President Joe Biden issued a statement shortly after the United States Senate voted to acquit former President Trump of inciting the riot that broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
The Democratic president described the initial riot and the subsequent impeachment process as a “sad chapter in our history” and encouraged people across the country to pursue their “duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”
The statement began by recognizing those who lost their lives in the Capitol riots.
“It was nearly two weeks ago that Jill and I paid our respects to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who laid in honor in the Rotunda after losing his life protecting the Capitol from a riotous, violent mob on January 6, 2021,” he said.
“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, noting the 57 votes fell under the 67 vote threshold to convict Trump.
“The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives,” he continued. “While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute. 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.”
“This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant,” Biden said. 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.”
He added: “Tonight, I am thinking about those who bravely stood guard that January day. I’m thinking about all those who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened, and all those who are still today living with terror they lived through that day. 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.”
“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,” Biden concluded.
NEW: Pres. Biden on the acquittal of former Pres. Trump:
"This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America." pic.twitter.com/eE8lkvXiFs
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 14, 2021