Senator Richard Burr came under fire after becoming the only member of the Republican Party to vote to impeach former President Trump after previously voting earlier this week that the trial was unconstitutional.
In his defense, Burr made a statement after the trial and argued that he still believed that the impeachment proceeding against Trump was unconstitutional. However, since the Senate has established a “precedent” that made the trial constitutional, he was forced to consider the evidence that was presented before him as an impartial juror.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 13, 2021
Burr said, “The President promoted unfounded conspiracy theories to cast doubt on the integrity of a free and fair election because he did not like the results. As Congress met to certify the election results, the President directed his supporters to go to the Capitol to disrupt the lawful proceedings required by the Constitution. When the crowd became violent, the President used his office to first inflame the situation instead of immediately calling for an end to the assault.”
He continued and repeated his statement made on January 6, defending why he voted to convict Trump. HE said that the President bears responsibility for the tragic events that happened. The evidence presented is compelling that the former President 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.
Meanwhile, in response to the vote made by Burr, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party called Burr’s decision to convict trump “shocking and disappointing.” In a brief press release, the state party also referred to Burr’s impeachment trial vote as “contradictory.”
— Michael Hyland (@MichaelWNCN) February 13, 2021
North Carolina Republican Chairman Michael Whatley said, “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.”
In the impeachment trial, every Democratic Senator, together with seven Republican senators, voted to impeach Trump, leaving the Republican party only 10 votes shy of the Senate’s needed threshold for conviction.
Other Republican senators who voted to convict former President Trump were Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Sen. Burr, who is retiring in 2022, also made a statement, explaining that he “did not make this decision lightly.” However, he believed that former President Trump conclusively violated his oath of office based on what he “did and did not do.”
Wrong vote, Sen. Burr. I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator. Join me → https://t.co/R4vNpN0Njx pic.twitter.com/rw3nMSleIY
— Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) February 13, 2021
“My hope is that with today’s vote, America can begin to move forward and focus on the critical issues facing our country today,” Burr concluded.
The seven Republican senators who failed to hold the party line are already feeling the backlash as several state Republican parties quickly moved to discipline the home-state senators for voting to impeach Trump.
Including among them was Sen. Bill Cassidy, who felt the immediate criticism from Louisiana Republicans after the state party officials in North Carolina and Pennsylvania threw sharp statements to express their disappointment over the Senator’s vote.
We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump. Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.
— Republican Party of Louisiana (@LAGOP) February 13, 2021
In a tweet, the Republican party wrote, “We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the vote today by Sen. Cassidy to convict former President Trump.” The party continued, “Fortunately, clearer heads prevailed, and President Trump has been acquitted of the impeachment charge filed against him.”
Last Saturday, former President Trump was acquitted, as he received broad support from Republican lawmakers, receiving 43 Senate Republicans acquittal votes.