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After Impeachment Vote, NC GOP To Consider Censuring Burr

Sen. Richard Burr / Facebook
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R.-N.C., is seen in an undated file photo.

The North Carolina Republican Party will meet Monday night to consider censuring U.S. Sen. Richard Burr after he voted to convict Donald Trump Saturday in the former president's second impeachment trial.

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on a charge of inciting an insurrection after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an event that shook the country and left five people dead. Most senators — 57 of 100 — voted to convict Trump on Saturday, but that was far short of the two-thirds majority needed.

Immediately after the trial Saturday, the state party chairman, Michael Whatley, said Burr’s vote was “shocking and disappointing.” Now the group’s central committee will consider a formal censure, party spokesperson Tim Wigginton said Sunday night.

Burr was one of seven Republicansenators who voted to convict Trump. Burr, who has been in office since 2005, is not running for reelection in 2022.

The Louisiana Republican Party voted to censure Sen. Bill Cassidy immediately after the vote. Burr and Cassidy were the two most surprising Republicans who broke ranks.

Burr wrote in a statement that Trump “promoted unfounded conspiracy theories to cast doubt on the integrity of a free and fair election.”

He added that after the crowd turned violent on Jan. 6, Trump “used his office to first inflame the situation instead of immediately calling for an end to the assault.”

South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who voted to acquit the president, told "Fox News Sunday" that Lara Trump, the former president's daughter-in-law, would be the biggest beneficiary of Burr’s vote. She is a North Carolina native reportedly considering running for the empty seat as a Republican.

“My dear friend Richard Burr, who I like and have been friends with a long time, just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs,” Graham told Fox News' Chris Wallace. “If she runs, I’ll certainly be behind her because I think she represents the future of the Republican Party.”

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Walker,who has already announced he is running for Senate in 2022 wrote on Twitter that Burr’s was a “wrong vote” and said he is running because the state needs a “true conservative.” Ninth District U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop of Charlotte posted that he supported censuring Burr.

Burr’s colleague, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, voted to acquit Trump on Saturday.

Copyright 2021 WFAE.  For more go to WFAE.org