No Impeachment Surprise – WSJ


Senator Rand Paul makes a motion that the impeachment trial of former US President Donald J. Trump is unconstitutional on Tuesday



Photo:

Consolidated News Photos/Zuma Press

Forty-five Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to support a motion saying an impeachment trial of a former President is unconstitutional, and the media are professing shock. Haven’t they been paying attention? GOP opposition to trying a former President who is now a private citizen has been building since Inauguration Day, and based on current impeachment evidence the vote suggests the trial will end in Senate acquittal.

This has been predictable since House Democrats voted to impeach Mr.

Trump

in the waning days of his Presidency and then waited until he was gone before sending the article of impeachment to the Senate.

Rand Paul

of Kentucky offered the procedural motion. It was defeated 55-45, with five GOP Senators voting with the Democrats. But to convict at an impeachment trial requires a two-thirds majority, or 17 current GOP Senators.

There are good arguments on both sides of the constitutional question, and Mr. Trump’s behavior was impeachable. But if Democrats go ahead with the trial, the likeliest result is acquittal, and Mr. Trump will claim vindication and say his second impeachment was as political as the first. Before this is over, Democrats may become enablers of Mr. Trump’s political revival.

Democrats can’t let go of Donald Trump, even as a former President. So now we have a second impeachment “Trial of the Century” in two years. Images: Europa Press/Zuma Press/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the January 27, 2021, print edition.



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