Ahead of Likely Impeachment Trial, Sen. Paul Has His Mind Made Up
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is predicting a vote on whether to impeach President Trump will be mostly partisan.
Speaking in Bowling Green on Monday, the Republican lawmaker said he thinks every Republican and half a dozen Democrats will vote against impeachment in the U.S. House on Wednesday.
Paul has defended Trump's motivation for withholding U.S. aid to Ukraine as a way to root out government corruption, rather than to investigate his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The senator said the he thinks the impeachment proceedings amount to criminalizing the presidency.
"My point is, I’ve been complaining about foreign aid about a decade now. I don’t think we should borrow money from China to send to Ukraine, so I think the president has some valid complaints," Paul told reporters. "People can agree or disagree whether it’s a good idea to end money to Ukraine or a good idea to hold it up for 50 days, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s something we should impeach presidents over.”
Two articles of impeachment are headed to the House floor for a vote. One accuses Trump of abusing his office and the other of obstructing the investigation.
Senator Paul told WKU Public Radio that he believes Trump was genuinely concerned about Ukrainian corruption, despite the fact that the president has surrounded himself with some corrupt leaders.
"Most of the accusations of corruption in the Trump administration have been based on the Russia investigation, but it turns out none of the people getting convictions had anything to do with the Russia investigation. They were convicted of other things like not filing the right forms to be a foreign lobbyist, not paying their taxes, things like that.”
If the House votes in favor of impeachment, a trial in the GOP-led Senate would likely take place in January and determine whether the president should be removed from office. Senator Paul predicts that vote would also fall along party lines.