Republican senators on Tuesday signaled they’ll vote to acquit former President Donald Trump in his upcoming second impeachment trial, highlighting what they see as the futility in pressing forward with the proceedings.
Senate Republicans will NOT impeach Trump
Most Republicans haven’t said exactly how they’ll vote, but 45 GOP members of the upper chamber voted for a point of order that called the trial unconstitutional.
The vote showed the impeachment trial “is dead on arrival,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Fox News on Tuesday night. “There will be a show, there will be a parade of partisanship, but the Democrats really will not be able to win. This shows they don’t have the votes to win.”
Even if all Democrats vote to convict Trump—40 already plan to while nine have said they’ll listen to evidence during the trial before deciding—they’d need 17 Republican senators to join them, or Trump will be acquitted for a second time.
“I can’t see how you get 17. I think that that was a test vote,” Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) told reporters.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement, “Based on the information I have right now, I voted today and will vote again later in the impeachment trial to dismiss the impeachment proceedings against former President Trump.” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) added that Trump’s comments on Jan. 6 were “rash and ill-advised,” but he doesn’t think “they meet the constitutional standard for impeachment.”
BREAKING: @RandPaul UNLOADS on Impeachment, the Media and Democrats' Double Standard.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 26, 2021
Democrats still suffering from TDS
Only five Republicans voted with Democrats against the point of order. Still, even if Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) side with Democrats again on conviction, 12 more votes are required.
“It is extraordinarily unlikely the president will be convicted,” Collins told reporters.
Some Democrats have acknowledged the difficulty of swaying so many Republicans, including President Joe Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
“The votes aren’t there” for conviction, Manchin said before Trump was impeached on Jan. 13.
Republicans urged Biden and Congress to focus on more substantive matters, such as combating the CCP virus pandemic.