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Rand Paul Says Impeachment "Will Come Dead" To Senate Vote

2021-01-27T14:26:11.452Z

Senate Republicans voted on a motion to declare the second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump unconstitutional, an indicator of what could happen when the process begins in February. | United States | CNN



Will the impeachment of former President Trump proceed?

3:44

(CNN) -

The Senate on Tuesday unveiled an effort by Senator Rand Paul to force a vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

But the vote gave an indicator of how Republican senators, who voted overwhelmingly for Paul's measure, feel about the process.

Paul's motion was rejected on a 55-45 vote.

Only five Republicans joined the Democrats, which means 45 Republicans voted for Paul's effort.

Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Utah;

Ben Sasse, from Nebraska;

Susan Collins from Maine;

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania crossed party lines to vote with the Democrats.

To convict Trump at his trial, at least 17 Republicans will have to vote with all Democrats when the trial begins in February.

Significantly, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell sided with Paul in the vote, a potential indicator that he agrees that the constitutionality of impeaching a former president is in question.

Paul argued after the vote that the fact that 45 Republicans sided with him "shows that impeachment will arrive dead" to the Senate.

  • Senators to be sworn in for the second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump

Is impeachment of Trump constitutional?

1:15

“If they voted that it was unconstitutional, how the hell would they expect to convict someone for this?” Paul asked, adding, “45 of us, almost the entire party assembly, 95% of the caucus, we voted that the whole procedure was unconstitutional.

This is a great victory for us.

The Democrats can beat this partisan horse for as long as they want.

This vote indicates that it is over, that the trial is over.

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Even Republicans who voted against Paul's measure, including Collins, said Tuesday's vote was a sign of the final outcome of the trial.

"Do the math," he said.

"I think it is extremely unlikely that the president will be convicted."

Still, the trial will offer both sides a chance to present their case, and some lawmakers who voted with Paul left open the idea that they could still vote differently next month.

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    Oregon Republicans do not admit criticism of Donald Trump

What to expect from Trump's impeachment

John Thune, the Senate Minority Leader, argued that voting for Trump's proposition will not force lawmakers after the trial enters full swing.

«It was a question of constitutionality.

I don't think I will compel anyone once the trial starts, ”Thune said.

“But I think most of us think that the threshold question of whether or not someone who is no longer in office can be removed, as the Constitution suggests, I think most of our members concluded that, from a standpoint of Constitutional view, it is on really shaky ground. '

Republican Senator Rob Portman, who recently announced that he will not seek reelection in 2022, said he voted with Paul because he believes there should be a debate on the constitutionality of impeachment for a former president.

"I want to hear the debate," Portman told reporters.

“The no-discussion vote is inconsistent with that, you know, but I haven't made a decision.

I am a member of the jury.

And I mean I have the same position as Mitch McConnell.

He didn't do that to close the matter without discussing it either, even though he wants to have, you know, a full discussion.

The Democrat-led House of Representatives has already voted to impeach Trump, accusing him of inciting insurrection over the attack on Capitol Hill that left several people dead.

But two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict Trump after a trial, an extremely high bar to overcome.

  • Doubts in the conformation of Trump's defense

Oregon Republicans join in worshiping Trump 1:35

Tuesday's Senate vote exposed senators if they believe a former president's trial is constitutional.

Given the Constitution's limited language on impeachment, legal experts disagree on whether the Senate can convict a former president.

But Democrats have singled out jurists at both ends of the political spectrum who say a trial is constitutional.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that the possibility that Paul could force the vote "has a lot of very unusual ideas."

Paul said in a speech to plenary before the vote, "I want this body to be recorded, down to the last person here: Is this how you think politics should be?"

"Democrats insist on charging a Republican with incitement that they refuse to apply to themselves," he said.

"I want Democrats to raise their hands if they have ever made a speech saying 'stand back', 'fight for your country', who has not used the words fight figuratively?"

He went on to say, “Are we going to put all politicians in jail?

Are we going to accuse all the politicians who have used the words 'fight' figuratively in a speech?

What a shame!".

- CNN's Ali Zaslav and Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-01-27

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