Six Republican senators voted Tuesday to affirm that the impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump is constitutional.
That is one more senator than voted for essentially the same point of order that Rand Paul (R-KY) forced just two weeks ago.
There were, of course, the usual suspects who joined Democrats in declaring the trial constitutional – Republican senators Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE), Susan Collins (ME), and Lisa Murkowski (AK).
Trump has been living rent-free in Sasse and Romney’s heads for some time, while Murkowski and Collins are often squishes who threaten to side with Democrats.
In addition to those four, Senator Pat Toomey (PA), a former ‘Tea Party Caucus’ guy, and Bill Cassidy (LA) voted with Democrats on the trial’s constitutionality.
Bill Cassidy is the only Republican senator who voted that the trial is unconstitutional under Paul’s motion, but switched to vote alongside the Democrats saying it is constitutional at the start of the trial.
“If anyone disagrees with my vote and would like an explanation, I ask them to listen to the arguments presented by the House Managers and former President Trump’s lawyers,” Cassidy told reporters.
“The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president’s team did not.”
Strength of arguments aside, you know what didn’t change, Mr. Cassidy?
“When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside,” Article 1, Section 3 reads.
Both aspects are not being adhered to, as Donald Trump is now a private citizen – not president – and Chief Justice John Roberts has refused to preside over the trial.
“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,” Paul wrote in an op-ed.
Perhaps the lone voice of reason coming out of Congress this week was that of Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) who described the impeachment trial as, well … ‘stupid.’
“Welcome to the stupidest week in the Senate,” he announced in a video statement.
Cramer also blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for using impeachment “flippantly” as a political tool and described her impeachment managers as “backbenchers.”
“While Speaker Pelosi sent these backbenchers to tie up the Senate,” Cramer said, “she sent the rest of the House home instead of leaving them here to carry out the actual work of the American people.”
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