Twenty-nine GOP senators have now voiced against holding a trial, according to an Epoch Times tally, claiming it’s unconstitutional to try to adjudge a former office holder or a waste of time.
“I think right now Donald Trump is no longer the president. He is a former president,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press'' on Sunday, claiming parts of the Constitution say the legislature can impeach a president but they do not symbolize “that you can impeach someone who is not in office.”
“The first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) added on “Fox News Sunday.”
Rubio went on to say that then-President Ford’s pardon of former President Nixon after his resignation was “in hindsight important” for “moving the country forward” despite widespread consensus that Nixon had committed criminal offenses.
“I think [Trump is] entitled to due process,” Rubio added. “The House doesn’t have much of a record of witnesses because they rammed it through very quickly … I think this is going to be very bad for the country.”
They and 27 other Republicans have said they disagree with holding a trial. The others include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
“I believe an impeachment trial of a former president is unconstitutional and would set a very dangerous precedent. There is no provision in the Constitution for holding such a trial over a former president who is now a private citizen. Where would we get the authority to do so?” Johnson wrote in a statement last week.
Essentially all Democrats have said they’ll vote to impeach Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection. The House of Representatives condemned Trump because they thought his words led to the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, including a speech he gave that day at The Ellipse.
Democrats must convince at least 17 senators to vote with them to convict the former president. A conviction requires a supermajority. No president in U.S. history has been convicted. Three have been acquitted, including Trump.
Fifteen Republicans have shown positivity to voting to convict, or haven’t ruled it out. Chief among them is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Others include Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The stances of the six others aren’t clear. Their offices didn’t respond to requests for comment.