In an especially spineless move on the part of the US Senate, Donald Trump has been acquitted at his second impeachment trial, with the majority falling just ten votes short of the number needed to convict.

A 57-43 majority of the Senate voted guilty, finding that Donald Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly riots in the US Capitol on January 6.

Seven Republicans broke with their party to vote in favour of conviction – these were Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey.

It takes 67 votes to convict, however, and this number could not be reached.

In an especially bizarre move, Mitch McConnell, who voted in favour of acquitting the former president, also delivered a lengthy speech condemning him for “disgraceful dereliction of duty.”

He said:

“There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”

He nonetheless voted to acquit, saying that the senate lacks the jurisdiction to punish the former president.

The verdict means that Donald Trump will retain the privileges of a former president and will theoretically be free to run for office again in future

Image: Getty Images / Drew Angerer