REPUBLICAN Senators have all but killed off Democratic hopes of impeaching former President Donald Trump - leaving the charge of inciting an insurrection "dead on arrival".
Only five members of Trump's party on Tuesday voted to go forward with the impeachment trial over his alleged role in inciting the Capitol siege on January 6.
In a 55 to 45 vote, Senators narrowly halted a Republican effort to dismiss the impeachment charge.
But the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the 100-member Senate to convict - meaning it looks highly unlikely that Trump will be impeached once the trial concludes.
The impeachment hearings are scheduled to begin on February 8.
The Senate set aside an objection from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul that would have declared the impeachment proceedings unconstitutional.
“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.
He added that Democrats “probably should rest their case and present no case at all.”
As such, Trump's impeachment will begin as scheduled on the week of February 8.
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