Donald Trump acquittal: What could happen next and can he run for President again?
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Donald Trump acquittal: What could happen next and can he run for President again?

DONALD TRUMP was acquitted in his impeachment trial on the charge of 'incitement of insurrection'.

He was found not guilty on Saturday following an extensive five-day hearing.

The vote was 57-43 in favour of conviction, but 67 votes were required to convict him. Seven Republicans did vote to convict Trump, making it the most bipartisan impeachment vote in US history.

But what's next for the former president? Will he face any further charges and can he now run for office again in 2024?

Here's everything you need to know:

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What happens next for Trump and what does an acquittal mean?

With the Senate acquitting the former president, Trump is free to run for public office again, including the 2024 presidential election. Trump also gets to keep his benefits as a former president, including an annual pension, up to $1.5 million in travel expenses each year and a Secret Service security detail for life.

Will Trump face any further charges?

Despite voting to acquit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a scathing rebuke of Trump's actions immediately after the verdict.

Buried within these comments was what many interpreted as a signal McConnell believed Trump could face criminal prosecution for his actions.

"President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office as an ordinary citizen," McConnell said.

"He didn’t get away with anything. Yet."

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In theory, the federal Department of Justice (DoJ) could pursue a case against Trump, because it's a federal offence to "incite, set on foot, assist, or engage in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States".

What has Trump said?

Trump, in a statement released after the vote, accused Democrats of transforming "justice into a tool of political vengeance" and defended his record.

"I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate."

Will Trump run for president again in 2024?

Trump hasn't said anything since his acquittal, but he hinted at running again in 2024 a number of times following his defeat in the 2020 election.

Whether this happens remains to be seen but Trump's sizeable core fan base will make it difficult for another Republican candidate to stand out.

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In all likelihood, it's far too early to know the answer to this. Trump may well spend the next few months trying to escape federal charges so a decision to run for president again will likely not be made until the dust has settled on this whole messy saga.

What has Joe Biden said?

President Joe Biden has largely distanced himself from passing judgement on the trial or the verdict.

Following the decision not to convict, Biden stressed that the trial had demonstrated how fragile American Democracy was and why it was important to defend it, but refused to give any opinion on the verdict itself.

"This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended," President Biden said after the trial.

He hasn't indicated whether or not he will pursue any further charges against his predecessor.