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Manchin Calls for Censure of Trump

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, May 16, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, on Monday called on Congress to censure President Trump as he remains undecided on whether to vote for acquittal in the impeachment trial.

“What the president did was wrong,” the West Virginia Democrat said on the Senate floor Monday, but he added, “I see no path to the 67 votes required to impeach.”

“However, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his actions in this manner,” Manchin said. “Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines, and as an equal branch of government to formally denounce the president’s actions and hold him accountable.”

Manchin, who represents a state Trump won by a large margin in 2016, plans to share with senators a censure resolution, which would rebuke Trump for his behavior toward Ukraine but not remove him from office.

Manchin’s resolution reportedly states that Trump “used the office of the president of the United States to attempt to compel a foreign nation to interfere with domestic political affairs for his own personal benefit” and “wrongfully enlisted his personal lawyer to investigate a domestic political rival by meddling in formal diplomatic relations in a manner that is inconsistent with our established National Security Strategy.”

The resolution adds that the president “hindered the thorough investigation of related documents and prohibited Congress and the American people from hearing testimony by first-hand witnesses with direct knowledge of his conduct.”

The Senate voted Friday not to call additional witnesses to testify during the trial and is expected to vote to acquit Trump on Wednesday.

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