Democrats hoping to get a conviction for Donald Trump in the Senate following the House’s second impeachment of the now-former president were disappointed on Saturday when just seven Senate Republicans sided with the upper chamber’s 50 Dems, falling short of the 17 Republicans needed and thus, resulting in an acquittal.
It’s a development that apparently left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) so angry that she lost it on her GOP colleagues in the Senate, calling Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and company a “cowardly group of Republicans” for not holding Trump accountable for alleged “incitement,” as Fox News reported.
“They were afraid”
It was during an unscheduled press conference following the Saturday vote that Pelosi lashed out at Senate Republicans, who evidently weren’t convinced that Trump was to blame for a violent and deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“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, [to] respect the institution in which they serve,” Pelosi said, according to a transcript provided by her office.
“Imagine that it would be vandalized in so many bad ways that I won’t even go into here, and that they would not respect their institution. That the President of the Senate, Mike Pence — ‘Hang Mike Pence’ was the chant and they just dismissed that,” the speaker added of Republicans.
“Why? Because maybe they can’t get another job,” she said. “What is so important about any one of us? What is so important about the political survival of any one of us that is more important than our Constitution that we take an oath to protect and defend?”
“A slap on the wrist”
Pelosi later turned her attention to McConnell, who she blamed for delaying the impeachment proceedings in the upper chamber.
“You chose not to receive [the article of impeachment],” Pelosi said. “It didn’t matter except it was not the reason that he voted the way he did. It was the excuse that he used.”
With a conviction off the table, Pelosi was asked Saturday if a formal censure of Trump is now under consideration. But the speaker snapped back that such a move “is a slap in the face of the Constitution that gives — lets everybody off the hook. It lets everybody off the hook,” she said.
“Oh, these cowardly Senators who couldn’t face up to what the president did and what was at stake for our country are now going to have a chance to give a slap on the wrist?” she remarked, according to the transcript. “We censure people for using stationery for the wrong purpose. We don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol.”