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Senators discussing Trump censure resolution

Senators are discussing a potential censure resolution against former President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE as it becomes increasingly clear that his second impeachment trial is likely to end in acquittal.

A spokesperson for Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal Senate panel delays war authorization repeal after GOP push MORE (D-Va.) confirmed that he is discussing the issue with GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPelosi quashes reports on Jan. 6 select committee White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE (R-Maine) as well as with his Senate colleagues more broadly.

Axios first reported on Tuesday that Kaine and Collins were pitching their colleagues on the idea of a censure resolution. Spokespeople for Collins didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the conversations. 

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But Collins indicated on Tuesday after 45 GOP senators supported an effort to deem Trump's trial unconstitutional that she expected the Senate would not be able to convict him. Collins was one of five GOP senators who voted to set aside the effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPoll: 58 percent say Fauci should not resign Fauci says he puts 'very little weight in the craziness of condemning me' Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior MORE (R-Ky.) to declare the trial unconstitutional.

"I think it's pretty obvious from the vote today that it is extraordinarily unlikely that the President will be convicted. Just do the math," she said.

Lawmakers have been floating other options besides or in addition to impeachment for weeks after Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and repeated false claims that the election was "rigged. A mob subsequently breached the building, where former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceIf you care about the US, root for China to score a win in space Pence heckled with calls of 'traitor' at conservative conference The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE and members of Congress were counting the Electoral College vote.

Kaine is also among a group of Democrats floating trying to bar Trump from future office through the 14th Amendment. That, like a censure resolution, could pass the Senate with only 60 votes compared with impeachment's two-thirds requirement. That means that if every Democrat voted for a censure resolution, they would need the support of at least 10 Senate Republicans. 

A group of House Republicans introduced a censure resolution earlier this month condemning Trump "for trying to unlawfully overturn the 2020 Presidential election and violating his oath of office on January 6, 2021." 

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But House Democrats publicly rejected it, arguing that it didn't go for enough to hold Trump accountable for the Capitol attack. The House instead voted on a bipartisan basis to impeach Trump, making him the first president to be impeached twice.

But it appears increasingly likely that Republicans will hand him his second acquittal, with several members of the caucus predicting Tuesday's vote on the effort by Paul foreshadows what the outcome of the trial is likely to be.

“I can’t see how you get 17. I think that that was a test vote,” Sen. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanSenate GOP opens door to earmarks Arkansas governor quietly bucking GOP's dive into culture wars Trump allies line up ahead of potentially bruising primaries MORE (R-Ark.) told The Hill after 44 GOP senators sided with Paul.