Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump on the charges of incitement of insurrection, with most Republicans deeming the procedure unconstitutional.
Toomey began by noting that he believes Trump violated the Constitution when he allegedly told his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol building and prevent Democrat Joe Biden from assuming the presidency.
However, the senator argued that Democrats sought to impeach Trump “from the moment he won the 2016 election,” with members of the press largely supporting their partisan efforts.
“The mainstream media was unrelentingly biased and hostile to the president. Both often overlooked violent riots when perpetrated in favor of causes they found sympathetic last summer,” Toomey said, noting that Trump’s behavior in the days leading up to the January 6 riots was nonetheless completely unacceptable.
Toomey argued that Trump’s legal challenges failed because there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and said that the commander-in-chief left office having “betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him.”
Even after courts across the nation rejected his campaign’s lawsuits, Trump continued to put pressure on Republican officials, demanding they override the will of the voters, Toomey continued.
“He urged the mob to march on the Capitol for the explicit purpose of preventing Congress and the Vice President from formally certifying the results of the presidential election,” he said.
“A lawless attempt to retain power by a president was one of the founders’ greatest fears motivating the inclusion of the impeachment authorities in the U.S. Constitution.”
Six other Republicans voted to convict Trump — Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine and Richard Burr of North Carolina.
Burr also explained his Saturday vote, saying that he still believes impeachment was unconstitutional, but noting that the Senate set a precedent by holding a trial. Echoing Toomey, he said that all available evidence shows Trump sought to violently overturn the results of the presidential race.
It remains unclear if Congress will take any additional steps, but Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi told reporters that the lower chamber will not seek to censure the former commander-in-chief, indicating that Democrats are looking to move with implementing Biden’s agenda and providing economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.