The North Carolina Republican Party voted to censure Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Monday for his vote to convict former President Donald Trump during his impeachment and bar him from holding office again.
State Republican Party officials met in an emergency session on Monday night and voted unanimously to censure Burr, 65, who plans to retire in 2022 rather than run for reelection. Burr voted on Saturday to find Trump guilty of inciting the Jan. 6 riot that resulted in hundreds of pro-Trump protesters storming the Capitol to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election.
“It’s important for the party to go ahead and put out a vote and a statement that it disagrees with Senator Burr’s vote, but in terms of practical impacts, it is just that. It’s a resolution,” North Carolina state party chairman Michael Whatley said, according to NBC News.
Burr hit back at the state party in a statement, accusing the state GOP of abandoning principle in favor of Trump.
“It is truly a sad day for North Carolina Republicans,” Burr said in a statement. “My party’s leadership has chosen loyalty to one man over the core principles of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation.”
Burr voted to convict Trump after two earlier votes holding the impeachment trial of a president that has already left office unconstitutional. He explained his series of votes in a statement on Saturday. As The Daily Wire reported:
In a statement after the trial, Burr argued that while he still believed that the trial was unconstitutional, because the Senate established a “precedent” that the trial was constitutional, he was forced to consider the evidence presented to him as an impartial juror.
“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. As Congress met to certify the election results, the President directed his supporters to go to the Capitol to disrupt the lawful proceedings required by the Constitution. When the crowd became violent, the President used his office to first inflame the situation instead of immediately calling for an end to the assault,” said Burr.
“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,” the senator explained in a statement after the trial.
After Burr’s vote to convict, Whatley slammed Burr in a statement that precipitated the state party’s vote to censure the retiring senator.
“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,” Whatley said.