The US Senate on Tuesday voted 55-45 to block a Republican effort to upend plans for former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Reuters reported.
Five Republicans joined Democrats to reject a motion by Republican Senator Rand Paul that would have required the chamber to vote on whether the trial violates the US Constitution.
Paul and other Republicans contend that the proceedings are unconstitutional because Trump left office last Wednesday and the trial will be overseen by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy instead of US Chief Justice John Roberts.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed Paul’s argument as “flat-out wrong” and “a constitutional get-out-of-jail-free card” for presidents guilty of misconduct.
The House impeached Trump almost two weeks ago for "inciting insurrection". House Democrats on Monday sent the impeachment article to the Senate, though its leaders have already agreed to postpone the start of the public trial until the week of February 8.
Paul’s move on Tuesday was opposed by Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse and Patrick Toomey.