Trump acquitted in 2nd impeachment trial

·1-min read

The US senate has acquitted former president Donald Trump of inciting the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

The vote gave Trump a historic second acquittal in an impeachment trial.

House Democrats, who voted a month ago to charge Mr Trump with "incitement of insurrection", needed two thirds of the senate, or 67 votes, to convict him.

The vote was 57-43, short of the two-thirds needed for conviction. Seven Republicans broke party ranks to find Mr Trump guilty.

Trump later welcomed his acquittal, saying that his movement "has only just begun".

The Democrats argued in the short trial that Trump caused the violent attack by repeating for months the false claims that the November 2020 election was stolen from him, and then telling his supporters gathered near the White House that morning to "fight like hell" to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden.

Five people died after a mob laid siege to the Capitol.

Trump's lawyers argued the rioters acted on their own accord and the former president was protected by freedom of speech, an argument that resonated with most Republicans.

They said the case was brought on by Democrats' "hatred" of Trump.