Rounds, Thune vote for acquittal in Trump impeachment

Both Senator Mike Rounds and Senator John Thune voted for the acquittal of former President Donald Trump.
Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 9:36 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Both of South Dakota’s senators voted “not guilty” on the charge of incitement of insurrection of former President Donald Trump.

Senator Mike Rounds previously expressed that he viewed the impeachment of a former president as unconstitutional.

“I’ve said all along that impeaching former President Trump is a moot point as the Constitution is clear that removal from office is the primary purpose of impeachment,” Rounds said. “Our Founding Fathers intended the process of impeachment to remove public officials from office, not to punish private citizens.”

In a statement, Senator John Thune provided a similar reason for his vote.

“The Constitution is clear that the primary purpose of impeachment is removal from office, and that’s what I believe the Founders intended,” Thune said. “I have great concerns with the Senate punishing a private citizen with the sole intent of disqualifying him from holding future office. Our Founders designed impeachment to be an extreme remedy and cautioned against its use as a political weapon.”

Thune said that his vote to acquit Trump should not be viewed as an exoneration of his role in the January 6th riots at the Capitol.

“My vote to acquit should not be viewed as exoneration for his conduct on January 6, 2021, or in the days and weeks leading up to it,” Thune said. “What former President Trump did to undermine faith in our election system and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power is inexcusable.”

The Senate voted 57-43 to indict former President Trump, just short of the 60 vote threshold to do so. 7 Republican senators crossed party lines to vote “guilty,” along with all Senate Democrats.

RELATED: Rep. Johnson says he’s won’t vote to impeach Trump