John Thune says he's open to censure of Donald Trump as impeachment trial nears end

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate‘s second-ranking Republican, said Friday he’s open to censuring former President Donald Trump, as the impeachment trial of Mr. Trump nears a vote for acquittal.

“I’ve seen a couple of [censure] resolutions at least that I think could attract some support,” Mr. Thune said of his Republican colleagues. 

Asked if that includes him, Mr. Thune replied, “Yes.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat, said Friday that he’s spoken to Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio about a possible censure of Mr. Trump. Mr. Portman recently announced he won’t run for reelection in 2022.

Mr. Kaine and Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, have floated a censure resolution under the 14th Amendment that would bar Mr. Trump from holding federal office again. It would require a simple majority vote.

A conviction in the impeachment trial requires a two-thirds majority vote by the Senate, which both sides agree won’t be reached.

Democrats were hoping to proceed after Mr. Trump‘s conviction to a vote on disqualifying Mr. Trump from office. But with most Republicans opposed to convicting Mr. Trump, Democrats have been looking for an alternative that would bar him from running in 2024.

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