Rand Paul suggests he might boycott Trump’s ‘sham’ impeachment

Rand Paul on Sunday suggested he might boycott Trump’s ‘sham’ impeachment because the former president no longer in office.   

In an op-ed for The Hill, titled ‘boycott sham impeachment’ the Republican senator wrote: ‘The first impeachment of Donald Trump in 2019 was a witch hunt filled with fabricated charges, unsupported evidence and partisan rancor disguised as legal concern.’ 

Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of February 8. If Paul were to boycott the vote the Democrats would need the support of 16 GOP Senators to convict Trump.  

Paul added: ‘If we are to blame politicians for the most violent acts of their craziest supporters, then many of my colleagues would face some pretty harsh charges themselves. 

‘I’ve been shot at, assaulted and harassed by supporters of the left, including some who directly said the words of politicians moved them to this violence.

‘I am more than willing to work with Democrats to find common ground on protecting civil liberties or ending some of our many foreign military interventions, but no unity or common ground will be found while Democrats continue to fight the last election.

‘This so-called impeachment is a farce and should be dismissed before it is even allowed to begin.’ 

Rand Paul on Sunday suggested he might boycott Trump's 'sham' impeachment because the former president no longer in office. He had earlier appeared on ABC's This Week, pictured

Rand Paul on Sunday suggested he might boycott Trump's 'sham' impeachment because the former president no longer in office. He had earlier appeared on ABC's This Week, pictured

Rand Paul on Sunday suggested he might boycott Trump’s ‘sham’ impeachment because the former president no longer in office. He had earlier appeared on ABC’s This Week, pictured 

Paul shared the piece Sunday, tweeting: ‘I am more than willing to work with Democrats to find common ground on protecting civil liberties or ending some of our many foreign military interventions, but no unity or common ground will be found while Democrats continue to fight the last election.’ 

He had earlier appeared on ABC where he continued to refuse to admit the 2020 election was not stolen. 

Trump´s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump´s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials. 

Probed by George Stephanopoulos on the vote he said: ‘There are two sides to every story.’

Host Stephanopoulos hit back: ‘Sir, there are not two sides to this story. This has been looked in every single state.’

Paul replied: ‘There are two sides to every story. George, you’re forgetting who you are as a journalist if you think there’s only one side. You’re inserting yourself into the story to say I’m a liar.’

‘There are not two sides to facts,’ the ABC anchor said. 

Paul said: ‘I think there was great deal of evidence of fraud and changing of the election laws illegally. A thorough investigation is warranted.’   

In an op-ed for The Hill , titled 'boycott sham impeachment' the Republican senator wrote: 'The first impeachment of Donald Trump in 2019 was a witch hunt filled with fabricated charges, unsupported evidence and partisan rancor disguised as legal concern'

In an op-ed for The Hill , titled 'boycott sham impeachment' the Republican senator wrote: 'The first impeachment of Donald Trump in 2019 was a witch hunt filled with fabricated charges, unsupported evidence and partisan rancor disguised as legal concern'

In an op-ed for The Hill , titled ‘boycott sham impeachment’ the Republican senator wrote: ‘The first impeachment of Donald Trump in 2019 was a witch hunt filled with fabricated charges, unsupported evidence and partisan rancor disguised as legal concern’

Trump´s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump´s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials

Trump´s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump´s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials

Trump´s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump´s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials

Rioters use a ladder to try and to enter Capitol building. They broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election

Rioters use a ladder to try and to enter Capitol building. They broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election

Rioters use a ladder to try and to enter Capitol building. They broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election

House Democrats will walk the impeachment charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ to the Senate on Monday evening. 

They are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the January 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again.         

Several Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defense, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year.

‘I think the trial is stupid, I think it´s counterproductive,’ said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that ‘the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I´ll do it’ because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions. 

An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate.    

Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans to convict him.

Paul, right, had earlier appeared on ABC where he continued to refuse to admit the 2020 election was not stolen, saying: 'There are two sides to every story' 'There are not two sides to facts,' ABC anchor Stephanopoulos, left, hit back

Paul, right, had earlier appeared on ABC where he continued to refuse to admit the 2020 election was not stolen, saying: 'There are two sides to every story' 'There are not two sides to facts,' ABC anchor Stephanopoulos, left, hit back

Paul, right, had earlier appeared on ABC where he continued to refuse to admit the 2020 election was not stolen, saying: ‘There are two sides to every story’ ‘There are not two sides to facts,’ ABC anchor Stephanopoulos, left, hit back

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) (R) speaks at a rally for US President Donald J.Trump (L) at Goodyear Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 28 October 2020

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) (R) speaks at a rally for US President Donald J.Trump (L) at Goodyear Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 28 October 2020

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) (R) speaks at a rally for US President Donald J.Trump (L) at Goodyear Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 28 October 2020

When the House impeached Trump on January 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he did not believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. 

On Sunday, Cotton said ‘the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they´re beginning to line up’ behind that argument. 

‘I think a lot of Americans are going to think it´s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,’ Cotton said.

Democrats reject that argument, pointing to a 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. 

They also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president who told them to ‘fight like hell’ against election results that were being counted at the time, is necessary so the country can move forward and ensure such a siege never happens again.

When the House impeached Trump on January 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., pictured, said he did not believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said 'the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they´re beginning to line up' behind that argument

When the House impeached Trump on January 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., pictured, said he did not believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said 'the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they´re beginning to line up' behind that argument

When the House impeached Trump on January 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., pictured, said he did not believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said ‘the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they´re beginning to line up’ behind that argument

'I think the trial is stupid, I think it´s counterproductive,' said Sen. Marco Rubio, pictured

'I think the trial is stupid, I think it´s counterproductive,' said Sen. Marco Rubio, pictured

‘I think the trial is stupid, I think it´s counterproductive,’ said Sen. Marco Rubio, pictured 

A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats. 

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a ‘preponderance of opinion’ that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office.

‘I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense,’ Romney said. ‘If not, what is?’

But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year´s trial, appears to be an outlier.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said he believes a trial is a ‘moot point’ after a president’s term is over, ‘and I think it´s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.’

And Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had tweeted on Saturday: ‘If it is a good idea to impeach and try former Presidents, what about former Democratic Presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022? Think about it and let´s do what is best for the country.’

On Friday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally who has been helping him build a legal team, urged the Senate to reject the idea of a post-presidency trial – potentially with a vote to dismiss the charge – and suggested Republicans will scrutinize whether Trump´s words on January 6 were legally ‘incitement.’

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Democrats were sending a message that ‘hatred and vitriol of Donald Trump is so strong’ that they will hold a trial that stops Biden’s policy priorities from moving. 

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., suggested Democrats are choosing ‘vindictiveness’ over national security as the new president tries to set up his administration.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump ‘provoked’ his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump 'provoked' his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator, center, has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump 'provoked' his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator, center, has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump ‘provoked’ his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator, center, has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience

One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi´s nine impeachment managers said Trump´s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was 'an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime'

One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi´s nine impeachment managers said Trump´s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was 'an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime'

One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi´s nine impeachment managers said Trump´s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was ‘an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime’

One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi´s nine impeachment managers said Trump´s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was ‘an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime.’

‘I think you will see that we will put together a case that is so compelling because the facts and the law reveal what this president did,’ said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa.

‘I mean, think back. It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that the president assembled a mob on the Ellipse of the White House. He incited them with his words. And then he lit the match.’ 

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that he hopes that evolving clarity on the details of what happened January 6 ‘will make it clearer to my colleagues and the American people that we need some accountability.’

Coons questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a ‘stunning violation’ of the centuries-old tradition of peaceful transfers of power.

‘It is a critical moment in American history and we have to look at it and look at it hard,’ Coons said.

Rubio and Romney were on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ Cotton appeared on Fox News Channel’s ‘Sunday Morning Futures’ and Romney also was on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ as was Dean. Rounds was interviewed on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’

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