Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is still planning to move forward with an official impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump. The Democratic Senator from the state of New York vowed to forge ahead with the trial plans despite a bipartisan effort to hold a censure vote instead.
Censure Vote Gaining Ground
Earlier in the week, Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, and Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, joined forces to introduce a bipartisan plan to censure Trump rather than going through the arduous process of a formal impeachment trial. However, on Wednesday, Schumer made it clear that he planned on moving forward with what he called a “full and fair trial on convicting Donald Trump.” Schumer claims that he has the necessary evidence to convince enough senators to convict the former president of inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The impeachment trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 8. While the Democrats now have the majority of the Senate because of the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, there needs to be a two-third majority to convict in an impeachment trial. Seeing that they will likely not come close to having the votes needed to convict the former president, some Democrats are leaning toward the censure option as an alternative.
A censure vote would serve as a formal rebuke to Trump. Unlike the impeachment vote, a censure only requires the majority of senators to sign on to the motion. During Tuesday’s procedural vote on the Article of Impeachment, only five Republican Senators voted to move forward with the trial.