Sen. Tim Kaine Says Democrats May Censure Trump To Avoid a Failed Impeachment Trial

Connor Grant | January 28, 2021

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said Wednesday that he and his Democrat colleagues are exploring the possibility of censuring Trump rather than holding an impeachment trial for the former president's alleged incitement of insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a recent vote, 45 Republican senators voted that Trump's impeachment was unconstitutional, which all but ensures that Senate Democrats will fall far short of the 67 votes needed to actually convict the former president if he's actually tried.

Given the almost inevitable failure of an impeachment trial, Kaine told reporters: 

“I have been talking with a number of my colleagues, a handful, for a couple of weeks about the likelihood that we would fall short on impeachment and by doing that, not only will we fall short but we would use time for something that we could be using for Covid, which I think is just so dire right now...The vote on the Paul motion yesterday was completely clarifying that we’re not going to get near 67. So, I think there’s maybe a little more interest now and then could this be an alternative.”

A group of House Republicans previously presented a censure resolution in an effort to gain bipartisan support.

But what exactly is a censure? Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove explained on Fox News:

“A simple majority would be required for that (censure). It would simply mean on the historical record that the president was censured. His copybook would be blotted as they say, forever, until one gets together the votes to remove that censure, which is what actually happened with President Jackson.” 

Rove added that censuring Trump wouldn't keep him from being able to run for president again in the future.


“No it couldn’t and look, at this point that’s the only thing, in a concrete fashion, that impeachment will do, is it will block the president from running in 2024.”


But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) apparently disagrees with Kaine's proposal, saying this week that there will be a trial held.

“We will vote, we will pass judgment,” he said.

Watch Rove's interview on the potential censuring below.

(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)