In a close vote (55-45), the US Senate blocked Tuesday (26) an attempt to reject the impeachment process of former President Donald Trump, which was to begin on the 9th, unconstitutional.
Only five Republicans opposed the objection raised by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who defended the end of the process, saying “the impeachment is for impeachment, and the accused here has already resigned.”
The scorecard says the current trend is that he will be absolved of the charge of inciting an insurgency that culminated in the invasion of Capitol Hill on January 6 – 67 votes (two-thirds of 100 senators) are needed to approve the impeachment. .
Alaska Republicans Lisa Murkowski – the party’s first to vote for Trump’s resignation while still in office – voted to continue the trial, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, who also supported the resignation.
Trump’s political weight for the party’s future is not clear, however. He secured 74 million votes in the November election, a record for a Republican candidate, and has proven capable of convincing thousands to keep fighting for him, even after the defeat.
However, the former president lost one of his main political weapons, his Twitter profile, which sent several messages a day to millions of followers, sparked controversy and attracted attention.
Senators may change their minds until the start of the trial, but this Tuesday’s vote indicates the former president should be acquitted in the House for the second time – in February 2020, Trump was acquitted by a Senate with a Republican majority in its first process.
In recent days, members of the Republican Party had shown signs that they could vote to prevent the former president. On Sunday (24), Romney said he intended to vote in favor of impeachment. “What we’ve seen, a stimulus to the insurgency, is an impeachment offense. If not, what would it be?” Romney said on CNN.
He is a longtime critic of Trump and was the only Republican senator to vote against the then president in the first impeachment process, early last year.
On the flip side, other Republicans loyal to Trump have argued that continuing with the process does not make sense because the accused has already resigned and punishing him would increase tensions in American society. Marco Rubio, a senator from Florida, likened the process to “throwing gasoline on the fire” and said on Fox News that the initiative was stupid and counterproductive.
Rubio compared Trump’s case to that of Richard Nixon, the president who resigned amid an impeachment process in 1974, and was later pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford, who was his deputy.
“I think everyone would agree that President Ford’s forgiveness was important for the country to move forward, and history has held Nixon accountable for his actions,” he said.
Senator Tom Cotton, of Arkansas, argued on NBC that after the impeachment process against a former president, he was not in Congress. However, the Constitution does not set a deadline for the holding of the trial, which leaves room for maneuver for it to take place after the president’s departure.
To date, no US president has been impeached, either during his tenure or after leaving the White House.
According to the removal request, the former president “has deliberately made statements which encouraged illegal actions” and “will continue to constitute a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution”. “At the request of the president, the members of the crowd to whom he addressed […] they raped and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed security teams, threatened members of Congress and the vice-president and engaged in violent, murderous, destructive and seditious acts.
The letter also quotes Trump’s lines, such as “if you don’t fight for real you will have no country,” and mentions his efforts to subvert the election, such as the phone call to the secretary of Georgian state, which he demanded that “find votes” to change the outcome, in addition to repeated and baseless claims that Biden’s victory was the result of widespread fraud.
“In all of this, President Trump has seriously endangered the security of the United States and its government institutions. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and endangered an arm of the government. He therefore betrayed his reliability as president, to the obvious detriment of the American people, ”the text indicates.