Senator Rand Paul led a spirited effort to reject a Senate impeachment trial for former president and now private citizen Donald Trump.
However, Senator Paul’s motion was defeated in a 55-45 vote. The five GOP senators who voted against Senator Paul’s measure should suprise no one.
They are the following:
- Senator Mitt Romney (UT)
- Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK)
- Senator Pat Toomey (PA)
- Senator Ben Sasse (NE)
- Senator Susan Collins (ME)
While those in favor of a Senate impeachment trial and conviction may be celebrating the defeat of this motion, there should be a real cause for their concern: 45 Republican senators voted in favor of dismissing the trial.
The Senate would need to have a total of 67 senators in order to theoretically convict Donald Trump, and thereby prevent him from being able to run and attain higher office in the United States again.
As was noted prior, Chief Justice John Roberts has already recused himself from the Senate impeachment trial, which is slated for the week of February 8th. Senate pro tempore Pat Leahy, a Democrat, has been assigned to take Roberts’ place.
Some have noted that this calls into question the constitutionality of the entire Senate impeachment trial process, which the Constitution is silent on in regards to a president who is out of office. Since there would be no precedent for it, some believe that the Democrats are merely abusing the impeachment process to get revenge on a political enemy and his supporters. They aren’t seeking “justice,” in other words, but a political outcome.
The nine House Democrat “impeachment managers” are known as partisans and are making extreme claims that the president incited an “insurrection.” The president’s speech in question was given minutes ahead of a pre-planned siege on the Capitol that was carried out by agitators who incited unarmed protesters, many of whom were let into the Capitol building by the police.
It would be an extremely high bar to prove that the president’s speech, using commonplace political language and even explicitly advocating protest be done “peacefully,” constitutes “treason” or “inciting an insurrection.” The Democrats carrying out the trial have used incendiary language that is as bad, or even worse, than the former president himself. The case should be dimissed and 45 Republican Senators — enough to sink the Democrats’ impeachment dreams — voted to do just that.