Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has said that he voted to acquit Donald Trump because he thought it was unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a president who had already left office.
But it’s worth noting that the Senate held two votes on that matter, and the chamber determined both times that the impeachment trial was constitutional. In the second vote, six Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the constitutionality of the trial.
In his statement explaining his vote to convict, Republican Richard Burr noted he did not agree with the outcome of that vote, but he accepted it.
“When this process started, I believed that it was unconstitutional to impeach a president who was no longer in office. I still believe that to be the case,” Burr said.
“However, the Senate is an institution based on precedent, and given that the majority in the Senate voted to proceed with this trial, the question of constitutionality is now established precedent.
“As an impartial juror, my role is now to determine whether House managers have sufficiently made the case for the article of impeachment against President Trump.”
Burr said, “The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Therefore, I have voted to convict.”