Forty-five Republicans senators Tuesday refused to end debate on a motion by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky that declared the impeachment trial of Donald Trump unconstitutional.
The number of senators unwilling to move forward suggests that Democrats may not have the 67 votes needed to convict Donald Trump on the impeachment count against him.
But it’s not clear that all those senators will acquit. Rob Portman of Ohio, who opposed moving forward, characterized the vote as procedural and said he will listen to arguments at the trial. Mitch McConnell, who has indicated he is open to convicting Trump, is also among those who voted against ending debate.
The Senate voted 55-45 to set aside Paul’s point of order. GOP Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania voted with the Democrats to move ahead.