Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) may soon face a censure vote by the Nebraska Republican Central Committee over his criticism of former President Donald Trump, including his statement accusing Trump of stoking the “fires of division” before the Capitol riot.
According to News Channel Nebraska, the Nebraska GOP Central Committee could hold a vote on February 13, when party officials are scheduled to meet. The text of the censure resolution, obtained by NCN, lists more than a dozen complaints against Sasse, including his public criticisms of Trump and for “mocking” the integrity of other Republican senators.
A portion of the document reads:
Whereas Senator Ben Sasse has persistently engaged in public acts of ridicule and calumny against President Donald J. Trump, through both the spoken and written word, questioning the president’s agenda, decisions, motives, and competency;
Whereas Senator Ben Sasse has publically [sic] shown contempt for Donald J. Trump, and likewise he has made disparaging remarks towards the Trump family;
Whereas Senator Ben Sasse has repeatedly, through imprudent public remarks, demonstrated a general disrespect for the Office of the President, and likewise for the reputation of his fellow Republican senators, mocking their integrity;
Sasse promptly addressed the committee in a video: “I’ve heard from many of you in the days since the attack on the Capitol threatening another censure for what I said about the president’s lies after the election. As a friend, and fellow Republican, I’m going to shoot straight: I’m not going to spend any time trying to talk you out of another censure. I listen to Nebraskans every day, and very few of them are as angry at life as some of the people on this committee. Not all of you, but a lot. Political addicts don’t represent most Nebraska conservatives.”
Sasse told the committee that “many” of them were upset because he condemned Trump’s “lies that led to a riot,” which he later emphasized “happened because the president lied to you.” When in office, said Sasse, Trump “lied about the election results for sixty days, despite losing sixty straight court challenges, many of them handed down by wonderful Trump-appointed judges. He lied by saying that the vice president could just violate his constitutional oath and declare a new winner — that wasn’t true. He then riled a mob that attacked the Capitol, many chanting, ‘hang Pence.’ If that president were a Democrat, we’d both know how you’d respond. But, because he had Republican behind his name, you’re defending him.”
“Something has definitely changed over the last four years, but it’s not me. Personality cults aren’t conservative. Conspiracy theories aren’t conservative. Lying that an election has been stolen, is not conservative. Acting that politics is a religion — it isn’t conservative.”
Sasse is the latest Republican to face potential censure from state or local party officials. The Arizona Republican Party recently voted to censure Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain. In Wyoming, GOP parties in ten counties have voted to censure Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), the third-highest ranking House Republican, for her impeachment vote, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.
Cheney was also facing the prospect of removal from House leadership, but the majority of House Republicans overwhelmingly voted against removing her as GOP Conference Chair in a Wednesday night vote held via secret ballot.