WASHINGTON — As expected, Ohio two U.S. senators voted along party lines in former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, with Democrat Sherrod Brown voting "guilty" and Republican Rob Portman voting "not guilty."
A 57-43 majority chose to convict Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that left five people dead, and seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to hold the former president responsible. However, it was still 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for a conviction, meaning Trump will be able to run for public office again, if he chooses.
Brown was always seen as solidly in the "guilty" camp, and some speculated Portman could be a candidate to join him due to his plans to retire from the Senate next year. However, the 65-year-old Republican somewhat tipped his hand when he voted against holding the trial at all by claiming it was unconstitutional, and on Saturday also voted against the prospect of calling witnesses.
Portman released a lengthy statement late Saturday afternoon, calling Trump's actions on Jan. 6 "inexcusable." However, he claims he chose to acquit because he believes impeachment "does not apply to former officeholders or former presidents."
Brown released his own state minutes before Portman. The 68-year-old Mansfield native lambasted the 43 GOP senators who chose to acquit, saying they "sent a message to our country and the world that violent attacks on our citizens, our democracy, and the will of the people have no consequences."
Several more Ohio politicians are also giving their thoughts on the verdict. Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty, a potential candidate to replace Portman in 2022, called Senate Republicans "spineless" and specifically called out her fellow Ohioan.
Former State Treasurer Josh Mandel, who has already declared he will run for Portman's seat, expressed his "full-throated support" for Trump and decried the trial as a "sham impeachment and a witch hunt."
Former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Murphy Timken is also a rumored Senate candidate, and celebrated Trump being "rightfully acquitted."
Rep. Jim Jordan, another fervent Trump backer, was more brief in his thoughts.
Although Trump wasn't convicted, Rep. Marcy Kaptur lauded the 57-43 majority as "the most bipartisan vote to convict a president in American history." She also called the former president a "demagogue" and thanked the House impeachment managers for their efforts.
Stay tuned for more reactions from local politicians as they come in.