Former President Donald Trump, Congress and the entire country is currently venturing into uncharted territory as the U.S. Senate prepares to hold an impeachment trial of a private U.S. citizen.
According to the Washington Examiner, in normal times, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the impeachment trial of a U.S. president, but given that Trump is out of office, the torch has been passed to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), as his position of president pro tempore means he’s next in line for the job.
Roberts bowed out of the duties to preside over the trial and it’s not surprising, given the gravity of the situation — it’s likely the last thing he wants any part of, especially given that he’s already presided over a Trump impeachment trial once in his career.
In another Washington Examiner report, there’s already major pushback on the entire idea of attempting to try a former president, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) sending shockwaves through Washington D.C. after delivering a firey argument on the Senate floor Tuesday in which he suggested that the entire idea is nothing more than a Democrat-led sham.
“This impeachment is nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country. Democrats claim to want unify the country but impeaching a former president, a private citizen, is the antithesis of unity,” Paul tweeted on Tuesday.
In a vote that took place after his speech, 45 Republican senators voted to say that the upcoming impeachment trial is unconstitutional, which means that if they hold true to that, there’s literally no chance of Democrats securing a highly-desired conviction.
Because of that, it also means that instead of using their newfound, total control of the U.S. government to pass legislation and help the people they represent — especially as millions struggle through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic — they’ll instead waste millions of taxpayer dollars and unnecessary time on something that will never come to fruition.
According to the Courier-Journal, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined those 45 senators in saying that the impeachment trial would be unconstitutional, which answered many questions from reporters over the past week whether or not the GOP leader was favoring a conviction or an acquittal.