A two-thirds majority of the 100 US Senators was required for an “Incitement to Insurrection” conviction. The Democrats fell short 10 votes. President Trump was thereby acquitted. His opponents had been hoping to pin the riots on Capitol Hill on January 6 2021 on him. To have found him guilty would have meant Mr Trump’s entire legacy being cancelled. It would also have stopped the Donald from running again in 2024. That was and remains the Democrats aim.
For people who have, in the meantime, taken the time to watch President Trump’s speech to supporters that day, the idea that he incited anyone to anything other than respect the rule of law was nothing more than a sick joke.
To his audience he said “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”.
At no point during his two hour presentation of the facts as he saw them did he goad his supporters into adopting the tried-and-tested Antifa or Black Live Matter’s extra-parliamentary tactics of violence and intimidation.
In fact, most of the address was used to explain his grievances about the election. In short, his points were that electoral laws were changed before Election Day - unconstitutionally.
In his mind and to his audience the message was clear: He won under the rules of the Old Constitution; Biden won under the new ones, introduced just before November 2020.
The facts that the laws were changed is disputed by no-one. It is the crucial bone of contention.
Republicans, according to the US Constitution, thought that only the State Legislatures could change electoral laws; Democrats, not wanting to let the serendipitous COVID-19 crisis go to waste, decided to test these assumptions.
It turned out that electoral laws could indeed be changed by all and any parts of Officialdom so long as they had an anti-Trump bias. And, so far, they seem to have been proven right.
As a matter of fact, in a Time Magazine article published on February 4 entitled “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election”, Leslie Dickstein, Mariah Espada and Simmone Shah, wrote a refreshingly honest report on the far reaching collaboration between Big Tech, the charitable sector, academia, the American media and much more, which justified, from their perspective, the need to change the rules of the game in order to ensure Mr Trump would be denied a second term.
Because that, not Covid, China, mass unemployment, ballooning debts and the corollary of ever increasing amounts of money printing, and sundry other issues, was the most important one of all.
Just allowing people to vote under the old rules, as the authors admit, was too much of a risk to take.
As the authors wrote in their revelatory piece “this is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum”.
They added: “their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding”.
The article supports every point made by Mr Trump during his January 6 address.
It is only in the vocabulary and tone of self-righteousness used that the authors disagree with President 45 - in the form, rather than the content, as it were.
To them, it wasn’t “electoral fraud”, it was “electoral necessity” – apparently a much more principled and justifiable stance.
However, for those who believe that constitutional democracy is important because without set and broadly accepted rules, there can be no game, the facts do point to some sort of unconstitutionality.
Interestingly, contrary to the oft-repeated claims that all lawsuits filed by Trump and team have been universally dismissed, reports seem to show that of the 22 cases that have been heard by the court and decided on their merits, Trump and Republicans have prevailed.
In the interim, the acquittal will have won Trump some short term reprieve.
However given the vehemence with which Trump, friends and colleagues have been pursued and harassed over the last four years, it seems unlikely that the Democrats will allow this to be the end of the story.
Too much has been revealed for Trump’s opponents to allow him to walk away, regroup and come back to fight once more.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, barely able to contain her disappointment, ruled out censuring the former president, an idea that had been floated in recent days by a handful of Republicans.
She said: “We censure people for using stationery for the wrong purpose."
Without a hint of irony, she added: “Censure is a slap in the face of the Constitution. It lets everybody off the hook”.
The extreme nature of the policies which have already been forced through or are in the pipeline, pushed with an unbecoming and eye-brow raising haste, tells us that the Democrats have given up on consensus politics and winning popularity contests.
They are not interested in convincing their audiences through argumentations and debate. They are interested, like the fashionable revolutionaries of old, in perpetually changing the rules of the game.
Today’s Democrats are truly opposed, body and soul, not just to the man whose motto is “Make America Great Again” but to the motto itself.
In their estimation, America needs to pay for her original sin. Trump is its 21st Century representation.
No text, no tradition, no religion, no system that allows such a man to win the presidency can be admitted. To them, Trump’s victory in 2016 forever discredited the American Constitution – those who wrote it as well as those who support it.
Full of unintended consequences, the saga of the 2020 Election-That-Never-Ends, it seems, will keep rumbling on.