Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate at the impeachment trial, giving him the chance to return to the White House.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that Trump is “ready to move on” to rebuild the Republican Party and is “excited about 2022” elections.
Trump said in a statement after his acquittal:
“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… Our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.”
Regarding Trump’s claims of election fraud in the Nov. 3 elections, Graham believes Trump does bear responsibility for “pushing narratives.” However, he affirms that all of Trump’s claims are protected under the First Amendment.
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Graham also admitted that Trump is “mad at some folks” who took a position against him. Among them is Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit Trump. McConnell is open to the former president facing criminal prosecution.
Graham noted that McConnell’s speech put “a load on the back of Republicans.” He feels that the speech will be used by the Democratic Party in the 2022 campaigns to pressure Republican candidates. However, Graham believes that McConnell’s speech was an “outlier” of how most feel about Trump in the GOP.
Meijer disagreed with key charges of the impeachment resolution
Seven Republicans voted to convict Trump at the trial. The party has already begun taking action against them. In Michigan County, the GOP censured Representative Peter Meijer, the first time he has been punished in such a manner. The party accused Meijer of voting against Trump in the absence of due process. Also, Meijer had himself disagreed with key charges of the impeachment resolution.
In North Carolina, top Republicans are considering censuring Senator Richard Burr for siding with Democrats. Kyshia Lineberger, the Republican National Committee committeewoman for North Carolina, said that Burr had earlier called the impeachment unconstitutional, misleading everyone to believe that he would acquit Trump. His decision to flip his vote “shocked all of us,” she said.
Even though Trump has been acquitted, Democrats are insisting that they have achieved a moral victory. Representative Don Beyer claimed that the Democratic Party won “in the court of public opinion.” Democrats also see the trial as a form of political victory since they could secure support from seven Republicans. Their support strengthened their case that Trump was indeed guilty of inciting the Capitol breach on Jan. 6.
And while his acquittal makes Trump a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential race, some members of the Republican Party do not think it is a good idea. They want new faces for the election. One candidate could be Nikki Haley, who served as the United Nations ambassador under the Trump administration. She recently stated that the former president had lost political viability, though Trump’s poll numbers state the opposite. According to a CNBC survey taken before the impeachment hearings, over 70% of Republicans want Trump to stay involved with the GOP.
House Speaker Democrat Nancy Pelosi, however, cannot move on. She has announced that Congress will set up a 9/11 style commission to look into the Capitol break-in.
“It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened… To protect our security, our security, our security, our next step will be to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to ‘investigate and report on the facts and causes’ [of the riot],” she said in a statement.