In a vote of 45-55 on an objection to the impending impeachment trial, GOP Senators sent a strong message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that Trump is unlikely to be convicted in an impeachment trial.
All but five of the Republican senators objected to the trial as unconstitutional. A two-thirds Senate majority is needed to convict the president — all but guaranteeing that Pelosi’s impeachment push will be a waste of time.
Surprisingly, former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — after signaling that he would welcome an impeachment trial — joined 44 other Republican senators voting against the unconstitutional impeachment. He confirmed that he would listen to the evidence presented at the trial scheduled to begin on February 8th.
Pelosi sent the single article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday. The article charges that President Trump incited insurrection on January 6th, 2021.
Republicans and Constitutional scholars are objecting because impeachment is meant to remove an official from office. President Trump is now a private citizen making removal impossible.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is will not be presiding over the trial because his presence is only required when a president is being impeached. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the president pro tempore of the Senate, will preside instead of Roberts.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) forced the vote on the objection on Tuesday arguing that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional. The objection failed to win, but senators’ votes are now entered into the Congressional record. Rand declared the impeachment trial as DOA and explained his strategy in a tweet:
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.
GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, one of eleven senators that objected to the electoral votes on January 6th in the joint session of Congress to certify the electoral votes, pointed out the double bind the Democrats created for themselves with impeachment because of their vindictiveness. He tweeted:
Democrats can’t have it both ways: an unconstitutional impeachment trial & Senate confirmation of the Biden admin’s national security team. They need to choose between being vindictive or staffing the administration to keep the nation safe. What will it be: revenge or security?”