Trump's impeachment acquitters should be shamed and shunned

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He expanded on his rationale on the Senate floor after Saturday's roll call, making clear his enmity toward Trump's actions.

The Republican from Kentucky, however, said he voted to acquit Trump on a charge of inciting insurrection because, he said, it is unconstitutional to convict a president in an impeachment trial after he has left office. "He didn't get away with anything yet".

A group of anti-Trump former Republican officials has raised the idea of creating a center-right third party but it is unlikely to gain much traction.

Even so, McConnell delivered searing words against Trump in a speech after the vote, saying the former president was "practically and morally responsible" for provoking the attack on lawmakers as they formally certified Trump's Electoral College defeat by Joe Biden.

"The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president".

Among them is former SC governor Nikki Haley, who said Republicans were wrong for supporting Trump's campaign to reverse the election results, a course that led to the January 6 attack on Congress. But his statement ignored the fact that the vote against him was bipartisan, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats in the House to impeach and seven Republicans joining with Democrats in the Senate.

Nevertheless, in the vote over whether to convict Trump, McConnell said he could not cast his ballot to condemn the former president because he is "constitutionally not eligible for conviction" due to no longer being in office.

McConnell jarred the political world just minutes after the Democratic-led House impeached Trump on January 13, writing to his Republican colleagues that he had "not made a final decision" about how he would vote at the Senate trial.

Over 36 years in the Senate, the measured McConnell has earned a reputation for inexpressiveness in the service of caution.

McConnell's relationship with Trump plummeted after Trump's denial of his November 3 defeat and relentless efforts to reverse the voters' verdict with his baseless claims that Democrats fraudulently stole the election.

Cassidy won reelection in November, meaning he won't face voters for nearly another six years. He ended up guiding the Senate to victories such as the 2017 tax cuts and the confirmations of three U.S. Supreme Court justices and more than 200 other federal judges.

Outside the Senate, Pelosi joined Schumer in slamming the Republicans.

Mr Trump left office on January 20, so impeachment could not be used to remove him from power. "He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day".