Politico reports that a small group of House Democrats — about ten of them — are floating the idea of censuring President Trump instead of impeaching him. All of these Democrats represent districts carried by President Trump three years ago. Among them are Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), and Ben McAdams (D-Utah). Schrader explained:
I think it’s certainly appropriate and might be a little more bipartisan, who knows.
At this point, I’m not sure any Republican member would back even a censure motion. We’ll never know, however. For Speaker Pelosi and company, abandoning impeachment in favor of censure is surely out of the question.
The interesting question for me is how many of the group that prefers censure will be unwilling, once it comes down to it, to vote in favor of impeachment. Even if all ten (or so) were to vote against impeaching Trump, Pelosi would still have enough votes to get it done. However, that many defections would be a huge embarrassment for Pelosi and a victory for Trump.
That’s why I believe many of the ten will bite the bullet and vote for impeachment, in the end. And most of those who do (along with some others who represent districts Trump carried) will probably lose their seats as a result.
Speaking of censure, the House ought to censure Adam Schiff for revealing the names of individuals swept up in call logs he obtained who are not the target of a criminal investigation. With Democrats in control of the House, I don’t think the Republicans can force a vote to censure Schiff (they failed to so in October). But if Republicans retake the House, censuring Schiff should be their first order of business.