Asked about Sen. Tim Kaine’s drafted resolution to censure former President Trump for his role in inciting the Capitol riot, some of Kaine’s Democratic colleagues made clear on Wednesday that their focus, for now, is on the impeachment trial.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said, “we have to proceed under the Constitution with the trial, and I support that,” noting it is senators’ “responsibility” to complete the trial now that they’ve been sworn in as jurists.
“Once that’s over, we can see whatever else members would want to do, but I think this is incredibly serious, and that, in order for the country to heal, there has to be accountability and justice, and that starts with what the former president united states said and did,” she told reporters.
Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said he’ll do his “obligation under the Constitution” to serve as a juror. “If the verdict is such that leads the President without any consequence from what took place on that day, then I would consider other options,” he said.
A few other senators seemed more open to the idea, which has not yet garnered much appetite from party leadership.
Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware said he has talked with Kaine and has asked his legal team to look into the censure effort. He noted that Kaine’s resolution includes “the elements of the 14th Amendment that lead to disqualification from future officeholding.”
“That’s intriguing to me and something I’m willing to look at. The bottom line here is we have to deliver accountability for the events of Jan. 6,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski — one of the five Republicans to join Democrats in affirming the constitutionality of Trump’s trial — signaled interest in censuring the former President, but wants to see the language. “Yes, I’d be interested in looking at what the language of a censure might be,” Murkowski said.