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Trump hints at remaining in politics after acquittal

Posted February. 15, 2021 07:36,   

Updated February. 15, 2021 07:36


Former U.S. President Donald Trump has been acquitted by the Senate on Saturday in his second impeachment trial for his role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The House impeached Trump on January 13 following the invasion. “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun” said Trump, calling the trial “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country” and signaling his desire to remain in politics.

The final vote was 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, short of the 67 guilty votes needed to convict. Democrats needed at least 17 Republican senators to vote with them to impeach Trump in a 50-50 Senate, but only seven Republicans who have openly taken a stand against Trump including Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted to declare him guilty.

Trump is the first U.S. President to be impeached twice by the House and to be acquitted twice in the Senate. He was accused of pressuring Ukraine’s leader to investigate on Joe Biden and his son to boost his chances of re-election in 2020, which led to his impeachment in the House in December 2019. He was cleared in the Senate in February 2020.

“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,” said Trump welcoming the result. There are considerable speculations that he would create a new political party or run for president again as he still enjoys unwavering support from conservative voters. According to newspaper The Hill, 64 percent of GOP voters said they would join a Trump-led new party. Meanwhile, investigations and a long list of lawsuits would be a burden on him. Prosecutors of Georgia, one of the biggest swing states in the 2020 presidential election, opened a criminal inquiry into Trump’s attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results, including a call pressuring Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes for him. Trump is also under criminal investigation in his hometown New York, where prosecutors are examining fraud and tax evasion of the former president's family business.

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com