Senate impeachment trial

CT Lawmakers React to Senate Acquittal of Trump in Historic Second Impeachment Trial

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Connecticut leaders are reacting to the U.S. Senate's decision to acquit former President Donald Trump in a historic second impeachment trial.

On Saturday, the Senate acquitted Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection related to last month's deadly Capitol riot.

A year earlier, Trump was acquitted in his first impeachment trial of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Watch Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's full speech on the Senate floor after the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump ended with acquittal.

Both Connecticut senators voted in favor of conviction.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

"In the days following the election of Joe Biden, I went to the Senate floor to speak out against the epidemic of delusion that was spreading across the Republican Party. President Trump and his loyalists were spewing bald-faced lies to the American people—claiming without evidence that the election was stolen and rigged. I warned of the danger to our democracy. I worried about the possibility of violence. I hate that I was right. The insurrection at our Capitol was not inevitable. Rather, it was a direct consequence of President Trump's urging supporters – over the course of many months and on the very day of the riot – to overturn the results of a free and fair election. And what did President Trump do when the insurrection was underway? He privately reveled in the coverage. He continued to press Republicans to stop the certification of the Electoral College. What did he not do? Take any meaningful steps to diffuse the violence he whipped up.

No one wanted to hold another impeachment trial. No one wanted to relive the painful and traumatic events of January 6th. But we had to do so. Without accountability, we simply do not have a democracy. The president of the United States cannot get away with inciting a violent insurrection. And today, I did my duty to hold former President Trump accountable for his gross betrayal of his oath."

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

“Today’s result – the largest bipartisan vote to convict a president of impeachment in our nation’s history – reflected the irrefutable, unrefuted case against Donald Trump. This trial was a moral reckoning that laid bare Donald Trump’s lawless incitement of riot to overturn an election and retain power for himself, leaving five dead and hundreds more injured. He will be forever disgraced in the eyes of history.

Although we did not reach a conviction, it does provide some measure of accountability – but much more must be done to stop a would-be Trump tyrant from similar attempts to mobilize or exploit the rage of violent extremists to subvert our democracy.

The quest for accountability will continue. Congress must act to stem the tide of white supremacy and violent extremism. The courts are working now to prosecute the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol, hunting lawmakers and ransacking our sacred halls of democracy. A criminal investigation looking into Trump’s astonishing attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results is ongoing.

Democracy is not our default state of being. Democracy survives only so long as the institutions that support it thrive. Democratic institutions will only persist through the hard work, active work, dedicated work of our elected officials. For four years, Trump continuously and callously attacked the basic norms and institutions of democracy. For four years, he normalized chaos. It is all of our jobs now to restore the rule of law, the protections of rights, and the integrity of institutions.”

Michael van der Veen, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, placed blame on the rioters for the attack on the U.S. Capitol. “There were no words of incitement,” van der Veen said. “You can allow America’s healing to begin. I urge the Senate to acquit and vindicate the Constitution of this great republic.”

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

“Former President Trump incited a violent insurrection against the United States that caused carnage and mayhem and resulted in the death of seven individuals and countless lasting injuries. His refusal to accept the result of a free and fair election led to his calling a mob to the U.S. Capitol to interfere with our Constitutional duty to certify the election.

This was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment ever with the largest number of Republicans voting to convict. Critically, the Republican leader in the Senate fully accepted the impeachment managers’ case for conviction. That is a damning result.

Like so many others, I will never forget that day. I struggled to put on my gas mask in the House Chamber to the sound of gunshots and calls for violence and huddled with my Republican and Democratic colleagues as we ran and hid from the insurrectionists. And I will never forget, and history won’t either, that the attack was the result of months of inspiration and a direct call for violence by the former President.

I thank the House impeachment managers for their tireless efforts on behalf of the people and the Senate Democrats and seven courageous Republicans who put the people above party. Future generations will remember those who aided and abetted the former President and refused to stand up to his tyranny.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., drew a direct line between former President Donald Trump’s actions and the Capitol Riot, but he said the now-private citizen was ineligible for conviction. “[Trump] was practically and morally responsible for provoking events of the day," McConnell said. “This [impeachment] question is moot because former President Trump is constitutionally not eligible for conviction.”

U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)

“Today a majority of Senators found former President Trump guilty of inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol. The House managers presented a clear and powerful argument. By all accounts, Donald Trump should have been convicted. Even Mitch McConnell acknowledged that the House managers made their case, but he hid behind the loose excuse that it was not constitutional. Despite that, he said after the vote:

‘There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.... [I]n the context of impeachment, the Senate might have decided this was acceptable shorthand for the reckless actions that preceded the riot.’ 

I commend the House Managers for their outstanding job, they made the case. I also commend the Republicans who had the gumption to make this the most bipartisan Senate vote ever for impeachment. Now, citizen Trump will face even stronger focus with the condemnation from the Senate Minority Leader himself.  

The public should also know, while the Senate proceeded with the trial, the Ways and Means Committee and other House Committees were advancing COVID relief legislation, which is the true focus of the American people. This is what I remain focused on.” 

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