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Trump remains dominant force in GOP following acquittal

Mitch McConnell
Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-13 19:02:30-05

NEW YORK (AP) — The Republican Party still belongs to Donald Trump.

The GOP privately flirted with purging the norm-shattering former president after he was accused of inciting a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month.

But in the end, only seven of 50 Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump in his historic second impeachment trial on Saturday.

READ: Pelosi scoffs at 'cowardly' GOP senators

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell savaged the former president in a post-vote speech. He charged that Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events” that led to the deadly insurrection. But he, like the vast majority of his caucus, declared Trump “not guilty."

For Trump’s Republican loyalists, the acquittal vote offers a vindication of sorts and a fresh connection to the former president’s fiery base.