Sen. Joe Manchin Calls For Senate To Censure Trump Rather Than Remove Him
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has floated the idea of censuring President Donald Trump for his behavior laid out in the two articles of impeachment. The less severe punishment would end the long-shot Democratic efforts to remove him from office. The Senate resolution would also ensure that Trump would not walk away unscathed from the entire impeachment process.
Manchin made the proposal ahead of the final chamber-wide vote on Wednesday, in which members will vote to convict or acquit Trump. To remove Trump from office, the Democrats need 67 votes, which means that they would need to sway 20 Republicans to join the full 47-member caucus.
“His behavior cannot go unchecked by the Senate,” Manchin, a moderate swing voter, who remains undecided in his vote, continued. “Censure would allow a bipartisan statement condemning his unacceptable behavior.”
In a floor speech Monday, Manchin stated he remains dubious on whether to vote to convict or acquit Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He said, “what the president did was wrong,” in enlisting foreign entities to interfere with a U.S. election and launch a probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.
NEW – Manchin’s Censure Resolution, obtained by NBC News:
“The Senate does hereby censure Donald J Trump, President of the United States, and does condemn his wrongful conduct in the strongest terms; the Senate recognizes the historic gravity of this bipartisan resolution…” pic.twitter.com/rGMWid6lFP
— Julie Tsirkin (@julietsirkin) February 3, 2020
“I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his action in this matter. Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines,” Manchin said. “A bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump.”
A resolution to censure Trump would be “unprivileged,” meaning that Manchin would need Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s approval to get a vote on it, which is not likely to happen.