Kaine Backs Off Bipartisan Effort To Censure Trump After Lack Of Support

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., listens during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA, speaks during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill May 7, 2020 in Washington DC. (Photo by Andrew Harn... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA, speaks during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill May 7, 2020 in Washington DC. (Photo by Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 2, 2021 1:19 p.m.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) on Tuesday said that he has dropped his effort on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, citing lack of support from his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

Last week, Kaine and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) privately floated a bipartisan resolution censuring Trump to their colleagues after most Republicans signaled Trump’s likely acquittal in his second impeachment trial by voting that the Senate impeachment trial is unconstitutional.

Kaine and Collins viewed the bipartisan censure resolution as another pathway to officially condemn Trump for his incitement of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Kaine said that he decided against filing a motion to censure Trump because the bipartisan effort he and Collins spearheaded failed to gain enough support.

“We don’t have enough support on the Republican side because they don’t want to bar Trump from running from office and I don’t have enough support on the Democratic side because for most of my colleagues, it’s impeachment or nothing,” Kaine said Tuesday.

Kaine added that he’s “very worried about going through this trial and having the punchline at the end of it: Trump acquitted again.”

Kaine, however, offered a caveat by leaving the possibility of reviving the effort to censure Trump open if there is a “path to success” after the impeachment trial that is set to kick off next week.

“That’s why we put this alternative on the table because we think it has meaningful consequences, but we’re not going to file it unless we see a path to success,” Kaine said. “So we’ll get into the trial. My hope is maybe Republicans will see some evidence in a trial where they’ll say ‘even if I’m not voting to convict, this is repulsive.’ Maybe some Democrats will say ‘boy we’re not going to get the votes to convict, we need to come up with something else.'”

Kaine reiterated that the “idea is out on the table.”

“People understand it, they understand what it will do,” Kaine said. “Right now there’s not enough support on either side.”

TPM reached out to Kaine’s office for comment.

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