After blasting Democrats for pushing what he called a “sham” impeachment trial, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday afternoon forced a vote in the Senate regarding the constitutionality of the endeavor.
Paul’s point of order alleged that impeaching a president after he leaves office violates the Constitution.
“I think there will be enough support on it to show there’s no chance they can impeach the president,” Paul told reporters Tuesday. “If 34 people support my resolution that this is an unconstitutional proceeding it shows they don’t have the votes and we’re basically wasting our time.”
In fact, the vote was 55 to 45, strongly suggesting that the Dems will not come close to the 67 votes needed to convict the former president.
Only five Republicans voted with Democrats to table Paul’s point of order to dismiss the trial: Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey.
Five Republicans voting with Democrats to set aside Senator Rand Paul's point of order on the constitutionality of this impeachment trial->
— Mike Emanuel 🇺🇸 (@MikeEmanuelFox) January 26, 2021
The Senate just voted on my constitutional point of order.
45 Senators agreed that this sham of a “trial” is unconstitutional.
That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process.
This “trial” is dead on arrival in the Senate.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 26, 2021
Earlier in the day, Paul tore into Democrats on the Senate floor for pushing their second impeachment sham of Trump, calling it a “partisan exercise meant to further divide the country,” and calling them out for their gross hypocrisy.
“Democrats claim to want to unify the country, but impeaching a former president—a private citizen—is the antithesis of unity,” Paul said. “Democrats brazingly appointing a pro-impeachment Democrat to preside over the trial is not fair or impartial, and hardly encourages any kind of unity in our country, he added disdainfully.
No, unity is the opposite of this travesty you’re about to witness. If we are about to try to impeach a president, where’s the Chief Justice? If the accused is no longer president, where’s the constitutional power to impeach him? Private citizens don’t get impeached. Impeachment is for removal from office, and the accused here has already left office.
Hyper-partisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history. Instead of doing the nation’s work, with their new majorities in the House, the Senate, and the Executive Branch, Democrats are wasting the nation’s time on a partisan vendetta against a man no longer in office. It’s almost as if they have no ability to exist except in opposition to Donald Trump. Without him as their Boogie Man, they might have to legislate and they might have to convince Americans that their policy prescriptions are the right ones.
Democrats are about to do something no self-respecting senator has ever stooped to. Democrats are insisting that the election is not over and they are regurgitating the acrimony of the election.
Paul continued to rail against the Democrats, arguing that “calmer heads have typically prevailed” in the past to prevent the “acrimony they are about to unleash” in the “sham impeachment.
The senator also defended Trump’s Jan. 6 comments to his supporters at the rally in D.C. when the former president said, ‘I know everyone here will soon march to the Capitol to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.'”
“Peacefully and patriotically,” Paul repeated. “Hardly words of violence.”
Then, he skillfully exposed the Democrats’ hypocrisy on this issue by citing several examples of Democrats engaging in inflammatory rhetoric against their political enemies.
“No Democrat will honestly ask whether Bernie Sanders incited the shooter that nearly killed Steve Scalise,” Paul stated. “The shooter nearly pulled off a massacre … because he fervently believed the false and inflammatory rhetoric spewed by Bernie and other Democrats, such as, ‘Republican health care plan for the uninsured is that you die!'”
Paul pointed out that left-wing terrorist James T. Hodgkinson had screamed “this is for health care!” as he opened fire on the Republican congressmen. “Ask me or anyone if that is incitement,” he said.
“No one asked if Cory Booker incited violence when he called for his supporters to ‘get up in the face’ of congress people—a very visible and specific incitement.” the senator continued.
“Maxine Waters literally told supporters that ‘if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!’ Is that not incitement?” Paul asked.
The senator described what happened to his wife and him last year after they had attended the last night of the Republican National Convention at the White House.
My wife and I were ‘pushed,’ and surrounded, and screamed at by this same type of mob that Maxine likes to inspire. It’s terrifying to have a swarm of people threaten to kill you, cursing at you, and literally holding you hostage until the police come to your rescue. That night we were assaulted by the crowd, I wasn’t sure that we’d survive even with the police protection. But no Democrat has ever considered impeaching Maxine for her violent rhetoric.
In fact, Republicans, to our credit, have never once thought it legitimate to formally censor or impeach these Democrats. No Republican has sought to use the government to hold these Democrats responsible for the antifa or Black Lives Matter violence that consumed our cities all summer resulting in over a billion dollars in destruction, looting and property damage.
Paul argued that no Republican sought to “impeach the Democrats” over the unrest because that would be “ridiculous.”
Nonetheless, many Democrats cheered the rioting on, including Kamala Harris, who offered to bail out violent rioters, Paul noted.
“Should Kamala Harris be impeached for offering to pay for violent people to get out of jail—who’d been burning our cities down?” he asked rhetorically.
Paul said no Republican would offer that because they refuse to go down “this low road” of impeaching people for political speech.
As another example of unhinged Democrat rhetoric, Paul cited the Democrat mayor of Seattle called the armed takeover of part of her city “the summer of love.”
He went on to point out that last June, while violent antifa/BLM riots were still raging in parts of the country, the US Justice Department statistics showed that more than 700 law enforcement officers were injured and at least 19 officers were murdered.
“Yet Democrats insist on applying a test of incitement to a Republican that they refuse to apply to themselves,” Paul said.
“Shame on these angry, unhinged partisans who are putting forth this sham impeachment, deranged by their hatred of the former president,” he fumed. “Shame on those who seek blame and revenge and seek to pervert the constitutional process in order to do so.”
Paul said his point of order would put their vote on the record regarding the constitutionality of what he called the sham impeachment.
“Impeachment of a private citizen is illegal and essentially a bill of attainder,” Paul argued. “And that no sense of fairness or due process would allow the judge in the proceeding to be a partisan Democrat already in favor of the impeachment!”
“A sham, this is. A travesty. A dark blot on the history of this country,” he added. “I urge my colleagues to reconsider this Kangaroo Court, and move forward to debate the great issues of our day.”
Sen. @RandPaul: "This impeachment is nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country. Democrats claim to want to unify the country, but impeaching a former president, a private citizen, is the antithesis of unity." pic.twitter.com/W8SHXO2URn
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 26, 2021