Sen. Pat Toomey: ‘Very unlikely’ Senate votes to convict Donald Trump in impeachment trial

“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.”

The senator, who has said he is not going to run for reelection after his term ends in 2022, was one of five Republicans who joined Democrats in tabling an effort to force a vote on the constitutionality of the trial last month. He told Tapper that he stands by his previous remark that Trump “committed impeachable offenses.”

“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.”

Trump's second impeachment trial set to kick off this week amid questions about what it will look like

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.”

Trump is likely to be acquitted by the Senate for the second time, with Democrats falling short of the two-thirds votes needed for conviction.

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.

Senate Democrats are diving into their effort to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, a high-wire act that will require every Senate Democrat to stay on board. Plus, Biden still has a slate of nominees that needs to get confirmed by the Senate. And none of that can happen on the floor until the trial is done.

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.

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