Trump impeachment – Former president vows MAGA journey ‘has only just begun’ in first statement after surviving vote

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DONALD Trump has claimed the MAGA journey "has only just begun" after he survived the impeachment vote.

The Senate vote of 57-43 fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict on Saturday.

Donald Trump repeated his claim that he was under a 'witch hunt'

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Donald Trump repeated his claim that he was under a 'witch hunt'Credit: AP:Associated Press

MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol Hill building following a speech by Trump

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MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol Hill building following a speech by TrumpCredit: Rex Features

Trump supporters took over the building as the result in the presidential election was being confirmed

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Trump supporters took over the building as the result in the presidential election was being confirmedCredit: AFP or licensors

Trump welcomed his acquittal, repeating his claims of a "witch hunt" and saying that his movement "has only just begun".

In the vote, seven of the 50 Senate Republicans joined the chamber's unified Democrats in favoring conviction after the five-day trial in the same building that was invaded by Trump fanatics during a violent riot on January 6.

Seven Republicans broke ranks and voted to convict Trump: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

In a statement Trump said: “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.

"In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!” Trump said.

Michael van der Veen said the Democrats were hypocritical for impeaching Trump

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Michael van der Veen said the Democrats were hypocritical for impeaching TrumpCredit: Handout - Getty

“It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.

"I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”

Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said in his closing remarks that Democrats were hypocritical for impeaching Trump over a pre-riot speech and claimed the impeachment was unconstitutional.

“Throughout the summer Democrat leaders including the current president and vice president repeatedly made comments that provided moral comfort to mobs attacking police officers,” van der Veen said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said anyone who had voted to acquit Trump should be ashamed of themselves.

Chuck Schumer said anyone who had voted to acquit Trump should be ashamed of themselves

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Chuck Schumer said anyone who had voted to acquit Trump should be ashamed of themselvesCredit: AP:Associated Press

“The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate,” Schumer said.

He added: “if lying about the results of an election is acceptable, if instigating a mob against the government is considered permissible, if encouraging political violence becomes the norm, it will be open season on our democracy and everything will be up for grabs by whoever has the biggest clubs, the sharpest spears, the most powerful guns.”

Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin had argued that Trump must be convicted and banned from holding office again to preserve US democratic traditions.

“We’ve shown you how President Trump created a powder keg, lit a match and then continued his incitement even even as he failed to defend us from the ensuing violence,” Raskin said.

“This case is about whether our country demands a peaceful, non-violent transfer of power.”

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“We’re defending the US Senate and the US House against a president who acted no better than a marauder and a member of that mob by inciting those people to come here. And in many ways he was worse.

"He named the date, he named the time and he brought them here. And now, he must pay the price,” Raskin closed.

Trump was the first president to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office.

Donald Trump ACQUITTED in impeachment trial vote for second time as Democrats fall short of number needed to convict

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