The Senate has voted 56-44 that the impeachment trial of President Trump is constitutional, once again suggesting the effort is dead on arrival.
The Senate, which is currently split directly 50-50 along party lines, voted 56-44 that it was constitutional to continue their impeachment trial of President Trump, despite him no longer holding office. 6 Republicans therefore voted with the Democrat majority: Senators Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey.
56-44: Senate impeachment trial of fmr President Donald Trump is constitutional. 6 Republican Senators voted Yes with all Democrats: Cassidy (LA), Collins (ME), Murkowski (AK), Romney (UT), Sasse (NE) & Toomey (PA). Leahy presiding announces:"Senate shall proceed with the trial." pic.twitter.com/1Oj7rIjsO0
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) February 9, 2021
This leaves Democrats 11 votes short of the two thirds supermajority that would be needed to convict President Trump at the end of the impeachment trial, with it being very unlikely that that amount of Republican Senators would change their minds on the constitutionality of proceedings by the end.
This is the second time that the Senate has voted on whether the impeachment trial of President Trump, whose first term of office ended on January 20th, is constitutional or not. Senator Rand Paul introduced a point of order on the topic last month, arguing 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 an order.”
44 other Senators voting with him, agreeing that the trial was unconstitutional. “That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process,” he said. “This ‘trial’ is dead on arrival in the Senate.” There was, however, no debate set out for the question at the time, unlike on Tuesday, where 4 hours were set aside to debate the question.
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
Senator Lee Cassidy of Louisiana is the only one to have changed his vote since Senator Paul’s point of order last month, claiming in a press release that he had “listened to the arguments” from both from the House managers and President Trump’s lawyers, and that the House managers had “much stronger constitutional arguments.”
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) February 9, 2021
Senator Ben Sasse, one of the Republicans who has attacked President Trump and voted with the Democrats, is facing being censured by the Nebraska Republican Party as a result, and had compared the strong support of President Trump seen from those who believe in America First policies to simply be “weird” cult-like worship “of one dude.”
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse to the Nebraska GOP State Central Committee: "You are welcome to censure me again, but let's be clear about why this is happening: It's because I still believe, as you used to, that politics isn't about the weird worship of one dude."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 5, 2021