Donald Trump fears facing criminal charges despite second impeachment acquittal


Donald Trump’s celebrations of his second impeachment acquittal could be short-lived as he fears he could still face criminal charges.

His anxiety was said to have dramatically increased when the ex-president’s party’s Senate leader Mitch McConnell launched a blistering attack on the former US leader.

“He’s worried about it,” one adviser close to Trump said of potential criminal charges now being filed.

Despite voting to acquit Trump of inciting last month’s deadly Capitol riot, powerful Republican McConnell said Trump was “still liable for everything he did while he was in office”.

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky
Mitch McConnell launched a blistering attack on Donald Trump

He said: “He didn’t get away with anything, yet.

“We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation, and former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.”

Addressing fellow Senators, he told them: “Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty.

“Anyone who decries his awful behaviour is accused of insulting millions of voters. That is an absurd deflection.

“Seventy-four million Americans did not invade the Capitol. Hundreds of rioters did. Seventy-four million Americans did not engineer the campaign of disinformation and rage that provoked it. One person did. Just one.”

All 50 Senate Democrats and seven Republicans voted to convict Trump, 10 short of the two-thirds majority needed.

McConnell said he voted to acquit because the charges were unconstitutional as Trump was no longer in office.

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Trump is currently lying low in his Mar-A-Lago mansion in Florida

“Impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice,” he added.

While most Senate Republicans pursued his acquittal, even those who voted not guilty warned the former president that criminal charges could be forthcoming.

“The ultimate accountability is through our criminal justice system where political passions are checked,” said Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

“No president is above the law or immune from criminal prosecution, and that includes former president Trump.”

President Joe Biden reacted to his predecessor’s acquittal insisting the “substance” of the charge of incitement to insurrection was not in doubt.



Trump and Melania
Trump and his wife Melania left the White House in January

“While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Biden said in a statement.

“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.”

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose team prosecuted Trump, was livid at the trial’s outcome.

She crashed the House impeachment managers’ press conference following the trial’s conclusion, lashing out at McConnell.

“It had not been my intention to come to this press availability,” Pelosi said as she spoke to reporters after Saturday’s verdict.

“But what we saw 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.”

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“But why I came over was because I listened to Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi continued.

“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 a chance to give a little slap on the wrist.”

Only last month, the US attorney in Washington DC said federal prosecutors are open to investigating Trump’s role in inciting the violent riots during which five people died.

“We are looking at all actors here, and anyone that had a role,” Michael Sherwin said.

“If the evidence fits the element of a crime, they’re going to be charged.”



Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was livid at the trial’s outcome

Trump, who is currently lying low in his Mar-A-Lago mansion in Florida, also fears prosecution in New York.

State prosecutors are investigating more than £180 million in loans Trump took out on some of his best-known Manhattan properties.

Despite the various probes, it has been claimed Trump intends to use his acquittal as a launchpad for a return to the political stage.

Sources close to him say he plans to embark on rallies to target those Republicans who tried to purge him, although that would not be “immediate”.

After his acquittal Trump said: “It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law,

defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.

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“I always have, and always will be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honourably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”

As Trump plots his future, his legacy within the Republican movement has created a huge divide with the party now being at civil war.





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