CONVICTION of Donald Trump in his upcoming Senate trial looks increasingly unlikely after all but five Republican Senators voted to halt the impeachment process altogether.
While the Republicans didn't succeed into stopping the trial, the fact that so many voted in favour of doing so suggests that the Democrats won't have enough votes in the Senate to secure a conviction.
A two-thirds majority vote is needed to do that, meaning that 17 Republican Senators would need to vote in favour of conviction for it happen.
The 100-seat Senate chamber is split 50-48 between Republicans and Democrats - with two Independent Senators - and the latest vote shows that Trump still has enough support from within his party to steer clear of trouble during his impeachment trial, which will begin the week of February 8.
"I think this was indicative of where a lot of people's heads are," said South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune.
"It's one of the few times in Washington where a loss is actually a victory," added Republican Senator Rand Paul.
"45 votes means the impeachment trial is dead on arrival."
Despite this, many Republican Senators stressed that their vote to dismiss the trial bears no indication on how they'd choose to vote during the trial itself.
Regardless, the fact that so many Republicans have made attempts to stop the trial in its tracks, conviction of the former president looks as likely as Ireland qualifying for a major international football tournament.
On January 13, Trump became the first US president to be impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives.
He will also become the first former president to face impeachment charges when his trial in the Senate begins.
Trump was impeached just a week after a number of his supporters stormed the Capitol Building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election victory.
Five people were killed during the riots, including one police officer.