Turley Exposes Proposed ‘Censure’ of Trump by Kaine and Collins as Conviction by Another Name
Feb. 1 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The Senate’s 55-45 vote on Sen. Rand Paul’s motion to find the second, retroactive impeachment of President Trump unconstitutional, appeared to show next-to-no- chance for a vote to convict Trump on the Democrats’ charge tortured out of the 14th Amendment.
According to legal expert Jonathan Turley in an opinion column in The Hill Jan. 30, two Senators—Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have now proposed a censure resolution as a “compromise,” which remains under color of the 14th Amendment and is a “conviction” of Trump under another name. “According to Kaine,” he wrote, “the censure resolution would make two findings ‘that it was an insurrection and that President Trump gave aid and comfort to the insurrectionists.” Kaine and Collins attempt to defend this “work-around of an unattainable impeachment conviction” as “part of the authority of Congress over any citizen under the 14th Amendment.”
This, in Turley’s view, fully unconstitutional maneuver would censure Trump as a President, though no longer in office, then by a simple majority vote bar him from holding any future public office as a private citizen, under the 14th Amendment.
Kaine, in fact, was open in motivating “an alternative that would impose, in my view, a similar consequence” without a trial and supermajority vote to convict, since that cannot be had. Turley concludes that barring Trump from holding office in the future is what all the moderate centrists from both parties really want. He says that statements like Kaine’s and that of Prof. Eric Foner of Columbia University to the same effect “leave little doubt that the motivation is to achieve the penalty of impeachment without the burden of a conviction.”
The 14th Amendment, Section 3 imposed a ban on holding office on a category of people who swore to and/or fought to overthrow the Constitution. This resolution would resemble a bill of attainder, punishment of an individual by Congress rather than a court, and could be challenged in court in Turley’s view.
So much for the “milder compromise solution” of a resolution of censure.