President Joe Biden issued a statement in response to former President Donald Trump’s acquittal Saturday by claiming that the “substance” of the charge against him is “not in dispute.”
Describing the recent turmoil as a “sad chapter in our history” that has “reminded us that democracy is fragile,” Biden admonished Americans to be “ever vigilant” against violent extremism that would threaten their institutions.
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
The Senate acquitted Trump 57-43 on Saturday after he was impeached by the House of Representatives for allegedly inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters broke into the Capitol.
After blasting his predecessor, Biden called for an end to what he described as “the uncivil war” afflicting the United States. “That is the task ahead,” he wrote. “And it’s a task we must undertake together. As the United States of America.”
Read Biden’s full statement below:
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.
Today, 57 Senators – including a record 7 Republicans – voted to find former President Trump guilty for inciting that deadly insurrection on our very democracy. The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Trump struck a different tone in his response to his acquittal, accusing the Democratic Party of corrupting the rule of law to destroy their political opponents and enable criminals.