Some elected officials from both parties in Nassau County said former President Donald Trump bore responsibility for the Capitol riot last month even though the Senate on Saturday acquitted him in his second impeachment trial.
The vote on whether Trump was guilty of inciting the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 was 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, 10 votes short of conviction. U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who with Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) was present in the Capitol when the insurrection occurred, explained why he supported those who found Trump guilty.
“I was there in the House Chamber January 6th and if you can’t impeach a President for what he did here, I don’t know what would qualify,” Suozzi said. “We must continue working to move our country forward.”
Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) agreed with officials who found Trump responsible for the insurrection at the Capitol, but claimed that the not guilty result was “all but certain” since the trial occurred after Trump had left office.
“I agree with Congressional leaders in both parties who have been clear that President Trump bears responsibility for the horrible events of January 6. However, proceeding with this trial after President Trump left office meant that acquittal in this specific proceeding was all but certain,” Ra said.
Ra, like Suozzi, stressed the importance of moving past political agendas to aid everyone in the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s time for Congress to move forward. I’m urging our representatives to finalize badly needed COVID-19 relief for our families, small-business owners, local governments, schools and health care providers,” Ra said.
Rice said America’s national security could be affected by the acquittal, but praised the officials who spearheaded the impeachment effort.
“The Senate’s failure to hold a President accountable who incited an insurrection leaves our democracy vulnerable to future attacks,” Rice said. “Our House impeachment managers did an admirable job. In compelling fashion, they laid out a damning indictment of Trump’s guilt.”
Jay Jacobs, the state and Nassau County Democratic Committee chairman, was blunt in a tweet on Monday and compared Trump’s acquittal with arguably the most notable recent trial to end in the same result.
“Donald Trump is now the OJ Simpson of politics: He got acquitted but we all know he did it,” Jacobs tweeted.
Seven Republican senators found Trump guilty, including Richard Burr of North Carolina, who previously served as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and spearheaded the Senate’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Rice and Suozzi praised Burr and the six other Republican senators for voting to hold Trump accountable for the insurrection.
“I commend the Republicans that took a stand and did the right thing,” Rice said. “Those that didn’t will forever be on the wrong side of history.”
“I applaud the 7 Republican Senators that put country first,” Suozzi said. “Future generations will note where we all stood during this important moment in our nation’s history.”