Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who has been a top critic of former President Trump and called for him to resign after last month’s riot at the Capitol, said in an interview Sunday that it is unlikely that the Senate will vote for a conviction on the one count of “incitement of insurrection.”
The 50-50 Senate is preparing for another trial that many Republicans say will serve no purpose other than to fuel the divide the country. They say Democrats want nothing more than to score political points with the trial and get one last parting shot in against Trump.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., forced a vote to set aside the trial as unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office, drawing 44 other Republicans to his argument. The proceedings are set to begin Tuesday.
Toomey told CNN that he believes the trial is constitutional and said under the best circumstances Trump would have resigned.
“You did have 45 Republican senators vote to suggest that they didn’t think it was appropriate to conduct a trial, so you can infer how likely it is that those folks will vote to convict,” Toomey told the network.
Paul’s measure suggested the near impossibility of reaching a conviction in a Senate where Democrats hold 50 seats but a two-thirds vote — or 67 senators — would be needed to convict Trump.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told Fox News last week that the impeachment is “plainly unconstitutional.” He said the Democrat push for Trump to testify “contradicts” what they’ve been arguing for the past several weeks.
Cotton said that his opinion has been consistent from Day One. He said it’s “beyond the constitutional authority of the Senate to have impeachment proceedings to convict and removed from office a man who has already left office.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report