WASHINGTON: Former President Donald Trump’s acquittal on charges of inciting a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol left Democrats and Republicans deeply divided on Sunday even as his Democratic successor, Joe Biden, sought to move on with his political and economic agenda.
Democrats said they looked to the courts for possible civil and criminal charges against the former Republican president over the assault by his supporters on Jan. 6, which left five people dead.
The Senate trial concluded on Saturday with a 57-43 vote in favor of convicting Trump, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to do so.
Of the seven Republicans who joined the Senate’s 48 Democrats and two independents in voting to convict, some faced swift backlash in their home states.
Senator Bill Cassidy said on Sunday he believed more of his constituents would come to agree with his vote over time as the facts became known. Republican party leaders in Cassidy’s home state of Louisiana voted on Saturday to censure him.
“I have the privilege of having the facts before me. As these facts become more and more out there … and folks have a chance to look themselves, more folks will move to where I was,” Cassidy told ABC’s “This Week” when asked about the censure.
“I’m attempting to hold President Trump accountable … I am very confident as time passes, people will move to that position,” Cassidy said.
The party leader in Pennsylvania also criticized its Republican Senator Pat Toomey for voting to convict.
“The vote to acquit was the constitutionally correct outcome,” Pennsylvania Republican Chairman Lawrence Tabas said in a statement on Saturday.
Cassidy declined to say whether Trump should face criminal charges. But Democratic Senator Chris Coons told ABC he thought this could happen.