On Monday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) called for a vote to dismiss the impeachment of former President Donald Trump on the ground that it is unconstitutional. Although the Senate voted 55-45 to continue the proceedings, what the vote signaled is much more important than what the vote actually accomplished. With just five Republican senators voting to continue the impeachment trial, the vote shows that there is not nearly enough support to convict Trump in a trail. To convict, 17 Republican senators would need to vote in favor, along with all 50 Democrats. The five Republican senators who voted in favor were Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey.
After the vote, Senator Paul spoke on the Senate floor to announce that the impeachment was “dead on arrival”. Even those who were in favor of continuing the impeachment trial can see the writing on the wall. “Do the math.” said Senator Susan Collins. She added “”I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that the President will be convicted.”
The trail is scheduled to begin in the Senate on Monday, February 8th. Mich McConnell, who has commented recently that he was fed up with defending Donald Trump, also voted to end the trial. This signals that the Senate Minority Leader is still supporting the former president, at least for now.