Former US President Donald Trump would most likely be acquitted in his latest impeachment trial as the Democrats failed to garner enough support in the Senate.
The Democrats who have impeached Trump in the House charging him with ”incitement of insurrection,” needs two-thirds of the vote for the Senate impeachment. Currently, both the Democrats and the Republicans have 50 members each in the 100-seat Senate.
The Democrats need the support of at least 17 Republican Senators to reach the two-thirds majority mark.
Trump is the first US president who facing an impeachment trial after he left the presidency. This is for the second time in about a year that Trump is likely to be acquitted by the Senate.
The article of impeachment was delivered by the House to the Senate Monday night for the Senate to begin its trial.
The Senate is expected to start a trial on February 9 on the article of impeachment against Trump. The 100 senators are due to serve as jurors in proceedings that could result in Trump’s disqualification from ever again serving as president.
Democrat Patrick Leahy, the Senate’s longest-serving member would preside over the trial.
A number of Republican lawmakers have objected to the impeachment, some arguing that it would be a violation of the Constitution to hold a trial now because Trump no longer serves as president.
“I still have concerns about the constitutionality of this, and then the precedent it sets in trying to convict a private citizen,” Republican Senator Joni Ernst told reporters. “So in the future, can this be used against (former) President (Barack) Obama?” she asked.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, rejected that argument on Monday.
“The theory that the Senate can’t try former officials would amount to a constitutional get-out-of-jail-free card for any president,” Schumer told the Senate.
The impeachment focuses on Trump’s speech to supporters on a grassy expanse near the White House shortly before a mob stormed the Capitol, disrupted the formal certification of Biden’s victory over Trump in the Nov. 3 election, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead, including a police officer.
During his speech, Trump repeated his false claims that the election was rigged against him with widespread voting fraud and irregularities. He exhorted his supporters to march on the Capitol, telling them to “stop the steal,” “show strength,” “fight much harder” and use “very different rules.”
McConnell and other Republican lawmakers have condemned the violence and some have accused Trump of inciting it.
Republican Senators Unite
On Tuesday, Republican Senator Rand Paul made a motion on the Senate floor that would have required the chamber to vote on whether Trump’s trial in February violates the U.S. Constitution.
The Democratic-led Senate blocked the motion in a 55-45 vote. But only five Republican lawmakers joined Democrats to reject the move, far short of the 17 Republicans who would need to vote to convict Trump on an impeachment charge.
Some Republican senators who backed Paul’s motion said their vote on Tuesday did not indicate how they might come down on Trump’s guilt or innocence after a trial.
The senators voted after being sworn in as jurors for the impeachment trial.