Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R-NY) came unglued on the Senate floor on Wednesday as he let loose on the 45 Republican senators who voted that an impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump in the Senate would be unconstitutional.
On Tuesday night, the Senate voted to dismiss a motion put forth by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) that having an impeachment trial for a president who is no longer in office violates the constitution. However, only five Republicans joined Democrats in voting to table the motion, making it incredibly unlikely that Schumer will be successful in impeaching Trump.
Schumer took to the Senate floor the next day to call the 45 Republicans who voted in favor of tabling an impeachment trial “deeply irresponsible.”
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“Only five Republican senators were willing to take a principled stand against this reckless and ill-advised effort by members of this body who are eager to excuse President Trump’s campaign to overturn the election and apparently to excuse his incitement of the mob that every one of us experienced in this Capitol,” Schumer said, according to CBS News.
“I would simply say to all of my colleagues, make no mistake, there will be a trial, and the evidence against the former president will be presented in living color for the nation and every one of us to see once again,” he added.
The House already impeached Trump for a second time for allegedly inciting the Capitol riots earlier this month, and if the Senate does indeed impeach him, he won’t be able to run for office again.
“No one will be able to avert their gaze from what Mr. Trump said and did and the consequences of his actions,” Schumer said. “We will all watch what happened. We will listen to what happened. And then we will vote. We will pass judgment as our solemn duty under the Constitution demands.”
Others Democrats, however, are starting to realize that an impeachment trial may not be the best idea. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) has teamed up with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to pitch censure resolution against Trump to their colleagues.
“The vote on the Paul motion yesterday was completely clarifying that we’re not going to get near 67 [votes],” said Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in her failed presidential run against Trump in 2016.
“To do a trial knowing you’ll get 55 votes at the max seems to me to be not the right prioritization of our time,” he added. “Obviously we do a trial, maybe we can do it fast, but my top priority is COVID relief and getting the Biden cabinet approved.”
Collins pledged to vote in favor of censuring Trump “in lieu of” an impeachment trial.
“Senator Kaine and I have been working on a proposal for censure. It is still in process but I think yesterday’s vote on the Senate floor shows that it is extremely unlikely that President Trump would be convicted, and that indeed the five votes to even proceed to a trial is probably the high mark on what you’re going to see for Republican support,” Collins said.
“If the outcome of the trial is already obvious — which I believe yesterday’s vote shows clearly…then the question is, is there another way to express condemnation of the president’s activities with regard to the riot and the pressure that he put on state officials?” she added.