Donald Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 2306 GMT (0706 HKT) February 13, 2021
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3:52 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

These are the 7 GOP senators who voted to convict Trump

The Senate just voted to acquit former President Trump in his second impeachment trial. The vote was 57-43, with seven Republicans joining the Democrats. Senators needed a two-thirds majority to convict Trump.

These are the seven Republicans who voted to convict the former President:

  • Richard Burr
  • Bill Cassidy
  • Susan Collins
  • Lisa Murkowski
  • Mitt Romney
  • Ben Sasse
  • Pat Toomey
4:01 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

Former President Trump acquitted in historic second impeachment trial

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Trump has been acquitted in his historic second impeachment trial, with seven Republican senators joining 50 Democrats voting to convict, fewer than the 17 needed.

Watch:

3:47 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

Democrats fail to get enough Republicans to convict Trump

The Senate is on track to acquit former President Trump of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol, with Democrats failing to reach the threshold of Republicans needed to convict him — at least 17.

3:46 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

The Senate is voting on whether to convict Trump

Senate TV
Senate TV

The Senate is voting on whether to convict former President Trump on one article of impeachment for inciting the Capitol riot.

It follows a day of surprise and confusion after a motion to seek witnesses passed. The Senate then went into a break to discuss how to move forward.

They ultimately agreed to enter a statement from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler – describing a phone call between former President Trump and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy – into the record instead of calling her as a witness.

Both sides then made closing arguments that have now concluded.

3:47 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

Read the House of Representatives' article of impeachment against Donald Trump

The clerk is reading the House of Representatives' article of impeachment against former President Trump on the Senate floor. The Senate is about to vote on whether to convict Trump.

Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump on Jan. 13, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the Capitol riot.

You can read the full article here.

Watch:

3:35 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

Impeachment manager is now rebutting part of defense team's closing argument

Senate TV
Senate TV

Former President Trump's defense team just concluded their closing speech.

House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin is now rebutting some of attorney Michael van der Veen's claims.

3:38 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

Trump defense lawyer calls impeachment a “complete charade”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Senate TV
Senate TV

In his closing remarks, former President Trump’s defense attorney Michael van der Veen slammed Democrats for pursuing impeachment.

“This impeachment has been a complete charade from beginning to end. The entire spectacle has been nothing but the unhinged pursuit of a long-standing political vendetta against Mr. Trump by the opposition party,” he said. 

“Democrats were obsessed with impeaching Mr. Trump from the very beginning of his term. … And now they have conducted a phony impeachment show trial when he's a private citizen out of office,” van der Veen added. 

Van der Veen said Democrats’ fear of Trump possibly being elected to public office in the future is driving this impeachment trial. 

He called the proceedings a “maniacal crusade” by House Democrats and urged senators to not “go down this dark path of anonymity and division.”  

3:20 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

Trump was briefed on Pence's safety on day of Capitol riot

From CNN's Pamela Brown and Kevin Liptak

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Then-President Trump was aware his vice president had been evacuated to a secure location as rioters were storming the US Capitol, according to a person who was with the former President on Jan. 6.

And while Trump never attempted to contact Vice President Mike Pence directly, infuriating Pence’s team, he did express concern for Pence to advisers gathered in the dining room off the Oval Office over the course of the afternoon, said Gen. Keith Kellogg, who was among the aides surrounding Trump.

After returning to the White House from his midday rally on the Ellipse, Trump and his aides gathered around the flat-screen television in the presidential dining room as his supporters began storming the Capitol.

Trump at the time was irate with Pence for informing him he would not attempt to overturn the election results. He continued to be focused on the electoral count well into the afternoon.

As images on television played of rioters entering the Capitol, rushing past security barriers, Trump asked aides whether Pence was safe, according to Kellogg, who was Pence’s national security adviser but was with the then-President that day.

Aides informed Trump that Pence was under Secret Service control and had been taken to a secure location, Kellogg said.

“Absolutely he was concerned about Pence,” said Kellogg, who was with Trump at the White House as the rioting unfolded. Kellogg, who was Pence's national security adviser was in communication with the vice president through this staff at the Capitol. They were communicating back to the White House and getting that information to Kellogg

Another person familiar with the situation confirmed Kellogg's account to CNN. 

Multiple sources say Trump never attempted to contact Pence directly. 

At 2:24 p.m. ET, Trump tweeted that Pence lacked “courage,” a message that came minutes after the vice president was rushed off the Senate floor and to a secure location. People in the room said they did not fully understand how bad situation was at the time the tweet was sent as they do in hindsight.

In the ensuing minutes, however, the severity of the situation became more apparent. Aides gathered in the dining room weighed how to respond, ultimately convincing Trump to tweet to the protesters to be peaceful — a sentiment he initially resisted, another source familiar says.

Another source involved pushed back on that characterization, saying it was a very dynamic environment and there were several versions of the tweet being passed around. 

At one point, officials at the White House were made aware of a plan to evacuate Pence to Joint Base Andrews, which never ultimately transpired. Pence remained at the Capitol and later returned to the Senate chamber to oversee the Electoral College certification.

Separately, on the night before the Jan. 6 rally, Trump heard protesters gathering for the next day’s rally from the Oval Office, according to a person familiar with the matter. The energy from the crowd prompted Trump to ask what could be done to put maximum pressure on lawmakers to object to the Electoral College certification.

Aides told him his speech would be the focal point of the day.

2:52 p.m. ET, February 13, 2021

Trump's lawyers are making their closing arguments

Senate TV
Senate TV

Donald Trump's defense team is now making closing arguments in the second impeachment trial against the former President.

The House managers have already made their speeches. Rep. Jamie Raskin, lead impeachment manager, argued that Trump was the "inciter-in-chief" of the violence that happened on Jan. 6 and "supported the mob."

"We've proved he betrayed his country, we've proved he betrayed the Constitution, we proved he betrayed his oath of office," Raskin said.

"Senators, this trial in the final analysis is not about Donald Trump, the country and the world knows who Donald Trump is. This trial is about who we are, who we are," he added. 

Moments earlier, House managers and Trump's defense team agreed to enter a statement from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler describing a phone call between former President Trump and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy into the record.

House impeachment managers had asked the Senate this morning to call witnesses in Trump's second impeachment trial. Instead, Senate and trial lawyers agreed hours later to insert the statement into the trial record, moving the trial toward a final vote later today.