Some Republicans consider him the most influential figure in the party. According to others, his popularity among voters will decline
The political future of former U.S. President Donald Trump remains an open question even after his impeachment proceedings ended with an acquittal in the Senate.
Shortly after the vote in the Senate, where lawmakers lacked the votes to convict Trump, the former president declared that his political life was not over. However, he did not explicitly hint that he might run for president again in 2024.
Trump called the impeachment proceedings against him “another phase of the greatest witch hunt” in U.S. history.
“No president has ever been subjected to anything like this,” he said.
At the same time, he added: “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to make America great again has just begun. I will share many things with you in the coming months, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all our people.”
One of his most loyal Republican supporters, Senator Lindsey Graham, told Fox News on Sunday that he spoke with the former president after the impeachment proceedings were over. He said Trump is “ready to move on to strengthen the party” so that it can regain control of the Senate and House in the 2022 midterm elections.
“If you want to win, you have to work with President Trump,” Graham said. – There’s nothing wrong with the Trump movement. The most powerful force in the Republican Party is Donald Trump.”
However, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan told CNN that after Trump’s electoral defeat and a controversial end to his presidency, Republicans “will have to engage in a real battle for the soul of the party in the next few years.”
Hogan wondered “whether Republicans are going to be the party that can’t win a national election.”
National polls show that many Republicans still support Trump, but Hogan suggested that “that will change over time.”
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, who voted to condemn Trump, told Fox News that she does not believe Trump will remain a key figure in the Republican Party.
“Americans have seen what this man has done,” she said. – He’s done.”
Graham said Trump “was angry at some of the people” who opposed him in the Senate. Seven of the 50 Republican senators joined 50 Democrats in voting to condemn the former president. At the same time, Graham said, Trump is “ready to get involved in the campaign” to support Republican candidates.
Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to exonerate Trump, condemned his longtime political ally for his role in the Capitol attack that killed five people.
According to McConnell, Trump “bears practical and moral responsibility for provoking the events” of Jan. 6. “The people who stormed that building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” he said.