U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today released the following statement regarding the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial:
“The impeachment trial is over and former President Trump has been acquitted. My vote to acquit should not be viewed as exoneration for his conduct on January 6, 2021, or in the days and weeks leading up to it. What former President Trump did to undermine faith in our election system and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power is inexcusable.
“But he is no longer president. The Constitution is clear that the primary purpose of impeachment is removal from office, and that’s what I believe the Founders intended. I have great concerns with the Senate punishing a private citizen with the sole intent of disqualifying him from holding future office. Our Founders designed impeachment to be an extreme remedy and cautioned against its use as a political weapon. We should heed their caution. In our democracy, matters of representation should be left with the people, as the Founders intended.
“I have faith in the American people and the strength of our democracy.”