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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday blasted the “cowardly group of Republicans” who voted to acquit former President Donald Trump on the charge of “incitement of an insurrection.”
“What we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options, because they were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve,” Pelosi said after the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump.
“What is so important about any one of us? What is so important about the political survival of any one of us that is more important than our Constitution that we take an oath to protect and defend,” the California Democrat said.
The House last month passed a single article of impeachment against Trump for his alleged role in encouraging his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol while Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.
Seven GOP senators joined Democrats in voting to convict the former president: Senators 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.
Pelosi on Saturday criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who voted to acquit Trump though he believes the former president is “practically and morally responsible” for the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. McConnell voted against convicting Trump, saying it is unconstitutional to impeach a president who has left office.
However, the House passed a single article of impeachment against Trump on January 13, while he was still in office. McConnell, then-Senate majority leader, called for the trial to be pushed back until after President Biden took office.
“It is so pathetic that Senator McConnell kept the Senate shut down so that the Senate could not receive the Article of Impeachment and has used that as his excuse for not voting to convict Donald Trump,” she said.
While she expressed disappointment in the verdict, she said she would not censure Trump. Doing so would be “a slap in the face of the Constitution,” she said.
“We censure people for using stationery for the wrong purpose, we don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol,” Pelosi added.