WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today issued the following statement after the Senate’s acquittal of former President Donald Trump.
“The House managers’ burden in this trial was to prove first, that the Senate should exercise its impeachment jurisdiction in a case against a former president; and second, that he committed the high crime of inciting an insurrection. The House managers did not clear either hurdle.
"No one can condone the horrific violence that occurred on January 6, 2021–or President Trump’s words, actions, and omissions on that day. I certainly do not.
“But, the fact is that the word ‘incitement’ has a very specific meaning in the law, and Donald Trump’s words and actions on January 6, 2021, fell short of that standard. The House rushed its impeachment without an investigation, charged President Trump with a crime it failed properly to allege, and then sat on its poorly worded Article until after he left office.
“Given the politically suspicious process, the Senate should never have exercised jurisdiction over this Article in the first place. Convicting a former official would be an unprecedented and constitutionally dubious step—never before has the Senate convicted an impeached official after that official has left office. The House managers never demonstrated why that step was necessary in this case.
“On the contrary, throughout the trial, the House managers repeatedly relied on hearsay, erroneous media reports, and political rhetoric rather than evidence.
“Faced with the weak presentation of a deficient case demanding unprecedented constitutional action against a private citizen, acquittal was the only option I could deem consistent with the law, the facts, and the Constitution.”