Impeachment Is Over. What Comes Next?
Good morning. The House and Senate are out this week. You may have noticed we missed an issue of Uphill on Friday—I was feeling under the weather, and we thought we’d just wait until the impeachment trial concluded to send this edition. We won’t send Uphill this Friday, either: Congress is out and it’s my anniversary later this week. I’ll be logging off for some peace and quiet.
Seven Republicans voted on Saturday to convict Donald Trump on an incitement of insurrection charge, making it the most bipartisan vote in an impeachment trial in U.S. history. But not bipartisan enough: A two-thirds supermajority of 67 votes was required for conviction, and the final tally was 57-43. One year ago, Utah Republican Mitt Romney became the first senator to vote to convict a president of his own party during Trump’s first impeachment. This time he was joined by Sens. Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey.
Cassidy offered the most straightforward reasoning for his vote: “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.” And that was it—that’s his whole statement (delivered first in text and later on video in front of a red alligator).
Many Republican senators refused to consider the case on its merits, hiding behind the widely disputed notion that trying a former president is unconstitutional. Shortly after voting to acquit Trump on those grounds, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pinned the blame for the attack on the Capitol on Trump.