In the next few days, there will be a ceremonial vote in the Senate trial that will acquit Trump of both articles of impeachment. There is zero chance that a two-thirds majority will vote to convict. It is likely that no Republicans will vote to convict, and even a few Democrats from states where Trump won in 2016 may also vote against it.

All but two of the Republicans have voted against calling witnesses – people that could provide first-hand information. That is a position that means “My mind is made up. I already know the facts.” However, some Senators have said publicly that they don’t need more witnesses because they already accept that yes, Trump withheld the Ukraine funds in order to pressure Ukraine’s President to announce an investigation that might be damaging to Trump’s opponent in the upcoming US presidential election. In other words, yes, it was a quid pro quo, and yes, it was wrong to have done that. Some senators said “inappropriate”, but in any event rejected Trump’s claims that he did “nothing wrong” and that his phone call and other actions were “perfect.” There are no Senators who have publicly said Trump’s actions were “perfect”, but all by their vote to acquit are at least saying those actions were not bad enough to require removal from office.

That, at least, is a logical, if also debatable, position. I said the same thing during the Clinton impeachment — he did some things that were wrong, but they were not remotely serious enough to justify conviction and removal.

So what, then? Just walk away with nothing more that “acquitted” as the result? There is another option – censure – which would at least say formally that the President’s actions were not “perfect.” The Senate can use censure to express disapproval for the record but not remove the office holder or legally restrict his future actions. A vote on censure would require all Senators to state publicly and for the record whether they believe the President did anything wrong at all.

Their duty to the Constitution and to their constituents requires them to be on the record on that point. If they refuse, the voters are entitled to conclude that they don’t have the guts to own their opinion.

Here is a more thorough description of the desperate state of Republican members of Congress under Trump.