YORK, Pa. — Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says he prefers the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, as opposed to an attempt to censure the former president, even though the latter might be easier to keep him out of office in the future.
Casey, a Democrat, said he isn't sure if his Democratic colleagues have the 17 Republican votes needed to impeach Donald Trump, and is hoping many GOP senators will look at the evidence presented over what he expects is at least a one-week trial starting February 8.
"I think if we leave this chapter of American history with no condemnation, no clear denunciation by Congress, of what the president did to incite this mob, I think we're making a big mistake," Senator Casey told FOX43 anchor Matt Maisel on Thursday morning during the FOX43 Capitol Beat.
No president has ever been impeached by the U.S. Senate. Donald Trump is the first president to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives twice.
The process of censuring former President Donald Trump was floated by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, as a way to ensure Trump would never be able to hold office again. Censuring the former president would only require 60 votes, as opposed to the 67 needed for impeachment.
Casey also indicated COVID-19 relief would be the legislative priority once an impeachment trial is complete. Democrats and Republicans each hold 50 senators in their caucus. However, Democrats control the majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris.
"I think it's always preferable to have a major piece of legislation like this relief bill will be to be bipartisan," Casey said. "But we can't waste time and do some long hand-holding hoping it will work because it doesn't appear at this stage we're going to get the bipartisan support we need, and we have to get this done."