President Joe Biden late on Saturday responded to the Senate's vote to acquit former President Donald Trump on an article of impeachment for "inciting" the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Biden said the events of Jan. 6 and the outcome of the impeachment trial are a reminder that "democracy is fragile," according to a statement released hours after the upper chamber's vote. He called on Americans to stay vigilant and to ensure that democracy is always defended.
"This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant. That violence and extremism has no place in America," Biden said. "And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies."
The Senate on Saturday voted 57-43, resulting in an another acquittal for Trump. Democrats needed 67 votes in order to convict the former president.
Biden, who was at the Camp David presidential retreat when the Senate was conducting the vote, said that although the final vote did not lead to a conviction, he believes "the substance of the charge is not in dispute."
"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," Biden said.
The top Republican said he voted “not guilty” because he believes a former president could not face trial in the Senate.
“I guarantee you, all 100 senators in that chamber have stood on the stump and said we need to ‘fight or fight like hell,'" Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Thursday.
All Senate Democrats voted to convict Trump, while seven Republicans joined their Democrat colleagues.
Democrats are "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," Trump said in the statement.
He also vowed to "be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate."