North Carolina Republicans to censure Sen. Richard Burr
State party chairman Michael Whatley said Burr's vote to convict Trump Saturday was 'shocking and disappointing.'
Republican Sen. Richard Burr is catching heat from party officials back home over his vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.
On Saturday, the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump on a single charge of incitement of insurrection for his role in the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. For siding with the Democrats in the trial, the North Carolina Republican Party will hold an emergency meeting Monday evening to vote on whether to censure Barr, CNN reports.
According to party spokesman Tim Wigginton, it’s likely that the vote will pass amid the anger brewing within the GOP over the senator’s vote to convict. State party chairman Michael Whatley called Burr’s decision “shocking and disappointing.”
Kyshia Lineberger, the RNC committeewoman from North Carolina, is also among Burr’s critics.
“I am voting yes because he failed his state and his constituents by voting to convict FORMER President Trump in what was an unconstitutional trial. A trial that even he said was unconstitutional,” she told CNN in an email. “At the end of the day, America is a Republic where we the people elect representatives. Senator Burr did not represent the will of the people and that is a shame.”
Burr said in a statement Saturday that Trump “bears responsibility” for the siege attempt at the U.S. Capitol last month that resulted in five dead. He called out Trump for using his office to “first inflame the situation instead of immediately calling for an end to the assault.”
“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” his statement read. “Therefore, I have voted to convict.”
Burr’s third Senate term ends next year. According to reports, he will not seek re-election.
As theGRIO previously reported, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed Trump for sparking the attack on the U.S. Capitol in a scathing speech delivered after Saturday’s vote. But despite his blistering criticism of the ex-commander-in-chief, McConnell did not vote to convict him.
“There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” said the longtime Kentucky senator.
“And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on the Earth,” McConnell added.
He also said the mob breached the Capitol because it was fed “wild falsehoods” by Trump, who was “angry he had lost an election.”
Like Burr, Sen. Bill Cassidy was among the seven Republicans who voted to impeach Trump Saturday, and Cassidy was censured almost immediately by party officials in his home state.
“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump,” tweeted the Republican Party of Louisiana. “Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.”
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