The North Carolina Republican Party is expected to censure Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Monday for voting to convict former President Trump over last month’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, North Carolina news outlet WBT reports.
Burr, who is retiring from the U.S. Senate in 2022, voted that Trump’s second impeachment trial was unconstitutional, but ultimately voted to convict the former president.
“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,” North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement Saturday.
Whatley wasn’t the only state GOP official to condemn Burr’s vote.
“I absolutely support a censure of Senator Richard Burr, NC for his vote on the impeachment of President Trump,” North Carolina GOP committee member Kyshia Lineberger said Saturday. “Senator Burr did NOT vote for the will of the people and should be held accountable. This second impeachment is nothing more than a witch-hunt against a former President who is now a private citizen.”
Burr issued a statement explaining his vote shortly after Trump’s acquittal:
When this process started, I believed that it was unconstitutional to impeach a president who was no longer in office. 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.
As I said on January 6th, 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.”
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who is running to replace Burr, slammed the ongoing senator’s vote, saying it was the “wrong vote.”
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
Earlier this month, freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) endorsed Walker’s bid for the Senate.