A majority of Republicans – including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – voted Wednesday that the impeachment trial of Donald Trump is unconstitutional.
Senator Rand Paul forced a vote on the matter.
In an op-ed written over the weekend, Paul (R-KY) called the impeachment process against the former President a “farce” and said it should be dismissed.
“The Constitution says two things about impeachment — it is a tool to remove the officeholder, and it must be presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court,” he wrote.
Neither of those elements exists in this case, as President Trump is no longer in office and Chief Justice John Roberts has declined to preside over the trial.
Powerful. Can’t wait for the full trial! pic.twitter.com/JgbdcwdejX
— Cerno (@Cernovich) January 26, 2021
Paul Declares Unconstitutional Impeachment Vote Is Dead
Paul called for a procedural vote regarding holding a trial, claiming the Senate shouldn’t address the article of impeachment against Trump because he is out of office.
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In a speech prior to the vote – a speech that went viral – the Kentucky Republican blasted Democrats as “hyper-partisan” and suggested they “are about to drag our great country into the gutter of rancor and vitriol the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history.”
The Senate voted 55-45 to end debate on Paul’s point of order, but the point, in reality, was made. Only five Republicans joined the Democrats, well below the 17 that would be needed for a vote of conviction.
“If you voted that it was unconstitutional, how in the world would you ever vote to convict somebody for this?” Paul told reporters. “This vote indicates it’s over. The trial is all over.”
He later tweeted that the impeachment trial was “dead on arrival.”
The Senate just voted on my constitutional point of order.
45 Senators agreed that this sham of a “trial” is unconstitutional.
That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process.
This “trial” is dead on arrival in the Senate.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 26, 2021
Who Joined the Democrats?
Of the five Republicans who voted with Democrats, you had your usual suspects. Typical RINOs who often hide their contempt for President Trump in the cloak of the Constitution, but clearly don’t understand its words.
Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Ben Sasse (NE), Pat Toomey (PA), and Mitt Romney (UT) all voted to table Paul’s point of order.
Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution reads in part:
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
McConnell, surprisingly, voted against ending the debate.
McConnell has reportedly viewed the Democrats’ effort to impeach the president as a means to “help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.”
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) January 13, 2021
A recent poll from Axios-Ipsos shows Republican voters have been siding with President Trump over McConnell on the matter.
A majority have said they do not hold Trump responsible for the Capitol riots, believe he has a right to challenge the election, and still prefer him as their nominee in 2024.
Republicans across the U.S. are siding with President Trump over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — big time — according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll. https://t.co/jqkhRlfE6O pic.twitter.com/CgnV3xLttp
— Axios (@axios) January 14, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated earlier this week that President Trump’s impeachment trial would be “quick,” adding no decision has been made on the need for witnesses.
Evidence is beginning to point to this unconstitutional impeachment trial as a sham – perhaps even more so than the first one.
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