Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Senate affirms constitutionality of Trump's impeachment trial with 56-44 vote

The results are in, and the Senate impeachment trial is a go.

After four hours of arguments from House impeachment managers and former President Donald Trump's legal team about the constitutionality of a Senate trial, the upper chamber's lawmakers voted, by a count of 56 to 44, that they can indeed move forward. The tally was nearly identical to an earlier vote brought forth by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on the same subject, but Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) swapped sides, joining all 50 Democrats and five other Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) — in voting in the affirmative.

Cassidy seemed unimpressed with Trump's attorneys, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, arguing it was "almost like they were embarrassed" by their arguments. The senator also felt they didn't substantially address the matter of constitutionality, adding that at one point he turned to ask his colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) if the lawyers were "talking about the issue at hand." Cruz, he said, admitted they weren't, at least at that moment.

Meanwhile, in Cassidy's perspective, The House managers were "focused" and backed up their case with the opinions of legal scholars. Tim O'Donnell