Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky and ally of Donald Trump, will oppose the planned impeachment trial of the former president in the US Senate today. According to Paul, the trial of a former president goes against the US Constitution.
On January 13, Trump was indicted by the House of Representatives for “inciting insurrection”. After all, a week earlier, he had stirred up a crowd with a flaming speech full of groundless allegations of electoral fraud. Then the mob stormed the Capitol, and all Congressmen were to be taken to safety. Five people were killed in the riots.
Trump is the only president who has already been impeached twice by the House of Representatives, and he is also the first president whose trial over his impeachment in the Senate is only conducted after he departs from the White House.
If convicted, there is a good chance that Trump will be banned from ever holding public office again. The trial will begin on February 9.
But Senator Rand Paul wants a vote today on whether the US Constitution allows a former president to be tried since Trump is now just a private citizen again. After all, he was succeeded by Joe Biden on January 20.
A debate is currently raging among American lawyers about whether Trump can still be brought to trial now that he is not the president.
According to many experts, “late impeachment” is still constitutional because a president who is guilty of misconduct at the end of his term should not be immune from the process provided for in the constitution to hold him accountable.
The constitution states that impeachment may result in a ban on public office exercise in the future, so the Senate still has to address an important question, it said.
In the Senate, the 100 seats are split equally between the Democrats and the Republicans. Since it takes a two-thirds majority to impeach Trump, the Democrats need at least 17 Republican votes, and the odds seem slim. After all, Trump remains a strong force within his party, and his supporters have pledged to challenge Republican Congressmen who vote for his impeachment in the next election.
Some Republicans have a hard time with Trump’s false claims of electoral fraud and his failed attempts to turn the election results in his favor, but no Republican senator has said he will vote with certainty in favor of his conviction.
Chairman of the process
Rand Paul also opposes the plan to have Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy chair the impeachment process. Chief Justice John Roberts chaired the trial in the previous impeachment lawsuit against Trump. Paul refers to a constitutional article that states that the chief justice presides over the trial if the president is tried.
However, since Trump is no longer president, the trial is chaired by a senator. Leahy is the senior Senator of the Republicans and the acting president of the Senate. He has traditionally presided over impeachment trials against former presidents.