From the Washington Post this evening:
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), a moderate who is friendly with the White House, on Monday asked his colleagues to consider censuring President Trump as the Senate moves toward votes on impeachment.
“I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his action in this matter. Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines,” Manchin said in a speech on the Senate floor. “His behavior cannot go unchecked by the Senate and censure would allow a bipartisan statement condemning his unacceptable behavior in the strongest terms.”
This is still a developing story but the Post seems to think that he might not get much support from either party. From the Republicans:
Multiple Senate Republican officials and aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions, said Monday that they see few senators willing to pursue censure.
Instead, most Senate Republicans have either insisted Trump did nothing wrong and has been the subject of a partisan impeachment quest, or they have argued that while he might have acted inappropriately, voters should render the verdict on the president at the ballot box in November.
From the Democrats:
Democrats who spoke under the same conditions said that although some of the party’s senators might support a sanction short of impeachment, they are concerned about backing off their belief that Trump’s conduct deserves removal from office. Pursuing censure, some said privately, could undermine the party’s consistent message that Trump’s conduct warrants that.
The reactions by Republicans and Democrats strike me as very predictable. So why did Senator Joe propose a censure vote? Is he seriously considering voting against one or both articles of impeachment? Does he need to stress his moderate credentials that badly? Or is this something he will later use as proof as to how badly divided the Senate is?
How will Manchin vote on the articles of impeachment?
Manchin says he is "still struggling." Here's Senator Joe earlier today:
February 4 update
Nothing on this in today's Wheeling Intelligencer. (We did get two front-page road construction pictures that took-up one-third of the page, however.) The Charleston Gazette-Mail made Manchin a front-page story:
Manchin: Censure president