Toomey explains vote to convict Trump

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) talks to members of the media during the fifth day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
REUTERS/Erin Scott

Pennsylvania’s two U.S. senators, Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, voted Saturday to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol Building.

Toomey was among seven Republicans in the Senate who cast their ballot against Trump, who was acquitted in an impeachment trial for the second time.

“President Trump summoned thousands to Washington, D.C. and inflamed their passions by repeating disproven allegations about widespread fraud,” Toomey said in a statement following the vote.

“He urged the mob to march on the Capitol for the explicit purpose of preventing Congress and the Vice President from formally certifying the results of the presidential election,” he continued. “His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.”

Toomey may have felt less pressure to back Trump than other Republicans because he is not running for reelection next year.

The impeachment trial featured a Philadelphia-area flair.

U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, who represents Montgomery County, served as one of the House impeachment managers, and former Montgomery County Commissioner and District Attorney Bruce Castor and Philadelphia-based attorney Michael T. van der Veen were on Trump’s defense team.

Van der Veen, whose office is in Center City, went viral when he mispronounced the city’s name, saying depositions could be given in his “Philly-delphia” office. The gaffe sparked a torrent of laughter in the Senate.

Many Philly-area Democrats, however, weren’t laughing when the trial concluded.

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, whose district covers parts of the city, was one of the lawmakers barricaded for hours during the Jan. 6 violence. He pointed to Senate Republicans for failing to punish Trump for his actions.

“The evidence presented by the House Manager’s team this week was damning and clear,” Boyle said in a statement. “President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States, threatened the integrity of the democratic system, and interfered with the peaceful transition of power.”

“A well executed, fact-laden, compelling prosecution didn’t get it done. Again,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, whose district is based in Chester County. “Even though our nation’s Senators are supposed to be oath- and duty-bound to be impartial jurors.”

Casey, a Democrat, said Trump’s denial of the election results and speech on Jan. 6 incited the rioters, threatening the lives of members of Congress, staffers, reporters and former Vice President Mike Pence.

“And he has shown no remorse for any of it,” Casey said in a statement. “The former President attacked the foundational principles of our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power.”

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