The U.S. Senate voted to continue the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump after hearing arguments from his defense lawyers that it would be unconstitutional to do so.
The Senate voted 56-44 roughly along partisan lines to continue. All Democrats voted to continue the trial, while six Republicans broke rank and voted with the Democrats.
The six Republicans who voted to continue the trial were:
- Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
- Sen. Susan Collins of Maine
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
- Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah
- Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska
- Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted that the trial was unconstitutional. A previous report claimed that he was in favor of the impeachment in the House by the Democrats.
Murkowski, a key swing vote, expressed confusion at the arguments presented by Trump attorney Bruce Castor against the constitutionality of the proceeding.
"I was really stunned at the first attorney who presented for former President Trump," said Murkowski. "I couldn't figure out where he was going."
Collins appeared to agree.
"It did not seem to make any arguments at all, which was an unusual approach to take," she said.
Cassidy defended his vote in a statement to the media.
"If anyone disagrees with my vote and would like an explanation I ask them to listen to the arguments presented by the House Managers and former Pres. Trump's lawyers," Cassidy said. "The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president's team did not."
In response to the criticism from some Republicans, Castor replied, "We had a good day."
In order for Trump to be convicted, two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote against him, which would be 67 senators. Most believe that is highly unlikely given how many Republicans have openly opposed the trial.
Here's more about the Senate vote:
Senate votes Trump impeachment trial is constitutional, will move forward www.youtube.com