News ID: 280688
Published: 0403 GMT February 14, 2021

Biden says 'democracy is fragile' after Trump acquitted

Biden says 'democracy is fragile' after Trump acquitted

US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the Senate's acquittal of former president Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection was a reminder that democracy was fragile.

"This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile," Biden said in a statement issued hours after the Senate failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump, Reuters reported.

Biden noted that a 57 senators – including a record seven Republicans – voted to find Trump guilty, following a bipartisan vote by the House of Representatives to impeach the Republican ex-president.

"While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute. Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader (Mitch) McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a 'disgraceful dereliction of duty' and 'practically and morally responsible for provoking' the violence unleashed on the Capitol," Biden said.

Biden said he was thinking about Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed during the siege of the Capitol on Jan. 6, others who lost their lives.

The Democratic president said the task at hand was to end what he called "an uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation."

The Senate voted 57-43 in favor of convicting Trump, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to do so, on a charge that he incited the insurrection that left five people dead, forced lawmakers to flee, and put his own vice president in danger while overseeing the certification of Biden’s election win.

In the vote, seven of the 50 Senate Republicans joined the chamber’s unified Democrats in favoring conviction after a week-long trial in the same building ransacked by Trump’s followers after they heard him deliver an incendiary speech.

Trump left office on Jan. 20, so impeachment could not be used to remove him from power. But Democrats had hoped to secure a conviction to hold him responsible for the siege and set the stage for a vote to bar him from serving in public office again.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans’ refusal to hold Trump accountable would be remembered “as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history.”



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