Both Mississippi U.S. Senators voted to acquit former President Donald Trump Saturday as he was found not guilty on the single charge of “incitement of insurrection.” The vote on the second impeachment of Trump was 57-43. A two-thirds majority is needed for a conviction.
All 50 Senate Democrats and seven Republican Senators voted for conviction. All remaining Republicans voted for acquittal, including Mississippi U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Wicker, in a statement following the vote, noted that no public official had ever been convicted in an impeachment trial after leaving office. “That long-standing precedent was followed again today,” Wicker said.
“After carefully reviewing the evidence and legal arguments from counsel for both parties, I am convinced that impeachment was intended only as a means of removing presidents and other officials from office,” Wicker said. “On two occasions during this trial, I had already voted not to proceed to trial based on this jurisdictional issue. My vote for acquittal today was consistent with those previous votes.”
Wicker added that he hoped the nation can “recommit to the cooperative spirit we need to meet our republic’s pressing challenges,” he said.
Regardless of an earlier vote stating the impeachment trial could constitutionally proceed, Hyde-Smith, in her statement, argued the U.S. Constitution clearly states, “‘impeachment shall not extend further than to remove from office.’ Donald Trump is no longer the President,” she said.
Hyde-Smith said Trump’s defense team proved the former president did not encourage the use of violence or lawless action. She also took Democrats to task for politicizing the Trump impeachment when more pressing issues remain.
“We are a nation struggling with a public health emergency and economic trouble,” said Hyde-Smith. “This politically motivated impeachment trial represents another unnecessary and troubling chapter to the terrible crimes committed against our government on Jan. 6. Our efforts should be focused on prosecuting the lawbreakers, improving Capitol security, and healing the wounds of those hurt on that sad day.”