NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty were among the majority of Senate Republicans who voted to oppose the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Fellow Republican Senator Rand Paul put forth a motion to declare the trial unconstitutional on the basis that Trump is now a private citizen. His objection was defeated on a 55-45 vote, with five Republicans voting with all Senate Democrats.
In response to her vote, Blackburn released the following statement.
"Today I voted to support Senator Rand Paul‘s objection to holding a partisan, unconstitutional trial against a former President. It is time for our country to move forward, instead of looking backwards and fighting the same battles with each other."
Hagerty released the following statement on the trial.
"Today I was sworn-in for the upcoming trial, but this solemn oath was administered by a Democrat Senator, rather than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, further supporting the view that this continued impeachment effort against a former President is an unconstitutional, political sideshow. Under Article 2, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, a presidential impeachment trial—the purpose of which is to determine whether the President should be removed from office—must involve ‘The President,’ and Article 1, Section 3 provides that, ‘When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.’ Yet, ‘the President’ is not on trial, and the Chief Justice is not presiding, which speaks volumes about the constitutionality of this proceeding. It’s time to focus on controlling the pandemic, and getting the American people back to work, and our children safely back in school, which is why I voted to end this."
Senators were sworn in as jurors in the trial on Tuesday morning. The House impeached Trump for a second time on January 13 on the charge of inciting an insurrection. The impeachment trial won't get underway until the week of February 8.