By MERIDITH MCGRAW
The ex-president took a swipe at Democrats and showed no remorse in a post-vote statement.
Former President Donald Trump on Saturday thanked his defense team and Republican lawmakers for voting against his conviction in an impeachment trial that he called “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country.”
“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 said.
In a statement released shortly after the Senate voted 57-43 to convict him—far short of the 67 needed—Trump defended himself as a champion of law and order, and took one last swipe at Democrats in Congress. He offered no apologies for his actions that preceded the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree,” Trump said.
The ex-president, who has been out of the public eye since leaving office the morning of his successor’s inauguration, also foreshadowed a re-emergence into the public spotlight now that the trial was over.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” Trump 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!”
Over the past week, House managers made the case that Trump had incited the riots at the Capitol and the president’s team insisting that Trump had not and that the impeachment was inherently unconstitutional because he was out of office.
The remaining question heading into Saturday was whether Senators would allow for witnesses to be called. They briefly did, only to reach an agreement not to summon any. Hours later the closing arguments had finished and the voting began. In all, seven Republicans found Trump guilty.