Rand Paul put forward a point-of-order motion to try to block the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The vote was 55-45, and most people take this as a sign that a vote to convict is dead upon arrival. However, I have a different take and argue that this attempt to block a trial by trying to show it would be a waste of time is not what it appears to be.
What if the Senate vote on the constitutionality of holding an impeachment trial after a president has left office is actually a strategy to convict and bar him from office in the future? Let’s take a look at the math: there are 22 Republicans up for election in 2022, and they could vote to abstain during the trial (since they are on record that they believe the trial itself is unconstitutional), which would give them cover. That leaves 78 Senators remaining.
Assuming that the 55 Senators who voted that it was constitutional to hold the trial would all vote to convict and the remaining 23 vote to acquit, that would mean 70% of the voting Senators choose to convict which is greater than the 2/3 threshold. A win-win for everybody – Democrats, Republicans, and most of all the American people, Democracy, and the United States.