Rand Paul to force test vote to gauge Republican support for Trump impeachment trial

Washington Sen. Rand Paul plans to force a test vote on Tuesday that will show how many Republicans support holding an impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump and how many believe a trial should not take place.

Paul, a Kentucky Republican, told reporters he’s going to force a procedural vote on the constitutionality of a Senate trial. The vote is expected to take place Tuesday afternoon after senators are sworn in as jurors.
“I think there will be enough (votes) to show that more than a third of the Senate thinks that the whole proceeding is unconstitutional, which will show that ultimately they don’t have the votes to do an impeachment,” he said.
The Democratic-led House has already voted to impeach Trump, charging him with incitement of insurrection for the attack on the Capitol that left multiple people dead. But two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict Trump after a trial, an extremely high bar to clear.
    The vote Paul plans to force will effectively put senators on record as to whether they believe a trial of a former President is constitutional. Given the limited language in the Constitution on impeachment, legal experts disagree about whether the Senate can convict a former president. But Democrats have pointed to legal scholars on both ends of the political spectrum who say a trial is constitutional.
      A number of Republicans, however, are arguing that such a move would be unconstitutional, and the vote Paul is forcing will show exactly how many plan to take that stand.
      The vote will fail in a Senate with an even partisan split of 50-50, and won’t do anything to stop the trial, but it will show where Republican support for a trial lies at the moment.

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