Pelosi rules out censure after Trump acquittal

After the Senate voted to acquit former President Trump, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster House Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow MORE (D-Calif.) on Saturday ruled out censuring the former president — an idea that several Republicans had floated in recent days.

“Censure is a slap in the face of the Constitution. It lets everybody off the hook,” Pelosi told reporters following the Senate impeachment trial at the Capitol. 

“Oh, these cowardly senators who couldn’t face up to what the president did and what was at stake for our country are now going to have a chance to give a little slap on the wrist?” Pelosi said while slapping her own wrist. 


“We censure people for using stationery for the wrong purpose,” said Pelosi, referring to an episode that led Democrats to censure former Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) in 2010. 

"We don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol,” she added.

Moments earlier, the Senate voted to acquit Trump in a 57-43 vote, short of the two-thirds needed to convict him.

Seven Republicans voted with all 50 Democrats that Trump was guilty of inciting a violent insurrection against the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a failed bid to halt the certification of President BidenJoe BidenBiden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' MORE’s election victory.

Pelosi also took a couple of jabs at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE (R-Ky.), who gave a blistering floor speech after Saturday’s acquittal calling Trump “morally responsible” for the Jan. 6 attack but arguing that an impeachment trial of a former president was unconstitutional.

The Speaker sought to correct the record, pointing out that the House had voted to impeach Trump on Jan. 13, while Trump was still in office, and that McConnell had declared the Senate would not accept the article of impeachment to be delivered by the House managers until after Trump left office.


“We’re told it could not be received because Mitch McConnell had shut down the Senate,” Pelosi said.

"For him to get up there and make this indictment against the president and say, 'I can’t vote for it because it’s after the fact' ... the fact that he established that it could not be delivered before the inauguration," she said.

"Oh my gosh," she added.

Updated 6:18 p.m.