On Tuesday, the Senate held a vote on Sen. Rand Paul’s motion to drop the second Trump impeachment trial. Although the motion was defeated, the final tally — 55 to 45 — carries an inescapable truth. That is the near-certainty that the Senate will come nowhere near the 67-vote supermajority required by law to convict the president. (RELATED: Rand Paul: If we’re going to impeach Trump for incitement, why not these Democrats?)
As predicted going into Tuesday’s vote, the usual “moderate” Republicans — Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey — sided with the Democrats. But in order to reach the magic number for a conviction, the Democrats would need to convince a dozen more senators.
As Paul tweeted after the vote, “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.”
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
In an impassioned floor speech that Paul made before the vote was held, he noted that Chief Justice John Roberts was not planning to preside over the hearing, a circumstance he views as supporting his position that the trial is unconstitutional:
The Chief Justice’s absence demonstrates that this is not a trial as a president, but of a private citizen. Therefore I make a point of order, that this proceeding, which would try a private citizen and not a president, a vice president, or civil officer violates the Constitution, and is not in order.
Whether it meets constitutional muster or not, the impeachment is obviously a revenge play by the Democrats who are better over having failed to convict Trump during the first sham impeachment. Their blind rage appears to have made them oblivious to the rancor the trial is likely to engender at a time when their party is espousing unity.