Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a key swing vote in the Senate impeachment trial, has drafted a censure resolution condemning President Donald Trump for his actions with Ukraine.
The proposed resolution accuses President Trump of attempting to “compel a foreign nation to interfere with domestic political affairs for his own personal benefit,” while directing his personal attorney to “investigate a domestic political rival by meddling in formal diplomatic relations.”
Additionally, the measure alleges 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.”
Earlier Monday, Manchin, a moderate Democrat in a deep red state, said during the Senate Democrats’ closing impeachment trial arguments that he remains undecided on whether to acquit President Trump. The West Virginia lawmaker predicted both Republicans and Democrats would support censuring the president. President Andrew Jackson was censured by the upper chamber in 1834 and had the symbolic punishment expunged in 1837.
I see no path to the 67 votes required to impeach President Trump and haven’t since this trial started. However, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his actions in this matter.
During the House’s impeachment deliberations, 2020 White House candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) proposed censuring the president.
Manchin’s remarks are similar to those of some moderate Republicans, who have said that President Trump was wrong to ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said:
I think he shouldn’t have done it. I think it was wrong. Inappropriate was the way I’d say, improper, crossing the line. And then the only question left is who decides what to do about that.
I think what he did is a long way from treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors. I don’t think it’s the kind of inappropriate action that the framers would expect the Senate to substitute its judgment for the people in picking a president.
The Senate is expected to vote to acquit the president on Wednesday.