WASHINGTON, D.C (ABC4) – Following the acquittal of Donald Trump, Saturday afternoon, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) issues a statement.
On February 13, Sen. Lee states the following, “The House managers’ burden in this trial was to prove first, that the Senate should exercise its impeachment jurisdiction in a case against a former president; and second, that he committed the high crime of inciting an insurrection. The House managers did not clear either hurdle.”
Mike Lee then goes on to deem the capitol riots as unacceptable.
“No one can condone the horrific violence that occurred on January 6, 2021–or President Trump’s words, actions, and omissions on that day. I certainly do not.”
Though Lee does not condone the capitol riots, the senator feels the former president fell victim to a rushed impeachment trial.
‘”The fact is that the word ‘incitement’ has a very specific meaning in the law, and Donald Trump’s words and actions on January 6, 2021, fell short of that standard. The House rushed its impeachment without an investigation, charged President Trump with a crime it failed properly to allege, and then sat on its poorly worded Article until after he left office.”
The senator then continues his thought, stating the entire impeachment process as ‘politically suspicious’.
“Given the politically suspicious process, the Senate should never have exercised jurisdiction over this Article in the first place. Convicting a former official would be an unprecedented and constitutionally dubious step—never before has the Senate convicted an impeached official after that official has left office. The House managers never demonstrated why that step was necessary in this case.”
“On the contrary, throughout the trial, the House managers repeatedly relied on hearsay, erroneous media reports, and political rhetoric rather than evidence.”
“Faced with the weak presentation of a deficient case demanding unprecedented constitutional action against a private citizen, acquittal was the only option I could deem consistent with the law, the facts, and the Constitution.”
The Senate voted 57-43, acquitting former President Donald Trump on the single charge of inciting an insurrection in his second impeachment trial.
43 Republican senators voted Trump was “not guilty” of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection by supporters who stormed the seat of Congress in Washington to stop lawmakers from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory, resulting in the deaths of five people, including a police officer. Earlier Saturday, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell told colleagues he would also vote to acquit Trump.
7 Republican senators joined all Democrats in voting in favor of convicting the former president, failing to reach the 67 votes needed to achieve the necessary two-thirds supermajority.
GOP Sens. Richard Burr of Virginia, 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 voted in favor of convicting the former president.
Senator Mitt Romney’s statement can be read here.