Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Republicans admit nothing will change their mind on constitutionality of Trump's impeachment

Former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial started Tuesday with arguments over whether it's constitutional to impeach a former president in the first place. But even after a four-hour debate on the subject, the Senate's vote on the subject is likely to remain unchanged.

House impeachment managers got the first crack at the question Tuesday afternoon, claiming that finding the impeachment of a former official unconstitutional would give them an excuse to do whatever they'd like in their last weeks in office. Senate Republicans said they were impressed with the argument, with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) telling CNN that Democrats "sent a better team" than the last Trump impeachment. But as both Wicker and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) affirmed, there's really nothing those managers can say that will change Republicans' minds on the unconstitutionality of the trial.

The Senate already took a vote last week to consider whether Trump's impeachment for incitement of insurrection was constitutional, given that his trial is happening now that he's out of office. Forty-five Republicans voted that it was unconstitutional, providing a prediction on how they'll vote Tuesday when posed with the same question.