[COMMENTARY] House Will Formally Censure Trump

For months, I’ve been screaming into the void of Twitter about censure. I first tried back in September, then again in November. For the sake of this commentary, I’m going to presume you’ve at least skimmed those so I don’t have to explain what censure is here. But I can tell you that I’m nerdily excited because House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Hank Johnson tweeted Sunday that in light of the Trump Tapes, he was going to bring formal censure against Donald Trump on Monday morning. Even with only sixteen days left in Trump’s lone term, there’s still plenty of time to get all of his terrible entered into the historical record, so that future generations will know exactly what happened over the last four years.

Censure doesn’t have to start and end with the Trump Tapes; Johnson and his Democratic colleagues can go back to Inauguration Day 2017 and begin there if they want, hitting every violation of the Hatch Act and the Emoluments Clause along with all of the other criming in chronological order. Or they can work backward from the most recent to the oldest, whichever works for them. Personally, I would love to also be able to add the voices of the American people to the historical record, so that not only will future generations know what happened, they’ll know just how angry and frustrated we were on the daily. Every time Trump pulled another stunt or threw another superspreader rally, we who called ourselves The Resistance jumped on social media to denounce him, which of course almost never amounts to anything outside our digital echo chambers. Plus, I’ve been blocked by Trump and his three main adult kids for years now, so nothing I could tweet would ever reach them, which is pretty frustrating as well.

But this is different. I don’t know that I can take any credit for the House finally moving forward with censure, but I do know I didn’t see anyone else tweeting or writing about it until Sunday night. I heard commentary on MSNBC about it after noodging their hosts in tweets, and I know I probably annoyed my Dem Crush, Rep. Eric Swalwell, with more than one DM about it. I tend to get extra tenacious when I’m a witness to treason and sedition, and I have a Verified account, so that can sometimes help my words get to the right people. So I kept tweeting and tagging legal experts, as well as the House Judiciary account and the accounts for its members.

Did I make an impact? I hope so, but in the end, it doesn’t matter because it’s not about me. What matters is this:


While it’s almost a lock Trump won’t show up for his censure, even though the rules say he’s required to, all I need is for it to be televised. It’ll take all day and it’ll be the most riveting government proceeding since the Watergate hearings. It’ll make Trump’s own impeachment look like a minor infraction. And censure will almost certainly lead to a second impeachment to make sure he can’t ever run for office again (which he probably wasn’t going to do anyway, what with Tish James and Cyrus Vance waiting for him and his kids in New York).

Get all the popcorn ready. Trump’s censure is going to be the first appointment TV viewing of 2021.

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