19:10 GMT26 February 2021
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    Last week, the US Senate voted to acquit former president Donald Trump of inciting insurrection at his second impeachment trial, which was triggered by Democrats following the 6 January storming of the Capitol by crowds of Trump supporters.

    Former Republican senator for Arizona Jeff Flake has condemned the Senate's acquittal of ex-US President Donald Trump.

    In his op-ed, Flake reflects on the second impeachment trial against Trump and lessons the Republican Party should learn from Trump's presidency.  

    According to the senator, the GOP should have voted to convict Trump and ban him from ever running for federal office.

    "We didn't convict him. We should have, but we didn't. Let's not compound the grievous injury to the country and our party by continuing to embrace him, for Trumpism is the opposite of conservatism. We all know that, too. There is nothing to gain by making a pilgrimage to Florida. There is no enlightened mystic at Mar-a-Lago -- just a diminished man who lost an election and couldn't accept it," Flake wrote.

    Flake has long been known for his criticism of the Republican Party's loyalty to the former US President. In late 2019, he supported the House's impeachment of Trump over charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    Last Saturday, seven Republican lawmakers joined with Democrats in voting to convict Trump, short of the seventeen required to pass the 67-vote threshold. 

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