Nancy Pelosi slammed a “cowardly” Republican party and Mitch McConnell after Trump survived his second impeachment vote.
The Senate voted 57 to 43 on Saturday – falling short of the two-thirds needed to convict Trump, effectively acquitting him.
“It had not been my intention to come to this press availability,” she told reporters.
Pelosi seethed: “What we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options, or because they were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve.”
She later told the crowd: “Why I came over was because I listened to Mitch McConnell.
“For him to get up there and make this indictment against the president and then say ‘But I can’t vote for it because it’s after the fact.’ The fact that he established. The fact that he established”
Pelosi was referring to McConnell’s refusal to move forward with impeachment proceedings in the last week of Trump’s presidency, as he was set to be replaced by Joe Biden.
McConnell had maintained that even if impeachment proceedings were started in the Senate, due to the time it takes, they wouldn’t be finished until after his term was over anyways
McConnell voted not to convict Trump.
After Trump was Acquitted, McConnell gave a speech slamming the former president and blaming him for the January 6 insurrection.
“There’s no question, none that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events on the day. No question about it,” McConnell said.
McConnell said he didn’t vote to convict Trump because he thought it was unconstitutional due to the fact that he’s no longer the president.
McConnell’s reasoning has been met with backlash from some Democrats, as they note his refusal to expedite impeachment proceedings while Trump was still in office.
Pelosi earlier questioned how Senators could vote to not convict Trump as rioters on January 6 were heard chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”
“They just dismissed that. Why? Because maybe they can’t get another job,” Pelosi said.
She added: “We censure people for using stationary for the wrong purpose.
“We don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol.”
Democrats needed 17 Senators to join them in voting to convict Trump.
Just seven, however, voted to convict him.
This lead the two-thirds majority vote needed to convict him to fall short, and Trump was for the second time acquitted.
Trump released a statement shortly after he was acquitted. He thanked his legal team and made allegations of a “witch hunt” against his presidency.
“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,” Trump said.
He continued, saying that the “movement to Make America has only just begun,” as he made promises of a “journey” to “American greatness.
Joe Biden also released a statement following Trump’s acquittal, as he paid respects to those who stood watch at the Capitol on the day of the riots, and those who died in the violence.
Biden said: “While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute.”
“Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Majority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol,” he added.