Who is mysterious group behind Trump 'censure' ad?

The push to impeach President Donald Trump now has some competition from a campaign with unknown financial backers that wants to censure the president instead.

On Wednesday, a group that opposes Trump took out a full-page advertisement in the major news section of the New York Times to publicize a petition listing 34 actions by the president that they believe warrant censure by Congress.

The 34 points range from the firing of former FBI Director James Comey to "encouraging police discrimination," and even "publishing false and inflammatory right-wing British videos"—a reference to the president retweeting videos on Twitter.

"While some of Trump's actions may be sufficient to support his impeachment, we believe that at a minimum they require his immediate censure by Congress," the group wrote. 

Censure is a formal process by which both houses of Congress vote to formally condemn an individual for conduct construed to be unbecoming. Censure is not the same as impeachment, which occurs when legislative bodies vote to bring direct charges of misconduct against an individual. Neither impeachment nor censure results in the immediate removal from office, though individuals who are impeached are eligible to be removed upon conviction of the crimes they are charged with. Individuals who are censured by Congress are not eligible to be removed from office.

The organization behind the petition is shrouded in mystery. The campaign's website does not list an address, information about the group's leadership, or the financiers who paid for the New York Timesad. It is also unclear why the ad was taken out on Wednesday, almost six months after the petition first appeared in August 2017. 

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