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All but five Senate Republicans—Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey—voted against tabling a motion introduced by Sen. Rand Paul dismissing former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as unconstitutional. Senate Democrats successfully tabled the motion, but the GOP support Paul’s point of order received is likely a preview of what to expect at next month’s impeachment trial.
This is one of those procedural votes that one must walk through step-by-step to figure out what happened. Considering the five Republicans who deviated from their colleagues, you’d have a pretty good guess at the gist, but here goes:
- Rand Paul moved to dismiss the impending impeachment trial as unconstitutional.
- Someone moved to table his motion.
- Most Republicans voted against tabling (because they want to dodge the wrath of the 45ers by aborting the whole trial).
- The five voted to table it (because tabling lets the impeachment go forward without prejudging it).
- The five plus the Democrats succeeded.
It’s important because this vote probably will appear in ominous TV ads when the five get primaried. Unless there’s an even darker allegation that they voted to impeach 45 and bar him from holding office ever again — which there probably will be.