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Rand Paul will force vote on the constitutionality of Trump’s upcoming Senate trial

Andrew Trunsky, DCNF

Sen. Rand Paul will force the Senate to vote on whether former President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial is constitutional, the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday.

Paul has railed against the upcoming trail, joining other Republicans who have argued that the trial is unconstitutional since Trump is now a private citizen and consequently exempt from facing removal from office.

“I think there will be enough support on it to show there’s no chance they can impeach the president,” Paul told reporters. “If 34 people support my resolution that this is an unconstitutional proceeding, it shows they don’t have the votes and we’re basically wasting our time.”

In his speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, he accused Democrats of dragging Americans into “the gutter of rancor and vitriol” by holding the trial, “the likes of which have never been seen in our nation’s history.”

His attempt is all but certain to fail in the Democratic-led Senate, but it could foreshadow the eventual vote on whether to convict the former president. The House of Representatives impeached Trump for the second time Jan. 13, but most Senate Republicans have cast doubt on the prospects of him being convicted.

If 67 senators vote to convict Trump, then the Senate will vote to decide whether the former president should be permanently barred from office. That vote would require a simple majority.

“I want to put the Senate on the record,” Paul wrote in a Tuesday op-ed. “I will insist on holding a vote that makes every last senator vote on whether they believe this proceeding, the impeachment trial of a private citizen, is unconstitutional, illegal, and essentially a bill of attainder.”

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