North Carolina Republican leaders will meet on Monday to discuss Senator Richard Burr’s vote to convict former U.S. President Donald Trump during his impeachment trial, after he was acquitted of a charge of inciting the deadly Capitol riot, a party spokesman said.
Burr, who was one of seven of the 50 Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on the sole article of impeachment for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, is facing the music for going against his party’s wishes in North Carolina.
Tim Wigginton, the state party spokesman, said in an email the Republicans would release a statement after Monday night’s meeting. Multiple media outlets said the officials would meet to decide whether to censure Burr.
Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial concluded on Saturday with a 57-43 vote in favor of convicting, falling short of the two-thirds needed to secure conviction.
“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,” Burr said in a statement Saturday. “Therefore, I have voted to convict.”
North Carolina Republican Chairman Michael Whatley condemned Burr for voting against the former president last week, as a “shocking and disappointing” abdication of his duty to voters.
“North Carolina Republicans sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” the party chairman said.
Louisiana’s Republican Party voted on Saturday to censure Senator Bill Cassidy for voting to convict Trump. The party’s leader in Pennsylvania, Lawrence Tabas, has publicly criticized Senator Pat Toomey for voting to convict.
The other four Republicans who voted to convict were Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse.
In the end it matters little whether Burr is censured since he has announced he will not be running for reelection in 2022. He will leave office with his tail between his legs.
On the flip side, Trump may emerge the winner after all as Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicted his daughter-in-law Lara Trump will be the benefactor of the impeachment trial.
“The biggest winner of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “My dear friend Richard Burr, who I like and have been friends to a long time, just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs, and I certainly will be behind her because she represents the future of the Republican Party.”
Currently, North Carolina favors Lara Trump. According to the BUSR/UNLV Lee Business School poll of North Carolina Republicans and Republican-leaning independents finds Lara Trump leading the 2022 North Carolina Republican Senate primary. “Trump is reportedly considering a run for the Senate seat that is currently held by Senator Richard Burr. Trump leads former Governor Pat McCrory by a 24-23 margin. 39% of North Carolina Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are undecided,” the poll read.
Reuters contributed to this report.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org