Republicans to Censure Sen. Burr Over Vote to Convict Trump
North Carolina GOP moves to censure U.S. senator for siding with Democrats
North Carolina Republicans are moving to censure Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) after the U.S. senator voted to convict President Donald Trump during the Democrats' Senate impeachment trial.
Burr was among seven Republicans who sided with Democrats in voting to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol.
The vote was 57-43, but it fell far short of the 67-vote threshold needed for conviction.
On Sunday evening, the state's party spokesman, Tim Wigginton, confirmed that members of the NC GOP’s central committee will hold an emergency meeting Monday night to vote on censuring Burr.
“I am going to vote to censure Sen. Richard Burr on behalf of the grassroots across the state and because I do truly feel that his vote was improper,” said Kyshia Lineberger, the state party’s national committeewoman.
“I’m really disheartened by his choice and his vote," Lineberger said, adding that Burr has “betrayed the trust of his constituents.”
Burr twice voted that the trial itself was unconstitutional, according to The Daily Caller.
However, he said that he would be an “impartial juror” and judge the case on its merits once it began.
Following his vote to convict, the retiring senator said that Trump “bears responsibility” for the deadly Jan. 6 riot.
“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 on Saturday afternoon.
“Therefore, I have voted to convict.”
The backlash among North Carolina Republicans was swift.
North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said that Burr’s vote to convict “in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” and multiple Republicans vying to succeed him publicly rebuked his decision.
“Wrong vote, Sen. Burr,” wrote former Republican Rep. Mark Walker.
“I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator.”
Following Burr’s vote, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said that the biggest winner was Lara Trump, who has considered running for the seat in 2022.
“My dear friend Richard Burr … just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the senate seat to replace him if he runs,” Graham said on Sunday.
Burr’s vote, however, was applauded by some Democrats running to replace him.
“I’m genuinely surprised by Sen. Burr’s vote, but apparently he felt the gaze of history and chose to do the right thing,” said Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson.
“Good for him.”