ORANGE COUNTY, Fla — The United States Senate voted 56 to 44 on Tuesday to continue the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump with Florida’s two senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, voting in the minority.
The Tuesday vote paves the way for House Impeachment Managers to begin presenting their case on Wednesday in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, who was impeached on January 13 for “inciting violence against the Government of the United States” according to the single article of the impeachment.
Trump’s legal team and many Republicans have contended that the trial is unconstitutional since the only outcome for conviction provided in the US Constitution is removal from office followed by a disqualification on holding federal office again. Since Donald Trump is no longer president Republicans and his legal team have contended that The Senate trial is cannot provide the only available remedy.
“I think it’s important to distinguish between the sentence ability to have a trial and the sensibility to convict at the end of the trial” says congressional expert James Wallner of the R-Street Institute. “The Senate clearly has the constitutional power to adjudicate articles of impeachment from the House and I would argue it has to, if the House sends articles of impeachment, the Senate has to organize itself to consider them and they have to dispose of them in some way.”
Wallner contends that while the Senate must take up the article of impeachment there is no precedent for conviction after a person has left office, as Donald Trump did at noon on January 20.
“The Constitution gives the Senate the right to try all impeachments and the use of the word all means all,” says legal expert Paul Rosenzweig, a Senior Fellow at the R-Street Institute. “The Senate tries all such impeachments and while we have never done this before in respect to a president, we have a history of doing this with others such as Belknap.”
Rosenzweig is referring to Secretary of War William W. Belknap who was impeached in 1876 and tried in the Senate, even though he had already resigned.
Day-2 of the trial will begin on Wednesday when the House managers will present evidence.
The trial is expected to last less than a week.