What does impeachment mean for Donald Trump

The US Senate has voted against the subsequent impeachment of former US President Donald Trump. Although 57 senators voted for an impeachment of Trump - including seven Republican senators - it was not enough for the two-thirds majority required to subsequently remove the former US president from office. To do this, 17 Republican senators would have had to vote with the Democrats. The proceedings came to an end after just five days.

Ex-President Donald Trump himself said after the acquittal that his political movement was just beginning. "Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to make America great again has only just begun," said the Republican. "There has never been anything like it!" Trump thanked the Republican senators for acquittal. The Democrats tried to undermine the rule of law, he said.

In essence, the impeachment proceedings were about the question of whether Donald Trump had incited his supporters to storm the Capitol on January 6 and thus made himself guilty of "inciting a rebellion". In the US Senate there has been a violent exchange of blows between the defense and the prosecution over the past few days. Afterwards, both the prosecution and Trump's defense attorney each had two hours to deliver their closing arguments.

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Previously, the senators had surprisingly voted to hear another witness. Republican MP Jaime Herrera Beutler is said to have critical information about a phone call between House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump that allegedly took place during the January 6th storm on the Capitol.

Beutler published a statement on Friday. It said McCarthy had told her that in the conversation with Trump he had asked the former president to whistle back his supporters. Trump first claimed that the insurgents were supporters of the left-wing Antifa. When McCarthy replied to Trump that it was his supporters, the president reportedly replied, "Well, Kevin, these people are arguably more angry about this election than you are." After the hour-long video hearing by Beutler, Democratic chief prosecutor Jamie Raskin read her testimony in the Senate and put the testimony on record.

Earlier, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, had made a commitment: He would vote for an acquittal of Trump. The influential McConnell had not yet commented on how he would vote. Now he had sent a message to the republican senators and announced his intention, it was said from party circles.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their arguments on Friday. Prosecutors again called for the Republican to be convicted of storming the Capitol. "It's about protecting our republic and about defining the standards for the conduct of presidents," warned chief prosecutor Raskin. Trump's defense lawyers, in turn, denied the allegations and spoke of "monstrous lies".

On Tuesday, the first day of the trial, the US Senate had declared the impeachment proceedings against ex-President Donald Trump to be constitutional. The attempt by Trump's defenders to stop the so-called impeachment right from the start failed. Six Republican senators voted with the 50 Democratic senators.

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On Wednesday, the prosecution showed a 13-minute video showing how Trump supporters raged in and around the Capitol on January 6, showing hatred, anger and violence from people who wore Trump hats and Trump - Waving flags and yelling "Trump is our boss".

On Thursday, the Democrats again expanded their arguments by focusing on the supporters of Trump, who referred directly to the former president in their statements and actions.

© dpa / Bloomberg / bix / hij / gal / vwu