Any hopes that Democrats had of convicting former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial are toast. He appears well on his way for an acquittal in his second impeachment trial, because just five Republicans voted with the Democrats to block an effort to declare the trial unconstitutional.
Senator Rand Paul questioned the constitutionality of trying Trump, which led to a 55-45 vote that said trying Trump would not be unconstitutional. But that showed there was not nearly enough support that Democrats would need to secure a two-thirds majority they would need for a conviction. “Forty-five votes means the impeachment trial is dead on arrival,” Paul told reporters.
Paul had called the proceedings a “sham of an impeachment,” on the Senate floor. “Are we going to put every politician in jail?” Paul added.
Meanwhile, Senator Patrick Leahy underwent tests at a Washington hospital Tuesday after falling ill. He is the president pro temper of the Senate, which means he will be presiding over Trump’s upcoming trial in February. “After getting test results back, and after a thorough examination, Senator Leahy now is home,” his spokesman, David Carle, said in a statement. “He looks forward to getting back to work.”
At 80-years old, Leahy is the longest-servicing sitting Senator, but not the oldest. He was first elected in 11974 after the Watergate scandal, so he has had a front row seat for every meaningful political moment in the U.S. for almost 50 years.