The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump concluded Saturday with his acquittal. Seven Republicans joined all of the Senate Democrats and two independents in voting to convict, but it was not enough to reach the 67-vote two-thirds majority they needed.
The trial lasted only five days and asked senators to render judgment on a single article: whether the former president incited his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a last-ditch effort to stay in power after his November election defeat.
The trial highlighted the extraordinary danger lawmakers faced on Jan. 6 when Trump urged his followers to march to the Capitol in an effort to prevent lawmakers from certifying his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election. Five people died in the chaos.
Democratic impeachment managers from the House of Representatives argued that Trump set the stage for violence through repeated – and baseless – claims that the election results were fraudulent. They said he summoned the mob to Washington, gave the crowd its marching orders and did nothing to stop the violence as it played out on television.
Trump is the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office. If convicted, the Senate could have then voted to bar him from running for office again.