Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Feb. 13 once again escaped conviction by the Senate following another impeachment by House Representatives, this time on the sole charge of inciting an insurrection.
More senators than ever before voted to convict the president but the seven Republicans that joined Democrats in finding Trump guilty was not enough to reach the two-thirds required.
Elijah McGowen, who identifies as politically conservative, said while the acquittal was “a bad thing,” America is ready to move forward under a new administration.
“We’ve had a lot of bad presidents in our history,” McGowen, a resident of Georgia, told Humber Et Cetera. “Andrew Jackson killed people and committed genocide and all sorts of stuff, and America moves forward.”
An acquittal means Trump has the ability to run again for the presidency in the 2024 election.
Despite the acquittal, however, Republican leadership appeared to shut the door on the idea based on Trump’s role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection that led to the House of Representatives impeaching Trump for a second time.
“There is no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said after voting to acquit.
“The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things,” he said.
But McConnell argued the Senate can’t impeach a person who no longer is president, but that Trump should be dealt with in criminal or civil court.
While Democrats were quick to slam the GOP for their support of Trump despite the deaths of a Capitol police officer and one of the rioters during the insurrection, their focus shifts now to the newly-inaugurated President Joseph Biden.
“This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile,” Biden said in a statement released in the hours after the acquittal.
McGowen believed Biden’s approach not to dwell on Trump’s fate will go a long way to contribution to the nation’s healing.
“He’s very much someone who likes to speak about morality, and the soul of the country,” the filmmaker said.
“I think he’s probably going to be focusing on his policy positions moving forward,” he said.
Without his Twitter account, Trump has been forced to get his message out via more traditional means such as press releases and TV interviews.
In the days following his acquittal, Trump made it clear on friendly shows at Fox News and Newsmax he does not plan to fade from public life and will continue to be a significant presence within the Republican Party.