Seven Republican senators voted to convict former President Trump on the charge of incitement to insurrection, joining Democrats to make it it a far more bipartisan vote than Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial. But the final vote of 57-43 fell short of the 67 votes that would have been needed for conviction.
The Republicans voting to convict were Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Romney’s vote was all but a given, and the votes from Collins and Murkowski weren’t unexpected. Perhaps the most surprising vote came from Burr.
But something distinguishes most of the Republicans who voted to convict Mr. Trump — most of them aren’t up for reelection soon. Murkowski is the only one of the group facing reelection in 2022. Burr and Toomey aren’t running for another term.
Collins and Murkowski asked some of the most probing questions on Friday when senators had the chance to pose questions to the defense and to the House impeachment managers.
Collins, Murkowski, Romney and Sasse also joined Democrats in voting to call witnesses Saturday, as did Repubilcan Senator Lindsey Graham. But Democrats ultimately backed off on calling witnesses.
Several of the senators released statements explaining their decisions following the vote Saturday.
“As I said on January 6th, the President bears responsibility for these tragic events. The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Therefore, I have voted to convict,” Burr wrote. “I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary.”
Cassidy posted a video statement on Twitter, saying, “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
Toomey issued a statement saying, in part: “I was one of the 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump, in part because of the many accomplishments of his administration. Unfortunately, his behavior after the election betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him.
“His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.”