Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) made it very clear Tuesday that there are not nearly enough votes to convict President Trump in an impeachment trial. While this is good news, it is important to recognize those in the Republican party that believed such nonsense was deemed constitutional in the first place.
In total, five GOP senators rejected an effort by Sen. Paul to declare the looming trial unconstitutional.
The Senate voted 55-45 to set aside Paul’s motion, with all but five GOP senators siding with Paul. GOP Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Pat Toomey (Pa.) voted with Democrats to table Paul’s point of order.
The vote is the clearest sign yet that Trump is heading toward a second acquittal and offers an early insight into which Republicans are lining up behind an argument that his second impeachment trial isn’t constitutional.
Trump will be the first president to undergo a trial after leaving office, but the Senate previously held an impeachment trial for a Cabinet official after they left office.
Paul, speaking ahead of the vote, warned that he wanted to force his colleagues to go on the record.
“If we are going to put every politician in jail, are we going to impeach every politician who has used the words ‘fight’ figuratively in a speech? Shame,” he said, accusing Democrats of being “deranged by their hatred” of Trump.
“I want this body on record. Every last person here,” Paul added.