Manchin calls for bipartisan censure of Trump

Centrist Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE (W.Va.) on Monday urged the Senate to censure President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' MORE for holding up military aid to Ukraine in order to spur an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign launches Asian Pacific Americans coalition Biden: 'More than one African American woman' being considered for VP Liberal group asks Klobuchar to remove herself from VP consideration because of prosecutorial record MORE, predicting a formal reprimand could pick up bipartisan support.

“I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his actions in this matter. Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines, and as an equal branch of government to formally denounce the president’s actions and hold him accountable,” Manchin said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Manchin’s proposal has received little traction among Senate Republicans who control the schedule, but it could gain the support of a handful of Republicans who have expressed concern over Trump’s actions, including Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats gear up to hit GOP senators on DACA OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits | House Republicans introduce bill to speed mining projects for critical minerals | Watchdog faults EPA communications in contamination of NC river The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities MORE (Maine), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocrats broaden probe into firing of State Department watchdog Coronavirus and America's economic miracle Former Romney strategist joins anti-Trump Lincoln Project MORE (Utah) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits | House Republicans introduce bill to speed mining projects for critical minerals | Watchdog faults EPA communications in contamination of NC river Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits GOP senators urge Trump not to restrict guest worker visas MORE (Alaska).

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Manchin warned that if the Senate failed to respond in a bipartisan way to Trump’s attempt to solicit foreign influence in the 2020 election, it would represent a serious setback for the chamber.

“His behavior cannot go unchecked by the Senate, and censure would allow a bipartisan statement condemning his unacceptable behavior in the strongest terms,” Manchin said. “History will judge the Senate for how we have handled this solemn constitutional duty.”

Manchin, however, said he is undecided on how to vote Wednesday on the two articles of impeachment passed by the House alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

He has told reporters that he will not make a decision until shortly before the vote. 

Manchin’s censure resolution would “condemn” Trump’s conduct “in the strongest terms,” according to a copy of the proposal.

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It urges “future Congresses” to “recognize the importance of allowing this statement of censure and condemnation to remain intact for all time.”

The resolution states that Trump used his office to “attempt to compel a foreign nation to interfere with domestic political affairs for his own personal benefit” and that he “wrongfully enlisted his personal lawyer to investigate a domestic political rival by meddling in formal diplomatic relations.”

It also states that the president “hindered the thorough investigation of related documents and prohibited Congress and the American people from hearing testimony by firsthand witnesses with direct knowledge of his conduct.”