Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, speaking on the Senate floor Monday, urged his colleagues to formally censure President Trump — saying that while the president’s dealings with both Ukraine and Congress were “simply wrong,” he was “struggling” with whether to vote to convict and remove him from office and potentially “tear the country apart.”
At the same time, Manchin also condemned the Republican-controlled Senate for failing to call additional witnesses in the impeachment trial, saying “history will judge the Senate harshly” for failing its constitutional duty to “protect our democracy.”
“I see no path to the 67 votes [requried to convict and remove] President Trump,” Manchin, who represents a deeply pro-Trump state, asserted. “However, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure this president.”
A censure resolution, which Manchin said “would allow a bipartisan statement condemning [Trump’s] unacceptable behavior in the strongest terms,” has no practical effect and serves as a legislative rebuke to the sitting president.
GOP-CONTROLLED SENATE NARROWLY REJECTS MORE WITNESSES IN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, PAVING WAY FOR ACQUITTAL
Saying the decision of whether to remove Trump from office was a “grave” matter that has “weighed heavily” on him, Manchin noted he has “listened carefully” to both sides of the issue — and that he remains undecided.
“The president asked a foreign government to intervene in our upcoming election,” Manchin said. “He defied lawful subpoenas from the House of Representatives.”
Trump is all but assured to be acquitted on Wednesday in the GOP-controlled Senate, where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove the president.
This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates.