by Zero Hedge
Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul shredded Congressional Democrats over the second impeachment of former President Trump, arguing in a floor speech in a procedural motion to ‘table or kill’ the proceedings that “Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history,” adding “It’s almost as if they have no ability to exist except in opposition to Donald Trump”
Paul then argued that Democrats are guilty of the exact ‘incitement’ they’ve accused Trump of – suggesting that “No Democrat will honestly ask whether Bernie Sanders incited the shooter that nearly killed Steve Scalise,” and “No Democrat will ask whether Maxine Waters incited violence when she literally told her supporters” to confront Trump officials in public.”
Ultimately, 45 GOP Senators voted to kill the impeachment – meaning they agree that it’s unconstitutional, while five GOP Senators voted to table it and proceed with the impeachment; Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey.
It would require another 12 GOP Senators to convict and impeach Trump – now a private citizen.
Earlier in the week, Paul wrote that the impeachment trial was a “farce and should be dismissed before it is even allowed to begin,” adding that the Senate doesn’t have the authority to hold an impeachment trial for a former president.
“It shows they don’t have the votes and we’re basically wasting our time,” said Paul, who believes the Senate roll call would show that over a third of the chamber thinks the proceeding is unconstitutional.
Republican senators have criticized the president for his actions on Jan. 6, but many have signaled opposition to voting to convict the president. At least 30 Senate Republicans have said they are opposed to or leaning against convicting Mr. Trump, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of senators and their public comments, leaving few open to potentially casting a guilty vote.
“I doubt there are seven, quite honestly. I’m certain there aren’t 17, at least not today,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.). He cited concerns over the legality of trying a former president, as well as whether Mr. Trump’s actions, while wrong, constituted incitement. –WSJ
Democrats, meanwhile, say the trial is warranted and that Congressional Republicans are focusing on the constitutional question to avoid having to weigh the impeachment on its merits – much like most of the judges who tossed out election challenges based on technical factors.
“They don’t want to be held accountable on that vote, so they’re going to try to make it another argument that [it’s] all about the Constitution,” said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.
This will be the first ever impeachment trial for a former president. It’s scheduled to begin in earnest the week of Feb. 8, approximately one month after the US Capitol riot which left five people dead and temporarily disrupted the counting of the electoral votes.
Watch Paul’s entire speech below: