Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has effectively killed off the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump before it’s even begun.
Although Democrats will continue with a “charade” of political theater, the effort is “dead on arrival” in the Senate, Paul told Fox News Primetime Tuesday, after 45 of the upper chamber’s Republicans voted that it’s unconstitutional.
“It’s all over”
According to the Washington Examiner, Paul’s comments came after he brought a motion to declare the unprecedented impeachment of Trump, now a private citizen, unconstitutional. Only five Republicans — Sens. Mitt Romney (UT), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Susan Collins (ME), Ben Sasse (NE), and Pat Toomey (PA) — disagreed.
“We had 45 people, 45 Republican senators say that the whole charade is unconstitutional. So, what does that mean? It means…the trial is dead on arrival,” Paul told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday, according to the Examiner.
“There will be a show. There will be a parade of partisanship, but the Democrats really will not be able to win,” Paul said. “They will be able to play a partisan game that they wish to play. But it’s all over.”
A second impeachment
Democrats impeached Trump a second time over an “insurrection” that played out at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but there wasn’t enough time to hold a trial while Trump was still in office. The Senate trial won’t get started until February, according to CBS News, and 17 Republicans would have to defect to convict Trump.
Despite being a long shot, Trump’s foes have argued that the effort is necessary to bar Trump from seeking federal office again.
A “hyperpartisan” effort
Paul, for his part, also told Fox Tuesday that “hyperpartisan” Democrats have ignored violence perpetrated by the left, like the near-fatal shooting of Republican Steve Scalise (LA) by a crazed supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), echoing remarks he made in a speech denouncing the impeachment “sham” earlier that day.
In his speech, Paul also noted that Chief Justice John Roberts won’t be presiding over the proceedings.
“If we are about to try to impeach a president, where is the chief justice?” Paul asked Tuesday, according to the Examiner. “If the accused is no longer president, where is the constitutional power to impeach him?”
Trump was previously acquitted in February 2020 after his first impeachment by the House. At the rate things are going, he could very well get a second acquittal almost exactly a year later.