Manchin calls for bipartisan censure of Trump
Centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) on Monday urged the Senate to censure President Trump for holding up military aid to Ukraine in order to spur an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, 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 Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
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.
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.”