A Republican motion in the United States Senate to declare the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump unconstitutional was rejected by a narrow majority. This paves the way for the impeachment process, but the chances of it actually getting there seem to be getting smaller every day.
Only five Republican senators, along with the Fifty Democratic senators, voted against the motion of their own party, which was intended to cut off the impeachment process before it can begin.
As many as 45 Republicans backed Rand Paul, the senator who filed the motion. Among them was Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate. According to Paul, the impeachment procedure is unconstitutional, because Trump has not been president since 20 January. “Ordinary citizens cannot be deposed,” Paul says. According to him, Trump is now in that category because he left the White House.
Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, criticized this argument. According to this reasoning, a president could, in theory, commit crimes against the country with impunity just before his term expires, or resign himself before it comes to trial, says Schumer.
The Democrats, however, and a small group of Republicans, want Trump to be prosecuted for his role in instigating the Capitol assault on January 6 of this year. Five people were killed.
Draw on the wall
However, an impeachment in the Senate requires a two-thirds majority: in addition to the 50 Democratic senators, 17 Republicans also have to vote in favor. They would go against their own party, which is also Trump’s party.
The impeachment process will start at the beginning of February. Although Paul’s motion was rejected, he sees the number of votes as a sign on the wall: ‘forty-five votes means that the impeachment process is over before it begins.’