Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

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Shawna Chen
·2 min read
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Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

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  • "If we can’t get to 67 votes for impeachment, there may be another way to hold President Trump accountable."

Details: The censure resolution will declare that the attack on the Jan. 6 Capitol was an insurrection against the Constitution — an effort to stop Congress from "undertaking its constitutional duty to count electoral votes," according to Kaine.

  • It finds that Trump "gave aid and comfort" to the insurrectionists by "repeatedly lying about the election, slandering election officials, pressuring others to come to Washington for a wild event and encouraging them to come up to Congress."

  • The language is pulled from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

  • Kaine said if Trump is found to have violated the amendment, he could be barred from holding office again. However it remains unclear whether that is enforceable.

  • "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," the Vermont senator added.

The big picture: Collins told reporters on Wednesday, "It seems to me there is benefit in looking at an alternative that might be able to garner bipartisan support."

  • The two senators have spoken with roughly 40 colleagues about a censure vote, Kaine said.

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