By Masooma Haq
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has said that for the United States to begin truly healing, President Joe Biden should publicly call on Senate leadership to halt the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Paul said that “if [Biden] thinks he’s going bring the country together by impeaching a former president, I don’t know what he’s smoking, because really, he’s just going to divide the country further.”
During his Jan. 20 inauguration speech, Biden said that “history, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.”
Paul told Fox News that if Biden really means what he said during his speech, about uniting the nation, he would call on his party to stop the impeachment in the Senate.
“If he wanted to rise above the occasion, he’d be calling Chuck Schumer and publicly saying what’s at stake and [that it] will further divide the country,” referring to the Senate Democrat leader. “That would be a real statement, that would be a real big thing to do.”
The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump earlier this month on a charge of incitement of insurrection, alleging he was at fault for the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
The House has not yet submitted the impeachment resolution to the Senate. Typically, trials take place in the upper chamber following an impeachment. At the conclusion of a trial, senators vote to acquit or convict a president. A two-thirds supermajority is required to convict.
But Paul did not think Biden would take this step and that his speech at the Inauguration, was “merely words.”
“Also, if you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo, calling us white supremacist, calling us racist, calling us every name in the book, calling us people who don’t tell the truth,” he added.
Paul said he would like to get some assurance from the president that he will not support a socialist agenda and allow Democrats to alter the way that laws are enacted in the Senate.
“What we have to hear is that he’s not going to radically transform the country into some sort of socialist dystopia.” Adding, “Many of the things [Democrats] want to do would radically transform America to a different country, to a country different than what has provided great wealth and great humanitarian ease to millions and millions of Americans.”
The Senate is split 50-50, so Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris would need to cast a deciding vote in a tie. The scenario Paul and other Republicans are concerned about is the elimination of the filibuster, which requires 60 votes by the Senate to pass a bill. If stripped, a simple majority in the Senate would have the same power.
“I think Senator Manchin from West Virginia will be key and also, what will be key is whether or not they blow up the filibuster,” he said, referring to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.). “If they blow up the filibuster and do everything by a simple majority, they could very quickly and radically change America, and I think destroy a lot of the fabric of what our great wealth and our freedoms are based on.”
Manchin is a moderate Democrat who has said he will not support getting rid of the filibuster. However, Manchin, along with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he supports impeaching Trump.
Paul has called on his own party to halt the impeachment because of the effect it would have on the Republican Party and 75 million Trump voters.
“I think what’s most important, if the country’s gonna heal, is the Democrats have to give up on this rancor and this partisanship and this really politically motivated impeachment,” he said. “If they don’t, 75 million people are going to be very, very unhappy if they do this partisan impeachment.
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