WV Senator Joe Manchin Remains Undecided, Leans Towards Censure over Removal of President Trump

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin spoke to the U.S. Senate today and lambasted members of both parties, Republican Senators in particular. But the buck did not stop there. He referenced the points made by President Trump’s council as well, despite the fact that he doesn’t believe President Trump is 100% innocent.

The bottom line is that Manchin, the Democrat in the Heavily favored Trump state of West Virginia knows that the Senate does not have the votes to acquit President Trump and doesn’t want to cause even more division by trying to anyway. Although he didn’t mention acquittal, it seems as though he may vote to acquit if there is no option to censure, which is his preferred choice.

“The ultimate question is not whether the president’s conduct warrants his removal from office, but whether our nation is better served by his removal by the Senate now with impeachment, or by the decision that voters will make in November,” he quipped.

“Never before in the history of our Republic has there been a purely partisan impeachment vote of a president. Removing this president at this time would not only further divide our deeply divided nation, but also further poison, our already toxic political atmosphere”. He went on, “I see no path to get the 67 votes required to impeach President Trump, and haven’t since this trial started”. This is when he offers up the idea of censure.

Fox News reported:

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, speaking on the Senate floor Monday, urged his colleagues to formally censure President Trump — saying that while the president’s dealings with both Ukraine and Congress were “simply wrong,” he was “struggling” with whether to vote to convict and remove him from office and potentially “tear the country apart.”

At the same time, Manchin also condemned the Republican-controlled Senate for failing to call additional witnesses in the impeachment trial, saying “history will judge the Senate harshly” for failing its constitutional duty to “protect our democracy.”

“I see no path to the 67 votes [requried to convict and remove] President Trump,” Manchin, who represents a deeply pro-Trump state, asserted. “However, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure this president.”

A censure resolution, which Manchin said “would allow a bipartisan statement condemning [Trump’s] unacceptable behavior in the strongest terms,” has no practical effect and serves as a legislative rebuke to the sitting president.

Saying the decision of whether to remove Trump from office was a “grave” matter that has “weighed heavily” on him, Manchin noted he has “listened carefully” to both sides of the issue — and that he remains undecided.

“The president asked a foreign government to intervene in our upcoming election,” Manchin said. “He defied lawful subpoenas from the House of Representatives.”

Trump is all but assured to be acquitted on Wednesday in the GOP-controlled Senate, where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove the president.

You can see the entirety of his speech below in the video from Media Right on Facebook. Viewers can make of it what they will, but it seems like Manchin definitely has the residents of his home state on his mind.