Yesterday, the Senate held a vote regarding the constitutionality of impeaching Trump now that he has left office. The vote revealed that Democrats likely will not be able to come close to the required 67 votes needed to convict Trump as only five Republicans voted alongside the Democrats. The vote shows the upcoming trial will likely end in Trump’s acquittal which is why Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Susan Collins are pushing to censure Trump as an alternative to the impeachment trial.
Fox News reports:
“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,” Collins said on Tuesday evening.
“To do a trial knowing you’ll get 55 votes at the max seems to me to be not the right prioritization of our time,” Kaine added. “Obviously we do a trial, maybe we can do it fast but my top priority is COVID relief and getting the Biden cabinet approved.”
Unlike an impeachment conviction, a censure resolution would only need the support of 60 Senators to overcome the threat of a filibuster and reach a final floor vote. That means 10 Republicans would need to join the chamber’s Democrats in supporting the measure.
“I think there is a need for some accountability and some consequences and I think many Republicans, if you look at the words they’ve used about what happened on Jan. 6 and the President’s role in it, they’ve essentially stated that,” Kaine said. “So if we could do something like this and have it be bipartisan and thereby potentially avoid the trial, I think that would be beneficial but we’re not there yet.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed there will be an impeachment trial. Schumer addressed the Senate floor and said, “I would simply say to all of my colleagues, make no mistake, there will be a trial. The evidence against the former president will be presented in living color for the nation and every one of us to see once again and no one will be able to avert their gaze from what Mr. Trump said and did and the consequences of his actions.”