Former President Donald Trump issued a statement on Saturday following his second impeachment acquittal in which he thanked his legal team, Republican senators who voted to acquit, and supporters while strongly indicating he plans to remain politically active.
“I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth,” the statement began. “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.”
Trump railed at Democrats who pursued a historic second impeachment against him a year after unsuccessfully attempting to remove him from office over an alleged ‘quid pro quo’ phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“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,” the former president said.
“I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate,” he added.
Senators voted 57-43 to acquit the former president of inciting ‘insurrection’ at the U.S. Capitol Building last month as rioters stormed the building while a joint session of Congress was preparing to count electoral votes. Trump and his defense team maintained throughout the short, five-day proceeding he never instructed supporters to attack the Capitol, and that his speech, while constitutionally protected, contained commonly used political rhetoric Democrats have regularly used as well.
Seven GOP senators voted to convict; they were: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
“As I said on January 6th, the President bears responsibility for these tragic events. The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Therefore, I have voted to convict,” Burr said in a statement following Trump’s acquittal. “I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary.”
Added Cassidy: “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
Trump, however, decried the process as just another in a series of politically motivated actions aimed at punishing him for winning the 2016 election.
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,” he said in his statement. “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 gave a nod to his voters.
“I also want to convey my gratitude to the millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding, God-and-Country loving citizens who have bravely supported these important principles in these very difficult and challenging times,” he said.
The former president did not specify exactly what his future would consist of, but he nevertheless remained positive and strongly hinted that he would remain active in national politics.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. 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 said.
“We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future. Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” he added.