Feb 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden on Trump acquittal: Substance of charge "not in dispute"

President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with Senators from both parties in the Oval Office of the White House on February 11

President Biden in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden issued a statement late Saturday in response to the Senate acquittal of former President Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Why it matters: Biden had distanced himself from the trial, but he didn't hold back in his first comments on its outcome — noting seven Republicans were among 57 senators to find Trump guilty "for inciting that deadly insurrection on our very democracy."

  • "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," Biden added in his emailed statement.

What else he's saying: Biden said his thoughts were with "those who bravely stood guard," those "who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened" during the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill and "all those who are still today living with terror they lived through that day."

  • "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," he continued.
  • "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."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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