Sen. Rand Paul called it a ‘partisan farce’ since 45 Republicans have said trial is unconstitutional
The hearings for the second impeachment trial of former President Trump start on Tuesday and Republicans are making it clear, even before they’re gaveled in, that they believe the result is predetermined.
“It’s a partisan farce,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said of the impeachment effort on “Fox News Sunday.” Paul added that he does not believe it’s possible Trump will be convicted.
“Zero chance of conviction,” Paul said when asked if he thinks there’s a chance the Senate could meet the 67-vote threshold to convict Trump. “Forty-five Republicans have said it’s not even a legitimate proceeding so it’s really over before it starts. As far as witnesses, I think unlikely to be witnesses; if they do want witnesses, there’s going to be so much evidence that the president had nothing to do with this.”
Indeed, Paul last month raised a point of order in the Senate alleging that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional. This forced a vote and only five Republicans joined the Senate’s 50 Democrats in saying that the trial is constitutionally allowed to move forward. That means that 12 Republicans would have to change their minds on whether the trial is constitutional for Democrats to have even a chance of convicting Trump.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. ‒ who is in favor of convicting Trump and made the case on “Fox News Sunday” that the Senate has a responsibility to hold a trial of the former president ‒ even allowed that Paul makes a reasonable point that the trial is unconstitutional.
“I admit this is of course a matter of first impression and so I don’t think the case that Senator Paul is making is a ridiculous one,” he said.
Other top Republicans also believe Trump is highly unlikely to be convicted, which if it does happen, could result in him being barred from holding office in the future.
“They know that this has no chance of winning. There’s no chance of the president actually being convicted here,” Trump 2020 senior adviser Jason Miller said on Fox News Sunday. “This is designed to try to implement political pain, so to speak, over the course of a week, maybe a week and a half, and then they’re going to move on. They’re not even taking this seriously.”