Republican senators signal opposition | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 28, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:41 AM, January 28, 2021

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

Republican senators signal opposition

US Democrats' efforts to convict Donald Trump at his impeachment trial suffered a fresh blow Tuesday when almost all Republican senators backed dismissing the case, underlining the former president's continuing hold over the party.

The motion failed after all 50 Democrats and only five Republicans in the Senate did not support the push to throw out the case before the trial has begun.

The result confirmed Democrats will struggle to persuade 17 Republican senators -- the number needed for the required two-thirds majority -- to vote to convict Trump.

Rand Paul, Republican senator from Kentucky, raised a point of order to hold a vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial as Trump has left office.

Democrats then called for a vote to kill the point of order, winning 55-45. Paul said afterward "that 45 Senators agreed that this sham of a 'trial' is unconstitutional... This 'trial' is dead on arrival in the Senate."

Patrick Leahy, 80-year-old senator presiding over trial, was briefly hospitalized after proceedings during which he sounded unwell as lawmakers were sworn in as jurors.

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