This weekend, Donald J. Trump became the only man in history to be acquitted of impeachment charges twice as the Senate voted 57-43 to dismiss the House’s incitement allegation. Following a one-week trial in which Democrats built a case out of highly-edited videos that ignored Trump’s calls for peaceful protest on January 6th, the case collapsed under the weight of its own farce. The former president released a statement on Saturday thanking his legal team and those senators who voted for his acquittal.
“I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth,” Trump said. “My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,” he continued. “No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago.”
Trump also took a moment to hint at the future.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” he said. “In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!”
Trump’s successor had a different take on the trial’s conclusion, of course. President Joe Biden released a statement insisting that Trump’s acquittal did not change the reality of what happened on January 6th.
“Today, 57 Senators – including a record 7 Republicans – voted to find former President Trump guilty for inciting that deadly insurrection on our very democracy,” Biden wrote. “The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives. While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute. Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol.”
Those are a lot of strong words, but they ultimately don’t amount to anything. At the end of the day, Democrats failed once again to “undo” the will of the people and illegitimize the 2016 election. And they failed to accomplish their main goal, which was to prevent Trump from ever holding public office again. This means that #45 remains a threat for 2024, and it means The Establishment’s grasp on American power remains shaky.