Trump impeachment trial live updates: Biden says charge 'not in dispute' in 1st comments on acquittal
Biden remembered those who were killed and called for unity going forward.
Former President Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial ended with a 57-43 vote to acquit in the Senate. He faced a single charge of incitement of insurrection over his actions leading up to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
- Biden praises police officers, calls charge 'not in dispute' in 1st comments
- Pelosi blasts McConnell, others who voted to acquit as 'cowardly group of Republicans'
- Managers highlight McConnell's agreement that they proved case
- McConnell says Trump solely to blame for attack after voting to acquit
- Schumer speaks on Senate floor
- Senate votes to acquit Trump: 57-43
Biden praises police officers, calls charge 'not in dispute' in 1st comments
In his first comments on the acquittal of his predecessor, nearly seven hours after the vote, President Joe Biden opened by remembering late officer Brian Sicknick and praised his fellow police officers for defending the Capitol on Jan. 6.
He then took a tone similar to the House impeachment managers following the 57-43 vote -- short of the 67 needed to convict former President Donald Trump -- by celebrating a bipartisan vote.
"Today, 57 Senators -- including a record 7 Republicans -- voted to find former President Trump guilty for inciting that deadly insurrection on our very democracy," Biden said in the statement. "The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives. While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute."
Biden highlighted the speech by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that angered some Democrats for its acknowledgement of incitement and acquittal vote on a technicality.
"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," the president added.
Biden, who largely avoided commenting on the impeachment trial in favor of promoting his agenda on COVID-19 relief, thanked those "who bravely stood guard that January day" and "those who demonstrated the courage to protect the integrity of our democracy."
"This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile," Biden wrote. "That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America. And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies."
"That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it’s a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America," he concluded, underlining "United" for emphasis.
Louisiana GOP votes to censure Sen. Cassidy
Literally minutes after Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., voted to convict President Donald Trump the Louisiana GOP voted to censure him. Cassidy was one of seven Republicans to cross party lines.
"The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana has unanimously voted to censure Senator Bill Cassidy for his vote cast earlier today to convict former President Donald J. Trump on the impeachment charge," the Republican Party of Louisiana said in a statement.
Cassidy, who vacillated between convicting and acquitting the president this week, has been a senator since 2014. He was previously a congressman from the state. A censure officially condemns a politician, but does not carry any further power, such as removal from office.
"Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person," Cassidy said in a statement. "I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty."
-ABC News' Quinn Scanlan
Pelosi blasts McConnell, others who voted to acquit as 'cowardly group of Republicans'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she wasn't planning on speaking Saturday but did so after she saw Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speak on the Senate floor.
"It is so pathetic that Senator McConnell kept the Senate shut down so that the Senate could not receive the Article of Impeachment and has used that as his excuse for not voting to convict Donald Trump," Pelosi said.
"What we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options, because they were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve," Pelosi said.
Asked about McConnell's statement on the floor suggesting that Trump still was liable criminally or civilly for his actions in office, Pelosi interrupted the reporter and said his speech was "disingenuous."
"I don't know whether it was for donors or -- or what. But whatever it was, it was a very disingenuous speech. And I say that regretfully, because I always want to be able to work -- work with the leadership of the other party," she said. "And for him to have tried to have it every which way -- but we will be going forward to make sure that this never happens again."
Asked about censure as an option moving forward, Pelosi called it a "slap in the fact of the Constitution" and said it, "let's everybody off the hook."
"We don't censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol," she said.
Pelosi went on to congratulate the House managers on honoring the vision of the founders, of the men and women who serve in uniform and families across the United States, including her own.
"I have to say, personally on behalf of my grandchildren, who drew great hope and inspiration from each and every one of you: We could not be prouder of your patriotic presentations, the clarity in which you presented, and again, the inspiration that you have been to so many people," she said.
Raising the vote to convict was the most bipartisan in impeachment trial history, she said, "It would not have been accomplished without your brilliant presentations. So, I thank you for that, and I yield the floor back to all of you as I leave."
Managers highlight McConnell's agreement that they proved case
House impeachment managers, following the Senate vote to acquit Trump, held a press conference on Capitol Hill and harped on remarks from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., saying that they proved the case that Trump incited an insurrection despite failing to reach the votes needed to convict.
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., opened by thanking Congress, his team and the American people.
"Trump stormed our House with the mob he incited, and we defended our House. And he violated our Constitution, and we defended the Constitution. And they tried to trash our democracy, and we revived it, and we protected it," Raskin began, highlighting that the trial was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in the history of the country.
"We have a clear and convincing majority of members of Congress that the president actually incited violent insurrection against the union and against the Congress," Raskin said.
He went on to explain that because House managers had convinced McConnell -- although they didn't get his vote -- that they made their case and didn't see a need to call witnesses after all.
"We could have had 5,000 witnesses and Mitch McConnell would have made the same speech because what he's asserting is that the Senate never has jurisdiction over a former president," Raskin said. "And for reasons I don't need to belabor -- because a big part of the trial was about this -- we reject that completely. It's totally at odds with our history."