The question before the Senate was, ultimately, a simple one: Is it acceptable for an American president to foment a violent insurrection through lies and vitriol, and set it upon the United States Congress with the express intention of overturning an election.
That so many Republican leaders have failed to answer that simple question in the affirmative is a sign of the deep moral rot that infects that party. Donald Trump has now attacked American democracy both by seeking out foreign electoral interference, and by inciting domestic insurrection. In both instances, the bulk of the GOP failed to honor their oaths, and left our nation at the whims of enemies foreign and domestic.
There were notable exceptions. Representatives Cheney, Rice, Newhouse, Kinzinger, Gonzalez, Upton, Herrera Beutler, Meijer, Katko, and Valadao braved the fury of their own colleagues to support the most bipartisan impeachment in history. Senators Burr, Cassidy, Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Sasse and Toomey all rejected the partisan pressure to defend Trump, stood firmly behind the truth of his crimes, and voted with Democrats to hold a criminal accountable. Their courage places them firmly on the right side of history, and on the unshakable ground of America’s principles. The rest of their Republican colleagues, by contrast, proved the depth of their craven pursuit of power, and bound themselves for all history to the dishonorable and disgraceful legacy of America’s failed despot.
Thankfully, the American people stood up where so many Republican officials shrunk from their duty. We elected a new president who seeks to unify the nation and protect our democracy. Republicans of conscience must now work together to overcome the authoritarians and apologists who hold the reins of their party. And Americans of all political stripes must stand united in defense of our Constitution, our democracy, and our nation.