- The North Carolina GOP slammed Burr’s vote to convict Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”
- The state party called Burr’s vote “shocking and disappointing.”
- Regarding the Capitol riots, Burr said that Trump “bears responsibility for these tragic events.”
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The North Carolina Republican Party on Saturday slammed three-term GOP Sen. Richard Burr for his vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.
Burr, a reliable conservative, was one of 7 Republicans who crossed party lines to convict Trump of “incitement of insurrection” for the former president’s role in the deadly January 6 Capitol riots.
This action drew the ire of party members across the state and also prompted an official rebuke from state party chairman Michael Whatley.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Burr’s vote came as a surprise to most observers, especially since he had voted just days earlier that the Senate trial was unconstitutional.
However, in a detailed statement released on Saturday, Burr expressed that Trump’s actions on January 6 couldn’t be ignored.
“When this process started, I believed that it was unconstitutional to impeach a president who was no longer in office,” he said. “I still believe that to be the case. However, the Senate is an institution based on precedent, and given that the majority in the Senate voted to proceed with this trial, the question of constitutionality is now established precedent.”
Read more: Meet the little-known power player with the ‘hardest job’ on Capitol Hill. She’s shaping Trump’s impeachment trial and Joe Biden’s agenda.
He continued: “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. The President bears responsibility for these tragic events. 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. Therefore, I have voted to convict.”
The Senate acquitted Trump in a 57-43 vote, falling ten votes short of the two-thirds threshold, or 67 votes, that were necessary to convict.
In voting to convict Trump, Burr was joined by fellow GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Of the 50 senators in the GOP caucus, 43 senators stood with Trump, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Burr, who is not running for reelection in 2022, was criticized on Saturday by home state GOP Rep. Mark Walker, who is campaigning for the seat that the senator will vacate after the midterm elections.
“Wrong vote, Sen. Burr,” he tweeted. “I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator.”
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