Joe Biden on Trump acquittal: ‘Substance of the charge is not in dispute’

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President Biden said Saturday evening that the “substance” of the charge against former President Donald Trump isn’t in dispute even though the U.S. Senate voted to acquit Mr. Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol.”

Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 57-43 in favor of conviction — 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the former president.

Seven Republican senators broke with Mr. Trump and voted to convict.

Mr. Biden said he’s thinking of people who “bravely stood guard” that day, the people who died, and those who are still living with associated trauma.

“And I’m thinking of those who demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy — Democrats and Republicans, election officials and judges, elected representatives and poll workers – before and after the election,” he said.

Mr. Biden said Americans need to come together to move beyond an “uncivil war,” reprising language from his inaugural address.

The president and the White House have done their best to ignore the impeachment trial and avoid weighing in on the merits of the case against Mr. Trump.

Shortly after the Senate vote, the White House formally announced a handful of nominations for the chamber to consider.

Mr. Trump said after the vote that his “MAGA” movement “has only just begun.”

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