The U.S. Senate found former U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday not guilty of a charge of "inciting insurrection" in connection with the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by his loyalists, according multiple news reports Sunday.

The acquittal concludes the second impeachment trial of Trump's term in office.

A majority of senators found the former commander in chief guilty of the charges: the final vote was 57 (guilty) to 43 (not guilty) -- short of the 67 guilty votes, or two-thirds margin required, for a conviction.

In a statement, Trump claimed that it was another phase of "the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country."

His defense team contended that his words at the rally were protected by his constitutional right to freedom of speech and said he was not accorded due process in the trial.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky issued a scathing speech just after the vote, criticizing Trump by saying he held him directly responsible for the deadly Capitol insurrection.

But after "intense reflection," McConnell said he ended up concluding that the U.S. Constitution did not allow the Senate to convict a former president.

"This trial is constitutional because Trump abused his power while in office," Jon Ward, Senior Political Correspondent, quoted Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska as saying.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, lead impeachment manager, hailed the vote, saying it was the most bipartisan impeachment in history.

Michael van der Veen, one of Trump's lawyers, said the former president was "vindicated" by the vote to acquit him.

Based on an IPSOS survey conducted for Reuters, 71% percent of American adults, including almost 50% of all Republicans, believe Trump was partially accountable for sparking the Capitol riots, but only about half of the U.S. population thought he should be convicted of inciting insurrection.

The 74-year old Trump continues to hold an influence on his political party. The billionaire businessman-turned-politician plans to run again for president in 2024, Reuters said.