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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."

Go deeper: Trump vows comeback after second Senate acquittal

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

Go deeper

Updated Feb 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Senate acquits Trump

Photo by congress.gov via Getty Images

The Senate failed to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to convict former President Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, with a final vote of 57-43 cementing his acquittal.

Why it matters: Seven Senate Republicans voted ‘guilty,’ the most bipartisan margin in favor of conviction in history.

What history will say about Trump's acquittal

Trump at a December rally to support Republican Senate candidates. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

It's not lost on historians that Donald Trump's likely impeachment trial acquittal could fall on Presidents' Day weekend, a holiday celebrating the examples set by America's first president, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln, who held the republic together through civil war and ended slavery.

Why it matters: Through his repeated efforts to overturn the election, Trump put the country through one of the toughest tests of democracy it has ever faced. Historians say his expected acquittal on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection will have consequences we are only beginning to understand — and they'll be felt for years.

Mitch McConnell says he will vote to acquit Trump

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walking through the Capitol on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told his fellow Senate Republicans in an email that he will vote to acquit former President Trump in his impeachment trial over the deadly U.S Capitol riot on Jan. 6, two sources familiar with the email told Axios.

Why it matters: McConnell's acquittal vote will likely shrink the number of Republicans who considered voting to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, making a conviction on the House's single charge of "incitement of insurrection" unlikely.