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Democrats' hopes to convict Trump in Senate fade, as some seek pivot to censure

All but five of 50 GOP senators voted that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a president who has already left office

Capitol in DC
Capitol in DC
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Updated: January 27, 2021 - 11:59am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Members of the U.S. Senate are now reportedly talking about a censure resolution against former President Trump after a vote earlier in the day indicated that there wasn't enough support to convict him in a trial following his impeachment earlier this month by the House. 

The vote in the Senate was over the question of whether it was constitutional to hold a trial for a president who had been impeached but had already left office. Only five Republican senators, along with all 50 Democratic senators, voted that it was constitutional, while 45 Republican senators voted that it wasn't. 

Axios reported on Tuesday that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) had been talking about a possible censure resolution with each other, and with other Senate colleagues as well. 

"I think it's pretty obvious from the vote today that it is extraordinarily unlikely that the President will be convicted," said Collins. "Just do the math."

The Hill reported that "Kaine is also among a group of Democrats floating trying to bar Trump from future office through the 14th Amendment. That, like a censure resolution, could pass the Senate with only 60 votes compared with impeachment's two-thirds requirement. That means that if every Democrat voted for a censure resolution, they would need the support of at least 10 Senate Republicans."

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