Read Trump’s full statement: Former president welcomes impeachment acquittal

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Former President Donald Trump released a statement Saturday following the Senate vote to acquit him in his second impeachment trial.

The Senate voted 57-43, on the single charge of inciting an insurrection at the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6. 7 Republican senators voted to convict the former president; the most impeachment defections ever from a president’s party, but fell short of the two-thirds 67 votes needed to convict.

Trump thanked lawmakers, saying they “stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.”

His son Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in on the Senate decision tweeting in part, “it would be nice if the senators stopped putting on show trials for free air time.”

Barely a month since the deadly riot that stunned the world, the Senate convened Saturday for a rare weekend session to deliver its verdict, voting while armed National Guard troops continued to stand their posts outside the iconic building.

The quick trial, the nation’s first of a former president, showed how perilously close the invaders had come to destroying the nation’s deep tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power after Trump refused to concede the election. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after the attack, one of five people to be killed. More than 70 officers with the U.S. Capitol Police were injured.

Read Trump’s full statement below:

I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth.

My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.

Our cherished Constitutional Republic was founded on the impartial rule of law, the indispensable safeguard for our liberties, our rights and our freedoms.

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. 

This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago. 

I also want to convey my gratitude to the millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding, God-and-Country loving citizens who have bravely supported these important principles in these very difficult and challenging times.  

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!

We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future. 

Together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. 

We remain one People, one family, and one glorious nation under God, and it’s our responsibility to preserve this magnificent inheritance for our children and for generations of Americans to come.

May God bless all of you, and may God forever bless the United States of America.

Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

This was Donald Trump’s first statement since the impeachment trial started this week.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WJW contributed to this report.

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