Forty-five Senate Republicans backed a failed effort on Tuesday to halt former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, in a show of party unity that some cited as a clear sign he will not be convicted of inciting insurrection at the Capitol.
Republican Senator Rand Paul made a motion on the Senate floor that would have required the chamber to vote on whether Trump's trial in February violates the U.S. Constitution, Reuters reported.
The Democratic-led Senate blocked the motion in a 55-45 vote. But only five Republican lawmakers joined Democrats to reject the move, far short of the 17 Republicans who would need to vote to convict Trump on an impeachment charge that he incited the January 6 Capitol assault that left five people dead.
"It's one of the few times in Washington where a loss is actually a victory," Paul later told reporters. "Forty-five votes means the impeachment trial is dead on arrival."
- On January 13, the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress voted to impeach the then U.S. President Donald Trump. He is accused of inciting riots and the storming of the Capitol building, which took place on January 6 during debates on the presidential election results.
- On January 6, hundreds of Trump supporters breached the Capitol building of the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., where the meeting was being held to officially affirm Joe Biden's election win.
- The meeting was interrupted after a number of protesters broke through cordons and rushed into the building. It was resumed only a few hours later. By the morning of January 7, Congress affirmed Biden's win.
- Trump is the only president to have been impeached by the House of Representatives twice and the first to face a trial after leaving power, with the possibility of being disqualified from future public office if convicted by two-thirds of the Senate.