Trump Acquitted Again

TrumpOn Saturday afternoon, the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second Impeachment trial. The trial comes a month after the U.S. Capitol riots that took place on Jan. 6.

The Senate’s votes was 57-43, leading to acquit Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection. Seven Republicans voted in favor to convict Trump during the trial.

Joseph Patten, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Political Science, said he was surprised that seven Republicans voted Trump guilty and that they were not open to persuasion. He also thinks that Trump was weakened during this trial.

“For anyone who watched this on television, his attorneys didn’t seem to be very well prepared,” said Patten. “And even Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, even though he voted to acquit, he really gave them a scathing assessment of Trump’s complicity and this kind of gave a constitutional argument as to why he voted to acquit since Trump was not in office anymore.”

Patten said that the fact that seven Republican senators voted to convict is very damaging to Trump.

“I think that there is a general sense that, in terms of the trial, that Trump did not really put up much of a defense and he also did not agree to testify on his behalf,” he said.

Patten also said that if something changed during the trial, the outcome would not have been different, due to the evidence of this particular case.

Jennifer McGovern, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology, also does not think anything would have changed the outcome of the trial.

“The reason is a lot of people went on record before the trial even started and said what they thought they didn’t seem open to evidence,” said McGovern. “That appears to be on both sides of the aisle. They didn’t seem to want to consider what was presented.”

Congress pursed an Impeachment on Trump, even though he had already left office. McGovern believes just because he is no longer in office, does not mean he should not be held accountable for things that happened while he was in office.

She said, “So, imagine if you were a student and you cheated and plagiarized a paper in the last week of class during finals week. And then your teacher said, ‘well that’s okay, I don’t have to tell the student they plagiarized they are in the last week of their semester’. People are still accountable for their actions, no matter when they occur in their term.”

McGovern also thought this was a way for Congress to send a message that people are still held accountable for their actions, especially from what occurred at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Michelle Metcalf, senior communication student, also was not surprised by this impeachment.

“Now for the second time he got impeached, I wasn’t surprised again but honestly he should feel embarrassed for being the only president to get impeached twice. Now, this is something that I wouldn’t want to be proud of,” said Metcalf.

She also said that Trump did accomplish a lot during his presidency, such as the First Step Act and tax reform, but there were still a lot of secrets and situations that he could have handled better.

Timothy Foley, a senior communication student, disagrees with the reasons Trump was impeached for a second time.

“According to what I know, there was not enough evidence to prove that he purposely incited the attack on the capital,” said Foley.

Since Trump is cleared to run again for government offices, people wonder whether or not he will pursue that.

Foley said, “I think he’s considering running in 2024. Due to his age, I don’t even think he knows yet. It depends on how he’s feeling at the time.”