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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of any Her Campus chapter or Her Campus Media.

As many of you have now heard, former President Donald J. Trump has been acquitted for a second time. Personally, I have no idea how this happened, being that there was a mountain of evidence against Trump for inciting an insurrection. However, while that is another issue that grinds my gears, the trial itself made me want to rip my hair out. The legal team of the former president made absolutely no sense, and it was extremely hard for me to see their argument. I feel as if I might be a little biased, but having watched both trials more than once, I can honestly say that I am shocked by the outcome. 

To begin with, Democrats were not ready to call on live witness testimonies, so many of them were not listened to. Therefore listened to a number of witnesses, I feel like a big part of the trial was missing. Some say this might have helped because we have no idea what those witnesses were going to say. However, the Senate should have listened to them regardless of what the outcome would have been. Throwing out witness statements just seems very immoral.

Photo by C Drying on Unsplash

A large part of the trial was discussing how Trump is a private citizen now and how this just feels like a way for Democrats to ‘exile’ him. To counter that, I would like to mention that the former president did this while in office. He perpetuated a lie that President Joe Biden stole the election from him, which is still lingering on today. He devised a speech on Jan. 6, 2021, that riled up his supporters to break into the Capitol and terrorize our government officials. To me, this seems like an impeachable offense. He directly interfered with the peaceful transition of power. As a result, there were multiple casualties and injuries, on top of totally ruining the Capitol building.

Lastly, I would like to touch on Trump’s legal defense arguments. They argued his speech was typical political rhetoric. In which, I would like to respond by asking how many political leaders have done that without consequences? As to my knowledge, none of the former United States presidents had done anything similar. In fact, I would even go as far as to say if former President Obama did something like this, he would face repercussions immediately. In addition, there was also the argument that this trial was infringing on his rights and punishing him for his viewpoints.

A large majority of the former president’s misinformed opinions get treated as absolute fact by his supporters. I would also argue that because Trump has such an inflated ego, he would probably treat his opinions the same. Therefore, these over-glorified beliefs can be dangerous to the United States. Moreover, that same day when terrorists infiltrated the Capitol, chanting about how they were going to murder the former Vice President, Trump tweeted an attack on him a couple of minutes later. Therefore, I believe the former president absolutely knew what he was doing and wanted another outcome, but the Senate disagrees. As a result, Trump will keep all the benefits he has as a former president and will be eligible to run for office again in the future. 

Kaitlyn Austin is an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University, with a bachelor's in political science with a concentration in civil rights. She is passionate about social justice, advocacy, and astrology.
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