Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Trump's 2nd impeachment trial might be 'over before it even starts'

Former President Donald Trump could be poised for another impeachment acquittal.

The Senate on Tuesday afternoon voted on whether to table a point of order from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who argued that Trump's second impeachment trial is unconstitutional because he's no longer in office, Axios reports. While the Senate ultimately voted in favor of tabling Paul's motion, the majority of Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), sided with him and voted against proceeding with the trial, according to The Washington Post.

This would seem to indicate it's "highly unlikely" the Senate will ultimately convict Trump, Axios reports. After all, NBC News' Frank Thorp writes, "the Senate needs 67 senators to convict," and Tuesday's vote suggested that "only 55 Senators think it's constitutional" to hold the trial. The five Senators who voted to table Paul's point of order were Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), per Axios.

At least one Republican did suggest he's still open to convicting Trump despite not joining these five GOP senators, as Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told the National Review he voted not to table Paul's motion simply because he wanted to continue the debate on whether the trial is constitutional. But following Tuesday's vote, Politico's Rachael Bade declared that the impeachment trial is "over before it even starts."

Trump is facing a charge of "incitement of insurrection" after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building in a deadly riot on Jan. 6. Now that the impeachment article has been delivered to the Senate, the trial is set to begin the week of Feb. 8.