John Thune Open to Censuring Donald Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Senator John Thune (R-SD) speaks to the media following their weekly policy luncheon on April 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. Congress is back in session this week after a two week spring break. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the second-ranking Senate Republican, said Friday he could support a resolution to censure President Donald Trump.

Thune, the Senate Republican whip, told reporters that he could support a resolution to censure Trump depending on how the resolution was framed. He added that the resolution would have to be “effective.”

“I know there are a couple of resolutions out there … I’ve seen a couple of resolutions at least that I think could attract some support,” Thune said.

Asked by reporters if he could support one of the resolutions, the South Dakota Republican said, “Yeah.”

Thune’s comments arise as the Senate continues to hold the second impeachment trial against Trump. It remains unlikely that the Senate could convict Trump, as 17 Senate Republicans would have to vote to convict.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) drafted a resolution that would censure the 45th president. The Virginia Democrat also included language in the resolution citing the 14th Amendment that Kaine hopes could be used to prevent Trump from running for president again.

Kaine expressed doubt that his resolution would gain any traction.

“It’s only live if people want to do it, and it has to be bipartisan, and I don’t think Republicans want to put a hurdle in Donald Trump’s way. There’s some Republicans who do but not enough,” he said on Friday.

Thune said that a resolution citing the 14th Amendment would not gain his support, however.

“I don’t think … those will go anywhere,” he said.

Democrats believe that a censure remains an insufficient tool to hold Trump accountable; Democrats believe that Trump incited an insurrection on January 6 as Congress certified the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) called on the Senate to close the second impeachment trial against Trump.

“They chose an impeachment trial. We should vote, and this should be done with,” Johnson said.

One Republican senator said Republicans and Democrats have not expressed “much interest” in censuring Trump.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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