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Rand Paul: One-third of Republicans will leave party if GOP senators go along with convicting Trump

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More like two-thirds, Senator Paul. The Republican Party would cease to exist.

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Rand Paul: One-third of Republicans will leave party if GOP senators go along with convicting Trump

By January 16, 2020

Sen. Rand Paul warned of a mass exodus from the Republican Party if GOP senators come together with Democrats to convict President Trump in a second impeachment trial, even after he leaves office next week.

The Kentucky Republican told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that he believes one-third of the party will leave if Trump’s conviction comes to fruition. Paul added that he believes the second impeachment is “purely a partisan thing.”

“I didn’t agree with the fight that happened last week. I voted against over-turning the election,” Paul said Friday night. “But at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion. If Republicans go along with it, it will destroy the party. A third of the Republicans will leave the party.”

Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled House on Wednesday, after being charged with “incitement of insurrection” following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead.

Ten House Republicans got on board to vote for Trump’s impeachment, making him the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice.

The president was impeached on two Ukraine-related articles of impeachment in the House in December 2019, but he was acquitted by the Senate early last year. At the time, Mitt Romney of Utah was the sole Republican senator to vote in favor of one of the articles of impeachment against Trump, becoming the first senator ever to vote for the impeachment of a president from the same party.

Convicting Trump in the Senate requires a two-thirds vote (or 67 senators). The Senate will be split 50-50 with Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them having a tie-breaker in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Trump will leave office on Wednesday and will be succeeded by President-elect Joe Biden. The president has said that he will not attend the inauguration and is expected to leave Washington before the event begins.

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