Biden Called On America To Defend Democracy & Truth After Trump's Acquittal
President Joe Biden is speaking out about former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. With a 57-43 vote on Saturday, Feb. 13, the Senate confirmed their decision to acquit the 45th president on charges relating to his alleged role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. It was a controversial verdict to say the least, and Joe Biden's statement on Trump's impeachment acquittal got right to the point.
While a historic seven Republicans found the former President guilty, the Senate fell short of the two-thirds majority of 67 votes that was necessary to convict Trump. The Senate's decision to acquit Trump came after just a five-day trial, and only a few weeks after a mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to keep Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory in the November 2020 election. On Jan. 13, the House impeached Trump for the second time for his role in inciting the insurrection, from holding a rally the morning of the riot to pursuing a campaign to convince his supporters the presidential election had been stolen from him.
The president issued his official response to the news in the late hours of Feb. 13, calling on Americans to defend democracy and truth. Biden began by recounting how he and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden recently paid respects to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed during the attack from "a riotous, violent mob."
He added that "while the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute," noting how even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell believe Trump was guilty of "a disgraceful dereliction of duty" and "practically and morally responsible" for provoking the Capitol attack. Biden also took a moment to thank those who stood guard on the Capitol on Jan. 6.
He added: "I'm thinking of those who demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy" during the electoral process, regardless of political affiliation.
"This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America," Biden's statement continued. "And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies."
He concluded by calling for unity among the American people, writing: "That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it's a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America."