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Watch now: Macon County residents share mixed reactions to Trump's acquittal
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Watch now: Macon County residents share mixed reactions to Trump's acquittal


DECATUR — Macon County residents and a party official had mixed reactions on Saturday to the Senate's decision to acquit Donald Trump of inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol

"I think it's just disappointing that, once again, the Republicans won't hold Trump accountable for his actions. We all saw the violence that his supporters were carrying out that he incited at the Capitol," said Laura Zimmerman, chairwoman of the Macon County Democratic Party.

Dale Ahlrich, a resident of Decatur, had a different opinion. 

"I think it's a great thing that it happened," said Ahlrich, 74. "He shouldn't have been impeached the first time, let alone the second." 

The U.S. Senate voted 57-43 in a Saturday vote, short of the two-thirds majority needed to find Trump guilty.

"I'm just disappointed," said 28-year-old Melanie Ducks of Decatur. "I was really hoping that they would be able to pull it through because I really do not want him to be able to run again in 2024 or anytime after that."

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Another in favor of the acquittal was Decatur's Pam Robinson, 50, who agreed the impeachment "shouldn't even have happened" as Trump didn't incite any violence during his speech prior to the insurrection. 

"They've been fighting him and trying to find something to get against him for the last four years and they haven't found a thing," Robinson said. "I think if they would've given him a chance and people actually supported him throughout I think we would've gotten a lot more done in this country."

Bruce Pillsbury, chairman of the Macon County Republican Party, wasn't available for comment on Saturday.

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."

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."

Eastern Illinois University Associate Professor of Political Science Ryan Burge also said he expected the Senate to vote in favor of acquittal. But the fact that more favored conviction on a presidential impeachment than any other time in history "says something," he noted.

Burge said he thought several senators were swayed when Senate Minority Leader Mitchell McConnell stated before the vote that he was voting for acquittal. That made it more difficult "for others on the fence," he said.

"He kind of weaseled his way out of it," Burge said of McConnell's position that an impeachment trial after Trump left office was unconstitutional. "He delayed the whole thing so he could use that as cover."

Impeachment hearing in Washington 

Contact Garrett Karsten at (217) 421-6949. Follow him on Twitter: @GarrettKarsten


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