Impeachment isn’t the final word on Capitol riot for Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s acquittal at his second impeachment trial may not be the final word on whether he’s to blame for the deadly Capitol riot. The next step for the former president could be the courts.

Now a private citizen, Trump is stripped of his protection from legal liability that the presidency gave him. That change in status is something that even Republicans who voted on Saturday to acquit of inciting the attack on January 6 are stressing as they urge Americans to move on from impeachment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with impeachment managers speaks to members of the media during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, after the U.S. Senate voted not guilty, to acquit former President Donald Trump of inciting riot at U.S. Capitol, ending impeachment trial, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. AP

“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office, as an ordinary citizen, unless the statute of limitations has run,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said after that vote. He insisted that the courts were a more appropriate venue to hold Trump accountable than a Senate trial.

“He didn’t get away with anything yet,” McConnell said.

The insurrection at the Capitol, in which five people died, is just one of the legal cases shadowing Trump in the months after he was voted out of office. He also faces legal exposure in Georgia over an alleged pressure campaign on state election officials, and in Manhattan over hush-money payments and business deals.