The vast majority of the Senate Republican caucus is going on the record to declare that the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is unconstitutional.
The chamber voted on Paul’s measure on Tuesday and was rejected in a 55-45 vote, meaning five Republicans defected and said the trial is constitutional.
45 out of 50 Senate Republicans just voted that an impeachment trial for a former president is unconstitutional.— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) January 26, 2021
Rand Paul’s motion failed, 55-45.
Romney previously said that he believes the trial is constitutional as he told CNN, “I’ll, of course, hear what the lawyers have to say for each side, but I think it’s pretty clear that the effort is constitutional.”
Romney was the only Republican senator to break with his party during the impeachment trial in 2020 when he voted to convict Trump on the charge of abuse of power.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who previously signaled that he has was not sure how he would vote on whether or not to convict Trump, joined his colleagues in voting to declare the trial unconstitutional.
In an op-ed published in The Washington Examiner, Paul argued, “This impeachment is nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to divide the country further.”
He called the trial a “sham, a travesty, and a dark blot on the history of our country.”
Trump became the first president to be impeached twice after the House advanced one article of impeachment against him on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
He is also the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office, though the Senate has previously held impeachment trials for other federal officials.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Republicans who voted for Paul’s resolution have “latched onto a fringe legal theory that the Senate does not have the constitutional power to hold a trial because Donald Trump is no longer in office.”
“This argument has been roundly debunked by constitutional scholars from the left, right, and center. It defies precedent, historic practice, and basic common sense,” he added.
The Senate is scheduled to begin its impeachment trial on February 9.