Shortly after the release of the redacted Mueller Report, when Democrats were engaged in a simmering debate on whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, you occasionally heard talk about the less drastic–and easier to accomplish–option of censuring him.
Now that an impeachment inquiry is underway, the shoe is on the other foot, and among those Republicans who aren’t just angrily defending everything Trump has ever done, we are beginning to hear mutterings about censure as a way for the GOP to express disapproval of the president’s conduct without removing him from office. Here’s Washington Post conservative columnist Henry Olsen following Gordon Sondland’s testimony establishing Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to mess with the Bidens:
Republican members of Congress should seek to do justice in all of its elements here. That could easily involve acquittal in the Senate, because all this does is put the final decision to the American people. But they should also act to both condemn what Trump has done and try to ensure that no other president is ever tempted to do something similar.
The condemnation can take the form of a resolution to censure Trump over this matter. He will surely be upset at such a move, but the president was also upset about Congress’s resolution disapproving his national emergency declaration this year to obtain funds to build his wall on our southern border. Many Republicans voted for that, and none were ostracized as a result. Trump would, in time, likely view a censure resolution similarly.