Five Republican senators broke with the Republicans and voted to proceed with impeachment case against former President Donald Trump.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania all voted to move ahead. None of their votes comes as a surprise, as all of them have indicated their displeasure with the former president.
In a vote of 55-45, the impeachment trial will now proceed, but it also appears that there may not be enough votes to convict the former president for inciting a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the day the Electoral College vote was certified by the Congress.
Sen. Dan Sullivan voted with the Republican majority to block the trial. The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.
67 votes are needed to convict the president of the charges, so there are some strong signs that the trial effort will fail.
“My review of it has led me to conclude it is constitutional in recognizing impeachment is not solely about removing a president, it is also a matter of political consequence,” Murkowski told reporters.
This is the second impeachment of Trump in about year. The first was was when he was impeached by the House of Representatives during the 116th United States Congress on Dec. 18, 2019. The Senate trial was Jan. 16 – Feb. 5, 2020.