Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday ruled out censuring President Donald Trump if the House doesn’t impeach him, downplaying a less drastic censure as “a day at the beach” for the president.
Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor that censure would be “just a way out” of House Democrats’ efforts to see if Trump has committed impeachable offenses.
“If you’re going to go, you ought to go. In other words, if the goods are there, you must impeach,” she said.
Pelosi spoke as she tries restraining House Democrats from jumping quickly into a pre-election effort to impeach Trump. Several dozen of the 235 House Democrats have said they favor launching an impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi has said she wants the numerous committees investigating Trump to gather more evidence, including on whether he obstructed special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Pelosi said some House Democrats have suggested simply censuring Trump. A censure would rebuke him, but is far less serious than the House voting to impeach, or essentially indict Trump. Unlike impeachment, censure would not automatically trigger a Senate trial on whether to remove Trump from office.
“That’s a day at the beach for the president, or at his golf club or wherever he goes,” she said of censure.
President Trump tweeted on June 19, “The Dems are very unhappy with the Mueller Report, so after almost 3 years, they want a Redo, or Do Over. This is extreme Presidential Harassment. They gave Crooked Hillary’s people complete Immunity, yet now they bring back Hope Hicks. Why aren’t the Dems looking at the 33,000 Emails that Hillary and her lawyer deleted and acid washed AFTER GETTING A SUBPOENA FROM CONGRESS? That is real Obstruction that the Dems want no part of because their hearings are RIGGED and a disgrace to our Country!”
….33,000 Emails that Hillary and her lawyer deleted and acid washed AFTER GETTING A SUBPOENA FROM CONGRESS? That is real Obstruction that the Dems want no part of because their hearings are RIGGED and a disgrace to our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2019
A handful of Democrats have floated the idea of censuring Trump as an alternative to — or perhaps a first step toward — impeachment while a number of House committees continue with their investigations of the president and his administration. Censure lacks the teeth of impeachment, but supporters say it would, at the very least, get Congress on record formally disapproving of the president’s behavior.
“We can hold the president accountable and say that his actions are unethical and he’s engaged in blatant misconduct and that there can be some accountability for future presidents,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a censure supporter, told The Hill earlier this month.