Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told reporters Monday that the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump may “not be the right prioritization of our time” considering that the Senate will likely not convict the 46th president.
“To do a trial knowing you’ll get 55 votes at the max seems to me to be not the right prioritization of our time. Obviously, we do a trial. Maybe we can do it fast, but my top priority is COVID relief and getting the Biden cabinet approved,” Kaine said.
Reports also suggested that Kaine and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) are talking about using the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from holding office again.
Kaine’s comments arose as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) forced a vote on the Senate floor, questioning the constitutionality of impeaching a former president.
The motion did not pass to object to the impeachment trial; however, 44 Senate Republicans voted with Paul, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Only five Republicans, Sens. Collins, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Pat Toomey (R-PA), voted with Democrats, believing that the impeachment trial is constitutional.
The vote likely serves as a proxy vote on the final vote on whether to convict Trump on the allegation that he incited an insurrection during the January 6 riots.
After the vote, many Republican senators said that impeaching a former president serves as a dangerous precedent and is unconstitutional.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said in a statement after the vote:
Today, the Senate voted on the constitutionality of holding an impeachment trial on a former president, who is now a private citizen. In my opinion, the Framers of the Constitution never intended for the Senate to hold a trial to remove a former president from an office he no longer holds and that is why I voted with forty-four of my colleagues to end this divisive exercise.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.