Almost all of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Donald Trump in his impeachment trial face strong condemnation from their home state allies, with at least six facing or having already received official censures from their GOPs local.
Two have already been officially reprimanded. The leadership of the Louisiana Republican Party on Saturday voted to censure Bill Cassidy on the same day the impeachment ended. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania has also been censored by GOP leaders in the state’s counties, one of whom called the senator’s impeachment vote “a vindictive and punitive action purely interested in those with political goals. of the establishment ”.
The backlash could come from even more senators as the week progresses. The North Carolina GOP is expected to vote on censorship of Senator Richard Burr on Monday, while Senator Ben Sasse also faces potential censorship, a reaction from his party of loyalty to former President Trump whom he criticized as representing “the strange cult of a guy. ”
Susan Collins, of Maine, also outraged her GOP, which emailed supporters on Saturday after the vote saying, “Many of you are upset after what happened today like us.” and state conservatives would want a vote of no confidence or some other kind of discipline for Ms Collins, an occasional critic of Trump.
The repercussions for Republicans who dared to criticize their standard bearer during impeachment are expected to linger within the party for years, according to insiders.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of Trump, said on Sunday that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech condemning the president’s “shameful dereliction of duty” had “put a burden on Republicans “.
“This speech you’ll see in the 2022 campaigns,” he told Fox News.
Yet despite the anger of some of their colleagues, many of the seven who voted against Mr. Trump defended their choice.
“I made this decision because Americans should not be fed lies about ‘massive electoral fraud’. Police should not be left at the mercy of a crowd. Crowds should not be set on fire to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.