45 Republican Senators Claim Impeachment Trial is Unconstitutional
Photo by Alejandro Barba via Unsplash
Republican Senators showed a unified front against the possible impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Only five members of the party joined a Democratic effort to convict Trump of “incitement of insurrection” at the Capitol just days before the election of President Biden.
Forty-five Senate Republicans struck down the trial as unconstitutional. Five republicans, two independants, and 48 democrats voted in favor of impeachment proceedings.
VOTE ON CONSTITUTIONALITY
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul made a motion that forced the chamber to vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial. Paul labeled the trial as unconstitutional because former President Trump is no longer in office. He says the impeachment proceedings only apply to those who hold an office, not a “private citizen”. Additionally, the trial will not be overseen by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Paul’s motion was blocked by the Democrat-heavy Senate but he still sees the outcome as a win.
“It’s one of the few times in Washington where a loss is actually a victory,” Paul said to reporters after the vote. “Forty-five votes means the impeachment trial is dead on arrival.”
SENATE NEEDS TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY
Former President Trump is the only president to be impeached by the House two times. He is also the only president to be impeached after leaving office. The impeachment trial of Trump will be held for the second time in the senate, but the strong stand by Republican Senators suggests there will not be enough votes to convict the former president.
The Senate needs a two-thirds majority, 67 votes, to convict Trump which would effectively bar him from another stint in office and take away his benefits.
Senators put the trial on pause for two weeks, until Feb. 9.