Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday crashed House impeachment managers' press conference following the Senate voting 57-43 to acquit former President Donald Trump on the article of impeachment for "inciting an insurrection."
Seven Republicans – Sens. Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Richard Burr (NC), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE) and Pat Toomey (PA) – joined Democrats in voting to convict Trump.
The higher chamber fell short of the 67 votes needed to convict him.
According to the speaker, moving to censure Trump isn't enough.
"They let everybody off the hook, all these cowardly senators who couldn't face up to what the president did and what was at stake for our country, are now going to have the chance to give a little slap on the wrist?" Pelosi asked rhetorically, tapping her hand. "We censure people for using stationaries for the wrong purpose. You don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol."
The Senate on Saturday acquitted former President Donald Trump in a 57-43 vote on the charge of inciting insurrection for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.https://t.co/ek1fNegSBn pic.twitter.com/wVdVTYYCpo— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) February 13, 2021
"What we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options because they were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve," she said. "Imagine, it would be vandalized in so many bad ways that we won't even go into here and that they would not respect their institution, that the President of the Senate, Mike Pence – "hang Mike Pence" – was the chant and they just dismissed that. Why? Because maybe they can't get another job."
The speaker went on to ask why Republican senators believe their "political survival" is more important than the oath they took to the United States Constitution.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced the senators who made Donald Trump's acquittal possible as a ‘cowardly group of Republicans’ and blamed McConnell for not allowing the House to deliver the impeachment charge to the Senate while Trump was still in the White House pic.twitter.com/cVu6gtT8uL— Reuters (@Reuters) February 14, 2021
Pelosi also took a jab at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who said Trump incited the violence on the Capitol but argued the former president is "constitutionally not eligible for conviction." Instead, McConnell said prosecutors would have to go after Trump for criminal charges.
One of the speaker's biggest gripes was that the House voted to impeach Trump while he was still in office but McConnell refused to bring up the impeachment trial before the of Trump's term.
“We’re told it could not be received because Mitch McConnell had shut down the Senate,” she explained. “For him to get up there and make this indictment against the president, and say, ‘I can’t vote for it because it’s after the fact’ — [it was ] the fact that he established … that it could not be delivered before the inauguration… Oh my gosh."