On February 13, The Nation national affairs correspondent John Nichols published a scathing indictment of the Senate’s decision to acquit President Trump for his incitement of the January 6th Capitol insurrection and its decision not to call witnesses at the impeachment trial, saying that both marked “a tragic abandonment of accountability.”

Nichols’ condemnation of the Senate’s actions are two-fold; first, he accuses the 43 Senators who voted to acquit Trump of “fail[ing] the Constitution” in their refusal to properly respond to acts of sedition. Second, he confronts Senators on both sides of the aisle, particularly Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and moderate Senate Democrats, for ultimately repudiating their earlier vote to hear witness testimony at the trial, as requested by the House impeachment managers, for the sake of returning to “the business of governing”:

“[The Senators] abandoned their responsibility to use every tool that was available to them to check and balance the imperial presidency—in the immediate trial of Trump for incitement of insurrection and in the broader battle to renew the role of the Congress as the preeminent branch in a system of shared powers.”

Nichols went on to quote Free Speech For People President John Bonifaz: “If our Constitution and our democracy is on the line with this trial (as we have rightly been told), then why rest solely on video, audio, news reports, and one stipulated statement? Trials require witnesses. Would witnesses have changed the outcome? We will now never know. But history will judge this decision to stop the full airing of evidence before the Senate and the American people on why Trump should be convicted for inciting this insurrection.”

Despite Trump’s acquittal by the Senate, Free Speech For People will continue the fight to hold him accountable for his lawless actions. Last month, we led and issued a coalition letter to Attorney General-designate Judge Merrick Garland, urging him to establish, immediately upon his confirmation, a task force to investigate “any potential federal criminal or civil violations that may have been committed by President Trump, members of his administration, or his campaign, business, or other associates.” These violations include the call to find additional votes in Georgia (currently under investigation by the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia on separate state law grounds), interference in the 2016 and 2020 elections, and misuse of the office of the presidency for personal profit.