Trump’s acquittal does not confirm his innocence
Donovan Wilson – Reporter
Former president Donald Trump was put up for a second impeachment trial after his presidency had ended due to accusations that he had incited the Capitol Hill riot.
Trump had been impeached once before, but was not found guilty, was not removed from office and could alleged. The trial was concerning collusion and rigging the election.
The latest trial was due to proof that he had incited the Capitol Hill riot, but he was acquitted; not charged with the crime. However, this still makes him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice despite not being found guilty.
The vote from the senate during this second impeachment trial ended 57 to 43 guilty and not guilty, respectively. On paper, it would seem this would charge Trump as guilty of the crime but upon further examination, that is not the truth and also something the general public most likely doesn’t know or understand.
If you look into the full rules, there needed to be 67 votes for guilty in order to charge Trump for the crime because it is required to have two-thirds of senate voting guilty, not just the majority of the votes winning for their side.
The main misconception brought up I’d like to touch upon is the belief from many Trump supporters and just misinformed citizens alike that Trump was determined not guilty but that is not necessarily true. He was not charged for this crime because the senate has a rule that makes it nearly impossible to find the president on-trial guilty. In the end, however, the majority of votes that were casted in the direction as guilty.
There are definitely pros and cons to the Senate needing two-thirds to vote guilty to impeach the president. The major pro is that it makes it super difficult for every single president to get impeached. Which does not cause an incentive to constantly impeach presidents or simply just put them on trial for that matter. The major con at hand is the possibility that it is virtually impossible to get two-thirds of the senate to vote guilty due to representation of parties and unavoidable biases on both sides.
The system of the impeachment trial needs to be changed to majority vote and make it harder to even get to the trial process. It would make more sense to bar the trial from happening rather than making it virtually impossible for the trial to end in a guilty verdict.
Every president that’s been impeached but not determined guilty has had very clear evidence against them. Had it been brought to a regular trial, as would be done for a usual citizen, they would most definitely be charged with the crime.
While most of this is just hypothetical, it’s pretty apparent that a change needs to happen or no progress will be made on indicting clearly guilty presidents like Trump.