North Carolina GOP Censures Sen. Richard Burr For Voting To Convict Trump

He's the latest Republican lawmaker to face censure at home for declaring the ex-president guilty of inciting the deadly Capitol riot.

The North Carolina Republican Party on Monday censured Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for voting to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month.

“The NCGOP agrees with the strong majority of Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former president lies outside the United States Constitution,” the central committee said in a statement. “Now that the Senate has voted to acquit President Trump, we hope that Democrats will set aside their divisive partisan agenda and focus on the American priorities of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, safely reopening schools and restarting the economy.”

The vote was unanimous.

Burr was one of seven Republicans to join all 50 members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus on Saturday in voting to convict Trump at the close of the former president’s second impeachment trial. The 57-43 vote finding Trump guilty fell 10 votes short of the required two-thirds majority for that verdict to stand.

“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. I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary.”

Following Trump’s acquittal Saturday, North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley issued a statement condemning Burr’s vote.

“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,” Whatley said.

Burr had not signaled his support for conviction and his vote was the one surprise in the tally.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was among the 43 Republicans voting to acquit Trump, suggested Sunday that Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of the former president, could run for Burr’s seat in 2022. Burr, a three-term senator, has said he will not seek reelection.

Burr, 65, is the latest Republican to be censured by their state’s GOP for standing up to Trump. On Saturday, the Louisiana Republican Party voted unanimously to censure Sen. Bill Cassidy for his vote to convict Trump. At least three county GOP committees in Nebraska have voted to censure Sen. Ben Sasse and several county GOP committees in Pennsylvania have done the same against Sen. Pat Toomey over their votes to convict.

Several Utah Republicans are seeking to censure Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) after he voted to convict Trump, accusing him of being “an agent for the Establishment Deep State,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday.

The Wyoming Republican Party censured Rep. Liz Cheney, the state’s lone House member and the chamber’s third-ranking GOP leader, earlier this month for voting to impeach Trump. Though she has faced calls from some to step down as chair of the House Republican Conference, House GOP members voted 145-61 earlier this month to allow her to remain in her leadership role.