Impeachment Plan B

With a potential acquittal in sight, senators’ bipartisan group discusses specifics for a possible censure motion. It is not yet clear if the censure would be a replacement for a trial in the Senate, or it would come after a likely acquittal. Senators Tim Kaine and Susan Collins have been speaking to colleagues behind the scenes. Senator Kaine is taking it one step further; he attempts to employ the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from future political office. Censure itself would not block Trump from a 2024 run.

Censure would still require ten Republicans to cross the aisle, but that seems like a challenge that could be overcome. Yesterday’s Rand Paul sponsored vote in the Senate left us with the fact that all but five Republicans voted against the constitutionality of impeaching a president who is no longer in office. Additionally, Republicans have already suggested censure for trying to overturn the 2020 election.

If censured, Trump would join Andrew Jackson as the only other president to have received a censure. Jackson’s censure occurred in 1834. Trump would be the only president in history to be censured after leaving office. If there is to be any movement towards censure, Republicans would have to state their support publicly. Republicans would be unable to rely on the argument that censuring Trump is unconstitutional.

If the parties proceed, the next battle would likely be what censure would mean practically. There are no guidelines in the Constitution or congressional rules.
When we consider the five lost lives, destruction to the Capitol, and the continued threat of violence, censure seems like a useless lack of punishment.


We no longer hear Donald Trump on social media, but his presence still haunts us. Trump has already opened the Office of the Former President, signaling his plan to play puppet-master. The stated purpose is to “oversee the 45th president’s official activities in his post-presidency life.” In reality, Trump’s popularity with the Republican base will keep Republican Senators marching to Trumpian values. Senators still fear being primaried by Trump’s goons.

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