Senate votes to proceed with impeachment trial

U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Senate voted 56-44 Tuesday afternoon to proceed with the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. 

The outcome of the vote on the constitutionality of trying a former president was never in doubt, but many observers were watching closely for indications of whether GOP lawmakers would stick with their former leader. 

In the end, the vote fell mostly along party lines, with six Republicans joining 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats. Those six Republicans included: Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. 

It takes a two-thirds majority vote to convict a president, which means the prosecution would need 11 more Republicans to join the 56 who voted to proceed with the trial. 

House impeachment will begin presenting their case on Wednesday. Last month a divided House passed an article of impeachment against Trump accusing him of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that led to five deaths. 

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