(PatrioticPost)- Now that conviction seems to be a near impossibility, Tim Kaine says impeaching former President Donald Trump “may not be the right prioritization of our time.”
The Democratic Senator from Virginia made those comments a little more than a week before the trial against Trump is about to begin in the Senate. While Democrats once hoped that they would have a chance to convict the former president, a roll call vote held Tuesday showed that not many Republicans are willing to jump ship to join the left.
Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky raised concerns about whether holding a trial against a former president was even constitutional. When it came time to vote, 45 of the Senate’s 50 Republicans voted saying they thought it was unconstitutional to try Trump, since he is no longer a sitting president.
The only Republicans to vote against that measure were Mitt Romney from Utah, Lisa Murkowski from Arkansas, Susan Collins from Maine, Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and Ben Sasse from Nebraska. That group is made up of either Senators who have opposed Trump publicly in the past, or are retiring at the end of their term and have nothing to lose.
The outcome of that vote led Kaine to question whether it was worth the Senate’s time to try Trump. He said:
“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.”
Still, some reports are suggesting that Kaine is working with Collins to see if they could use the 14th Amendment to ban Trump from holding public office in the future. It would be an obscure use of the amendment, which is best known for granting citizenship to any person “born or naturalized in the United States,” including former slaves.
There’s a section of the amendment, though, which states:
“No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
Whether Kaine attempts to use the 14th Amendment is up in the air, but it’s highly unlikely that it would garner enough support in Congress to pass.
Many Senators are urging the other members of the Upper Chamber to move quickly through a Trump trial so they can get on with their other business. As Paul said of the trial before calling for the vote:
“A sham, this is, a travesty. A dark blot on the history of our country. I urge my colleagues to reconsider this kangaroo court and move forward to debate the great issues of our day.”