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Trump impeachment: Senators seek support for resolution censoring former president as Senate looks unlikely to convict

Gino Spocchia
·2-min read
<p>Republican senator Susan Collins</p> (EPA)

Republican senator Susan Collins

(EPA)

Senators Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are reportedly seeking cross-party support for a resolution censuring Donald Trump, according to reports.

Mr Kaine, a Democrat who wants to see the former president barred from holding future office, has spoken with Ms Collins and others about censorship in recent days, which could see the Senate condemn Mr Trump on record.

As Axios reported, such a measure could act as replacement punishment for Mr Trump, whose second impeachment trial is set to begin on 8 February - and as Republicans appeared to back down on any conviction.

As many as 45 Republicans voted against the impeachment process on Tuesday, after the House delivered an article of impeachment to the Senate. That came despite widespread condemnation of Mr Trump’s role in the Capitol riot.

The single article alleges that the former president incited an insurrection on Congress, having told his supporters to march on the Capitol with “strength” as it certified election results on 6 January.

Ms Collins said afterwards that it seemed increasingly unlikely the Senate would be able to convict the president, and that "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.”

Ms Collins voted against the last minute attempt to dismiss the trial, which was brought by another Republican senator, Rand Paul, who had earlier labelled the impeachment process as “dead on arrival”. GOP senators Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey also voted against Mr Paul’s resolution, which was lost.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, voted with Mr Paul to dismiss Mr Trump’s second impeachment, almost two weeks after he publicly criticised the president and called out the former president’s “lies”.

Mr McConnell was also reported to have admitted in private that Mr Trump had committed impeachable offences during the Capitol riot, leading to speculation that more members of the GOP would publicly support convicting the former president. That now looks unlikely.

It remains unclear as to when a vote on a censure resolution would take place, with the impeachment trial set to take weeks.

According to Axios, Mr Kaine and Democrats in the Senate want at least 10 GOP senators to publicly commit to a censure, which would see the resolution passed by around 60 senators.

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