“You did have 45 Republican senators vote to suggest that they didn’t think it was appropriate to conduct a trial, so you can infer how likely it is that those folks will vote to convict,” Toomey told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State on Union.”
“I think it is constitutional. I think it’s clearly constitutional to conduct a Senate trial with respect to an impeachment. In this case the impeachment occurred prior to the President leaving office,” Toomey said. “I stand by everything I’ve said, Jake. I still think the best outcome would have been for the President to resign. Obviously he chose not to do that.”
He added that as a juror in the impeachment trial, “I’m going to listen to the arguments on both sides and make the decision that I think is right.”
When Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky forced a vote on the constitutionality of Trump’s impeachment trial in January — arguing it was unconstitutional to convict a former President — only a handful of Republicans joined all the Democrats to kill the Kentucky Republican’s motion. It was a telling vote since Democrats will need at least 17 Republican senators to vote to convict Trump and bar him from running for future office.
Both sides are seeking a speedy trial. While the House impeachment managers are eyeing a proceeding that could last up to two weeks, some Senate Democrats are pushing for a quicker time frame.
While Republicans are in no rush to confirm Biden’s Cabinet, they also don’t have a desire for the public to remain fixated on the events of January 6 — and on the former President — in a lengthy trial.