Democrats Introduce Resolution to Censure Trump Over Charlottesville Comments

Donald Trump / Getty Images
Donald Trump / Getty Images
August 18, 2017

Democrats introduced a resolution Friday to censure President Donald Trump over his comments made in response to the violent Charlottesville rally.

The resolution was introduced by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.), and Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Buzzfeed reported. It has already garnered the support of some 75 Democrats.

The resolution follows last Saturday's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., which led to the death of one counter-protester. Heather Heyer was struck and killed by a car driven, police allege, by one of the rally's attendants. During the aftermath, Trump attracted outrage from those on the left and right when he claimed "both sides" were to blame for the violence. Critics said the president failed to adequately condemn the white supremacists who organized the rally.

The Democrat's resolution attacks Trump for his remarks, and claims he "has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, racist, and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country."

"President Donald Trump has provided encouragement and little to no denunciation of white supremacist groups and individuals who promote their bigoted, nationalist ideology and policies; and...failed to provide adequate condemnation and assure the American people of his resolve to opposing domestic terrorism," the resolution reads.

The resolution censures the president for his perceived misconduct, as well as calls on him to fire "any and all White House advisors who have urged him to cater to the white supremacist movement in the United States." The advisors to whom the resolution alludes to are likely include White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, often a target of such accusations.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) backed the resolution publicly in a statement issued Friday.

"Every day, the President gives us further evidence of why such a censure is necessary," Pelosi said. "Indeed, with each passing day, it becomes clearer that the Republican Congress must declare whether it stands for our sacred American values or with the President who embraces white nationalism. Democrats will use every avenue to challenge the repulsiveness of President Trump’s words and action."

Only three presidents in history have been censured, all prior to the 20th century: Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, and James Buchanan. However, members of the House have attempted to censure other leaders in recent years, including the last three presidents.

Whether or not the resolution will be voted on is at the discretion of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.). Even then, Democrats would need to gain support from their Republican colleagues across the aisle. The resolution would only need to pass the House, not the Senate, to be implemented.