February 14, 2021
Former President Donald Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial on Saturday by the U.S. Senate on charges that he incited the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month.
The Senate voted 57-43 in favor of conviction, with all 50 Democratic senators voting to convict Trump. However, only seven Republican senators joined the Democrats in their conviction of the former president. At least 10 more GOP senators would have needed to break with their party for a conviction to occur.
Among the seven Republicans who broke with the former president was Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey. Toomey had endorsed and voted for Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
"[Trump's] betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction," Toomey wrote in a statement shared to social media.
His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) February 13, 2021
Toomey, who is retiring from the Senate after his second term expires in 2022, was initially skeptical of impeaching Trump. But as a majority of Republican senators pushed back on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial, Toomey joined Democrats twice in voting to move forward with the proceedings.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, as well as Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, all joined their fellow Democratic lawmakers to convict Trump.
My statement following the Senate trial of former President Trump: pic.twitter.com/YFrPRa7Jsb— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) February 14, 2021
The House Managers showed in powerful & compelling detail that Trump incited the Capitol insurrection—resulting in death & violence.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 13, 2021
Trump should have been held accountable.
History won't be kind to the 43 Senate Republicans who voted to excuse Trump's outrageous misconduct.
1/ Today, I voted to convict President Donald J. Trump for inciting an insurrection against the United States.— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) February 13, 2021
The proceedings of this trial made clear that President Trump spurred a violent attack on Congress and then betrayed his duty as Commander-in-Chief by...
Trump's acquittal was a victory for former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor, who was picked to serve on the former president's impeachment defense team. It was also a win for Philadelphia-based attorney Michael van der Veen, who joined Trump's legal team during the impeachment proceedings.
However, van der Veen's West Whiteland Township, Chester County home was vandalized with graffiti on Friday night, according to the Associated Press.
Van der Veen was also the recipient of laughs from senators as he mispronounced Philadelphia as "Phillydelphia" when he demanded that all possible depositions take place at his Center City office, leaving him confused as to why lawmakers were chuckling.
"That's the way it works, folks ... I don't know why you're laughing ... there's nothing laughable here" -- the Senate chamber breaks out in laughter after van der Veen threatens to depose Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris not by Zoom, but in his office in Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/T0xiozHckE— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 13, 2021
Van der Veen's mispronunciation of Philadelphia set social media on fire and even elicited a response from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" star Rob McElhenney.
This season of television will be the easiest to write in the history of television. #phillydelphia— Wrob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) February 13, 2021
Trump's acquittal was a defeat, however, for Pennsylvania Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, who represents most of Montgomery County. She and the eight other House impeachment managers were tasked with making the case for Trump's conviction to the Senate.
The House of Representatives voted last month to impeach Trump, making him the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
All nine lawmakers who represent the Philly region in the House voted along party lines. Only 10 House GOP lawmakers joined their Democratic colleagues in voting to impeach Trump.
Trump's conviction appeared unlikely given that most Republican senators either found the impeachment trial to be unconstitutional or did not believe Trump's words at a Jan. 6 rally incited the violence at the U.S. Capitol.
The impeachment trial lasted only five days, as no witnesses were called and Trump himself refused to testify. Had Trump been convicted, the former president could have been barred from running for federal office again.