For a second time Republican Senators have endorsed alleged criminal actions of the former president.
Firstly, Republican Senators, except for Senator Mitt Romney, endorsed then-President Trump’s attempted bribery of the Ukraine President.
If Mr Trump had been convicted and subsequently removed from office, the damage the country has suffered as a result of Covid-19 would to a large extent not have occurred.
There is little doubt the Republican Senators that acquitted the president on that occasion have blood on their hands.
A report by The Lancet late last week estimated that 40 percent of the casualties (deaths and contractions) occurred as a result of Mr Trump’s policies and handling of the coronavirus.
Despite this, the hold Mr Trump has over the Republican party, its representatives and Senators has again been laid bare on the Senate floor. The latest verdict, as with the first one, was predicted – by Republican Senators, in advance of the trial. Three Senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah even had a meeting with Mr Trump’s legal team during the second trial they were effectively jurors for.
This time round at least, Romney was joined by six other Republican Senators to vote to hold the former president to account. Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, together with Mitt Romney of Utah voted to convict Mr Trump. The vote was 57 to 43.
The record is clear that the president, President Trump abused his power, violated his oath to uphold the Constitution and tried almost every means in his power to prevent the peaceful transfer of authority to the newly elected President, Senator Collins told the Senate floor.
My vote in this trial stems from my own oath and duty to defend the Constitution of the United States. The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the Constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors and for those reasons, I voted to convict, she said.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on the other hand appeared to overcome his anger at the president at the time of the storming of the Capitol, to side with him on Saturday. In the wake of the insurrection, the minority leader said: “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
There is little doubt the political interests of the bulk of the Republican Senators has again taken precedence over the interests of the American people.
Millions of Americans, and hundreds of thousands have died as a result of the inaction of the Republican Senators, other than Romney in the first trial – according to The Lancet report. And the country stands by as 43 Senators fail to censure Mr Trump, paving the way for him to run for president again in 2024.
(Image credits: Julio Cortez/AP; Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/AP; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP).