The Senate voted on Saturday to acquit Donald Trump, bringing an end to his second impeachment trial.
Seventeen Republicans would have needed to join Democrats in the evenly split Senate to reach the two-thirds majority required for conviction. The final vote was 57 to convict and 43 to acquit, with seven Republican senators voting to convict Trump.
Here is a list of the Republican senators who voted to convict the former president, as well as statements released about their decision.
Richard Burr — North Carolina
North Carolina Senator Richard Burr said in a lengthy statement he voted to convict former president Donald Trump because “the evidence is compelling” that he is “guilty of inciting an insurrection.”
Burr referred to the deadly attack at the US Capitol on Jan. 6 as a “grim day in our nation’s history,” and said it was an “attempt to undermine our democratic institutions and overrule the will of the American people through violence, intimidation, and force.”
While Burr said he began the impeachment process believing that “it was unconstitutional to impeach a president who was no longer in office” — and that he still stands by that line of thinking — his move to convict Trump of inciting the siege was based on established constitutional precedent.
“[T]he Senate is an institution based on precedent, and given that the majority of the Senate voted to proceed with this trial, the question of constitutionality is now established precedent,” Burr said, adding that it was his responsibility as an “impartial juror” to weigh the evidence presented.
“The facts are clear,” Burr said. “As I said on January 6th, [Trump] bears responsibility for these tragic events.”
Burr said he did not make the decision lightly, but that it was “necessary.”
“By what he did and did not do, President Trump violated his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “My hope is that with today’s vote America can begin to move forward and focus on the critical issues facing our country today.”
Bill Cassidy — Louisiana
In a succinct, 10-second video published on Twitter on Saturday evening, Senator Cassidy said “our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person.” He said he voted to convict the former president “because he is guilty.”
Susan Collins — Maine
Collins released a three-page document on Saturday, explaining why she voted against Trump during the impeachment trial. She said the former president “planted seeds of doubt” weeks before the November election in an effort to undermine the process. Collins also countered an argument made by Trump’s defense team on Saturday that his speech on Jan. 6 was protected under his First Amendment rights. She said free speech rights were not meant to protect “summoning and inciting a mob to threaten other officials in the discharge of their constitutional obligations.”
Lisa Murkowski — Alaska
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is the lone Republican of the group who voted to convict Trump for his role in inciting the insurrection facing voters next year.
But the consequences — potentially losing her seat due to political fallout — paled in comparison to the meaning behind her decision, she said after the vote.
“If I can’t say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me?” Murkowski told Politico.
Murkowski said there are consequences for “every vote” but this one was “consequential on many levels.”
“I cannot allow my vote, the significance of my vote, to be devalued by whether or not I feel that this is helpful for my political ambitions,” she said.
More Murkowski on Jan 6: "It was our constitutional obligation to finish our business...And we did it, because we had some extraordinary men and women that were willing to stand up and defend and protect and, and that was good. I just wish that Donald Trump had been one of them."— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) February 13, 2021
Mitt Romney — Utah
In a statement, Romney said Trump was guilty of the charge brought by the House. Romney said Trump urged his supporters to march to the US Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, “despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day.”
Ben Sasse — Nebraska
Sasse said in a statement that he voted to convict Trump because he promised his constituency in Nebraska that he would “speak out when a president — even of my own party — exceeds his or her powers.”
“I cannot go back on my word, and Congress cannot lower our standards on such a grave matter, simple because it is politically convenient,” he said.
Pat Toomey — Pennsylvania
Toomey said he voted to convict Trump because “for the first time in American history, the transfer of presidential power was not peaceful.” The Senator from Pennsylvania wrote on Twitter that the former president “urged the mob” on Jan. 6 to march to the Capitol, with the intention of preventing Congress from formally certifying the election results. Toomey said Trump’s “betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.”
“I was one of the 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump, in part because of the many accomplishments of his administration,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, his behavior after the election betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him.”
His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) February 13, 2021
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