome of his first impeachment. 

    Prior to the conclusion of the trial, Cynthia Boaz, a political science professor at Sonoma State said, “I predict that President Trump will not be convicted, that only a few Republicans will ultimately vote for conviction, somewhere between four and eight probably. Which is extremely unfortunate, because it’s a demonstration that partisan loyalty sometimes outweighs fidelity to the rule of law in this country.”

    Boaz also believes that Trump’s acquittal will negatively impact the image of the United States.

    She said, “Globally, I think failure to convict will hurt us, because it makes us look hypocritical in the eyes of the global system. We are ready to tell other countries what they can and cannot do, but we are not willing to hold our own leaders accountable. I think the failure to convict will do damage to the entire democratic experiment in the United States, and may set a precedent for it to happen again.”

    Trump has publicly defended himself calling his impeachment, “Yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country”. 

    There is a strong possibility in the future that Trump has support to run for office again or at the very least influence the future of the Republican party. 

    In a poll by CNBC they found that 74% of Republicans want the former president to remain active in the party in some way and almost 50% want him to remain the de facto head of the party. Although the 2024 election may be almost 4 years away, the not guilty impeachment verdict means this may be far from the last time Trump influences American politics.

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