Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined Sen. Rand Paul in a Tuesday vote challenging the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Paul, R-Ky., forced the vote, but his motion was struck down.
However, McConnell and most other Republican senators sided with Paul on the vote, signaling they see the trial as unconstitutional and casting doubt on the likelihood there will be enough votes to convict Trump.
“This impeachment is nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country,” said Paul, who falsely claimed last month the presidential election “in many ways was stolen.”
The U.S. House of Representatives recently impeached Trump, charging him with inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
As the initial proceedings got underway Tuesday, Paul raised a point of order challenging the trial’s constitutionality, forcing a vote. The Senate rejected Paul’s motion in a 55-45 vote, affirming the majority Senate view that the trial is constitutional.