WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Editor's Note: The above video aired on Jan. 10, 2021.
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins was one of just five GOP senators to vote against a motion to dismiss former President Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial Tuesday.
Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly against moving forward with the trial, making clear a conviction of the former president for “incitement of insurrection” is unlikely.
The House impeached Trump two weeks ago for inciting deadly riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6 when he told his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat.
In a 55-45 procedural vote, the Senate tabled the motion from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, that would have declared the impeachment proceedings unconstitutional given that Trump is no longer in office.
“If more than 34 Republicans vote against the constitutionality of the proceeding, the whole thing’s dead on arrival,” Paul said shortly before the vote.
Collins, who has been among only a handful of Republicans to outright denounce Trump's actions leading up to the violence, told NEWS CENTER Maine she voted against Paul's motion out of concern for what it could mean for future presidents.
“If we dismiss this action based on a lack of jurisdiction, we would create a precedent under which a future president could avoid disqualification simply by waiting for the closing days of his term to engage in misconduct," Collins said in a statement.
The other GOP Senators to vote against the motion were Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Despite the fact procedural votes already underway, the impeachment trial is not set to get underway in earnest until the week of Feb. 8.
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, will not say how he plans to vote, but did support House impeachment efforts. Collins will not comment on how she plans to vote.