Schumer Dismisses Proposal To Censure Trump as an Alternative To Impeachment Trial

As the Senate prepares to hold an impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, which appears unlikely to lead to a conviction, some lawmakers are proposing censure as an alternative. 

However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is pouring cold water on that idea. During a press conference on Tuesday, Schumer said, “I think the president should be tried… anything past that is something we can discuss.”

“But he deserves conviction, nothing less,” he added.

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The Senate is scheduled to begin its trial the week of February 9.

However, conviction requires 67-votes, which some senators believe is unlikely. Currently, there is a 50-50 split in the Senate, meaning at least 17 Republican senators would have to vote to convict Trump. 

But the Republican caucus appears unlikely to support a conviction vote. On January 26, 45 out of 50 Republicans voted to declare the trial unconstitutional. 

Some lawmakers believe that there is an alternative to hold Trump accountable for what they say is his role in inciting the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 that would not require 67-votes or a trial.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have pitched their colleagues on a resolution to censure Trump, which would only require 51-votes. 

Additionally, Kaine has argued that Trump be prevent from holding future office. 

The Virginia senator pointed to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states that “no person shall be” a president, vice president, member of Congress, or hold a federal or state office, who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

“This is an alternative that would impose, in my view, a similar consequence, but it does not require a trial, and it does not require a two-thirds vote,” Kaine said.