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McLean County GOP chair: Country needs to move forward after Trump acquittal
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McLean County GOP chair: Country needs to move forward after Trump acquittal


BLOOMINGTON — The head of the McLean County GOP on Saturday said former President Donald Trump's impeachment acquittal allows the country to move on

"There is so much to be done and for them to waste over a week with all of the hype and buildup for that, instead of focusing on real problems I think speaks a lot to what our priorities are of our opponents in the Congress. Needless to say I am pleased with the decision," said county Republican Chairwoman Connie Beard. 

The U.S. Senate voted 57-43 Saturday, short of the two-thirds majority needed to find Trump guilty of inciting the Jan. 6 riot inside the U.S. Capitol. 

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who like Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., voted in favor of impeachment, in a statement said: “I regret that more of my Republican colleagues did not join me in voting to convict and disqualify Donald Trump from holding future office.  I wish the Senate had sent an unequivocal message that it is unacceptable for any president to incite violence in order to stop the peaceful transition of power."

Beard said the accusations by senators were "unfounded and misplaced." 

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“I believe that the days that were spent in trying to impeach a citizen, which former President Trump is now a citizen of the United States, with the senators to believe and the house as well who believed, that some kind of benefit was to be gained by impeaching a private citizen of the United States, I think was a total waste of our resources, our time and our energy," she said. 

Duckworth in a statement said "too many Republican senators are comfortable hiding behind their misguided belief that trying a former president for his actions in office is unconstitutional, even as they refuse to answer the much more important question of whether actually inciting an insurrection against the constitution is unconstitutional."

McLean County Democratic Chairman Patrick Cortesi said he was "obviously disappointed but not surprised, especially after we saw the way the Republican Senators act this week during the trial by not paying attention and colluding with the former president’s attorneys,” he said.

“We could kind of see that the fix was in a little bit," he said. "It makes you wonder where we go from here."

Also weighing in Saturday was U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, whose profile has risen nationally in recent months as a critic of Trump's influence on the party. Kinzinger voted against the former president's first impeachment, but was one of 10 House GOP members to vote in favor this time. 

“To those who have argued that impeachment was rushed or that impeachment will further divide us, we must remember that former President Trump put all of us — Congress and the American people — in this lose-lose situation," Kinzinger said in the statement.

"We have a lot of work to do to restore the Republican Party and to turn the tide on the personality politics," the statement said.   


Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow


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