Donald Trump was on Monday given a hero’s welcome as his supporters lined his route home from the golf course on Presidents’ Day – amid a growing backlash against the Republicans who voted to impeach him.
The former president was acquitted at his second Senate impeachment trial over the weekend. He was pictured for the first time since the decision in West Palm Beach, Florida.
North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is now facing a formal censure vote from his home state’s Republican Party after voting in favor of convicting Trump. He joined six other Republicans on Saturday in voting in favor of convicting Trump for ‘inciting an insurrection.’
Fellow dissenter Republican senator Bill Cassidy was also censured by the GOP in his home state of Louisiana.
The move by Burr’s home state GOP is the latest in fallout for the seven Republican senators dubbed ‘Republicans in name only’ or ‘RINOs’. The vote to formally express disapproval of Burr is expected to pass swiftly with overwhelming support for censoring him.
Those who voted to convict with the 50 Democrats include Burr, 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.
Trump issued a statement after his acquittal on Saturday hinting at a political re-emergence, promising that ‘soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future’.
‘Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,’ he said.
The Senate vote means Trump is still eligible to run for another term in 2024, but he has not confirmed whether he intends to do so.
Former President Donald Trump reacts as he is driven past supporters on February 15, 2021 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The rally participants lined the street on President’s Day to show support for him after his election loss to President Joe Biden
Trump was acquitted at his second Senate impeachment trial over the weekend. He was pictured for the first time since the decision in West Palm Beach, Florida on Monday
Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather along Southern Blvd near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday
The Senate acquitted Trump of a charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ after House prosecutors laid out a case that he was an ‘inciter in chief’ who unleashed a mob by stoking a monthslong campaign of spreading debunked conspiracy theories and false violent rhetoric that the 2020 election was stolen from him
The Senate verdict Saturday, with its 57-43 majority falling 10 votes short of the two-thirds needed to convict Trump, hardly put to rest the debate about the Republican former president’s culpability for the January 6 assault.
The Senate acquitted Trump of a charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ after House prosecutors laid out a case that he was an ‘inciter in chief’ who unleashed a mob by stoking a monthslong campaign of spreading debunked conspiracy theories and false violent rhetoric that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Trump’s lawyers countered that Trump’s words were not intended to incite the violence and that impeachment was nothing but a ‘witch hunt’ designed to prevent him from serving in office again.
Burr had nothing to lose in his vote against Trump as he already announced in 2016 that he will not seek reelection in 2022. Rumors have swirled that the former president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump is considering a run for his seat in her home state.
Mitch McConnell has said he is open to opposing any ‘unelectable’ candidates in 2022, even if they are strongly backed by Trump, as he wrestles with how to handle a deeply-divided party following the impeachment hearing.
McConnell voted on Saturday to acquit the former president, but then publicly attacked him, accusing him of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ in his most critical remarks ever uttered. His tightrope walk between defending and demonizing the former president impressed few.
Trump’s lawyers countered that Trump’s words were not intended to incite the violence and that impeachment was nothing but a ‘witch hunt’ designed to prevent him from serving in office again
Rrally participants lined the street on President’s Day to show support for Trump outside his Mar-a-Lago home
Trump gave a thumbs-up to cheering supporters waving Trump flags in Florida on Monday
Trump was back on a Florida golf course on Sunday hours after he escaped conviction by the Senate.
After his first acquittal by the Senate in February 2020, then-President Trump savored the moment by walking down a White House red carpet to applause from lawmakers before savaging his political enemies in a pair of freewheeling speeches.
But now out of office, silenced on Twitter and disgraced in many people’s eyes since the violence at the Capitol on January 6, he surfaced on Sunday only for a round of golf at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
He was even absent from a Valentine’s Day message posted by Melania Trump, who shared pictures of how she had spent the holiday visiting sick children during her time as first lady – but made no mention of her husband.
The event was billed as the ‘Presidents’ Day ‘Peaceful and Patriotic’ Pro-Trump Rally
Several sources told CNN that Melania is spending much of her time at day spas.
‘She goes to the spa, has lunch, goes to the spa (again) and has dinner with Donald on the patio,’ one source told the network.
Another source said: ‘It is not unusual for Trump to spend several hours a day there [at the spa], enjoying the benefits at her disposal, often going twice in a 24-hour period, for massages, nail care, facial treatments or other items on the menu.’
The sources both said that ‘the former first lady has mentally all but left Washington behind, unlike her husband’.