GOP senator favors Trump censure as long as it doesn't actually do anything

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Sen. John Thune doesn't think a resolution to prevent Donald Trump from holding office again will 'go anywhere.'

Senate Minority Whip John Thune said Friday that he might be open to censuring Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection — as long as the censure was totally toothless.

The Hill reported that Thune (R-SD) was asked by reporters if he might vote for a resolution censuring Trump for his role in egging on the deadly attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He said he would, as long as it was "effective."

"I know there are a couple of resolutions out there," he said. "I've seen a couple of resolutions at least that I think could attract some support."

But asked if he was open to backing a censure resolution that would disqualify Trump from holding future office, citing the 14th Amendment's prohibition on anyone who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the government from holding public office, Thune dismissed the idea.

"I don't think ... those will go anywhere," the No. 2 Senate Republican said.

Thune and his colleagues took an oath as jurors "that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment ... I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God."

He has previously suggested that he is undecided on Trump's guilt and praised the House impeachment managers for doing "a good job connecting the dots" in their presenting their prosecution.

But Thune voted twice with most of his party against holding an impeachment trial at all, claiming it was unconstitutional to try a former president for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Thune voted with Trump more than 93% of the time between 2017 and 2020 and worked to whip GOP votes for his nominees and legislation.

But after Thune acknowledged Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election in December, Trump declared war on him, mocking him as "Mitch's boy," calling him weak, and promising a 2022 primary challenge to end his political career.

While most Senate Republicans say they will not vote to convict Trump on the charge of inciting insurrection, several have been reported to be publicly and privately hoping he will not be a viable candidate in 2024.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.