Again and again, the Trumpists lost key votes. Five Republican senators and then six rejected the argument that the Senate lacked jurisdiction. Five Republican senators rejected the vote against witnesses. The accusing majority consistently stuck together. The condoning minority repeatedly splintered.
The 57 votes against Trump silence any complaint that he was condemned on some partisan basis or by some procedural unfairness. It crushes his truculent lawyers’ claim that the argument against Trump was mere chicanery. The senators who voted to acquit are the ones likely to justify their decision on some strained, narrow, technical ground. The number who truly believed Trump innocent of the charges brought against him is surely smaller than the 43 who voted to acquit. Statements by senators such as Mitch McConnell and Rob Portman show that their votes did not match their thoughts.
Trump’s likely reaction to the trial will make things even more difficult for him if he ever tries for the presidency again. He will now erupt in a vendetta against the senators who voted to convict him, stoking primary challenges against them as he had previously threatened to do, even against senators who ultimately protected him, such as John Thune of South Dakota. The 2022 Senate map is a challenging one for Republicans, and Trump will be acting the part of party-wrecker.