Six Republican senators on Tuesday joined 50 Democrats in voting to proceed with the impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump, forming a contingent far smaller than what would be needed to convict Mr. Trump of “incitement of insurrection” related to the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The six Republicans were Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The vote on Tuesday addressed the constitutional question of whether the Senate has the power to try Mr. Trump even though he has left office.
The result largely mirrored the tally last month, when the Senate voted to kill an attempt to dismiss the trial as unconstitutional. Five Republicans had joined all 50 Democrats in support of going ahead with the trial, though others later said they were still open to hearing the case and described their votes as a call for more debate on the constitutionality of the trial.
But in the end, the lone senator to switch sides was Mr. Cassidy. In a statement on Tuesday, he said that “a sufficient amount of evidence of constitutionality exists for the Senate to proceed with the trial,” adding, “This vote is not a prejudgment on the final vote to convict.”
“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 President Trump’s lawyers,” he continued. “The House managers had much stronger constitutional arguments. The president’s team did not.”
Like the vote in January, the one on Tuesday signaled that Mr. Trump was all but certain to be acquitted. Seventeen Republicans would need to join all 50 Democrats to reach the two-thirds threshold for convicting the former president.
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